Growing Lemon Balm, also Sweet balm,

Melissa Officinalis : Lamiaceae / the mint family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
              S S S    
                T T T  
                P P P  

(Best months for growing Lemon Balm in Australia - sub-tropical regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 77°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 10 inches apart
  • Harvest in 8-10 weeks. Cut back tall stems to prevent flowering.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Good to attract bees

Your comments and tips

14 Jun 17, douglas (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
where in cape town south africa can i purchase lemon balm plants
14 Mar 18, Pat (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I live in Tauranga and was wondering if I can grow lemon balm seeds now or do I have to wait until summer. Also I have planted mint seeds in a pot and was wondering if they will come up or not Pat
09 Apr 21, Vanessa (USA - Zone 6b climate)
My lemon balm did very well last year, but i don't see any sign of it coming back. I dont believe o saw it flower though last year. Is it still to early? I live on long island, ny.
12 Apr 21, Anonymous (USA - Zone 6b climate)
Maybe a little early as it says plant APRIL/MAY.
Showing 11 - 14 of 14 comments

Hope it's not too late but I had the same thing - mine was going wild then suddenly went in reverse and very fast deteriorated to seemingly hopeless. It's now back better than ever. Here's what I did. Maybe it'll work for you. It seems to like being very wet in the soil, but plenty of air and sun on the centre base of the plant. Self defeating almost. The more it grows dense, the heart starts going yellow, white mildewy and tiny black spots. I cut away any of the affected leaves at the base (tiny new leaves that immediately went bad) - this was a lot. Also any bigger top leaves and whole 'branches' that were shadowing the centre. There wasn't much left, but what did I have to lose. It started recovering, and as long as it was in that weird bowl shape it kept getting better. During this stage you need to keep the water and feeding up because the centre is drying out and losing water to the soil underneath. After a while I let it grow back in the middle, still pruning when it got too clustered in the centre or the middle was shadowed from above. Now it has found its new legs and grows evenly as long as I occasionally do some of this 'middle air' maintenance and keep the water up. Hope this helps. I use a lot of it for Thai cooking - it's a great substitute for lemongrass, so I need mine to be thriving. Now happily, it is once more.

- Leesa

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