All About Lemon Balm

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Can I Plant
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Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is an herb in the mint family and is native to southern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. It has a strong lemon scent and flavor and is used in teas, salads, and other culinary dishes. It is also used in aromatherapy and traditional medicine. Lemon balm grows in clumps and has dark green, oval-shaped leaves. The leaves have a serrated edge and are covered in small hairs. The plant blooms in the summer, producing small white or pale yellow flowers.

Planning Your Garden With Lemon Balm

As you plan your garden, it's important to think about the spacing, size, light, and nutrient requirements of all of your plant and how they'll grow together.

Some plants require more water than others, while other plants require dry soil. At the same time, some plants prefer full sun, and other plants need the shade to survive.

By studying what each plant requires and planning ahead where all of your plants will grow best, you can optimize your garden space.

Life Cycle Lemon balm is a perennial.
USDA Zone Lemon balm is hardy in USDA Zones 4-9.
Cold Tolerance Lemon balm is a hardy plant and can tolerate temperatures as low as 28.
Days to harvest The minimum number of days to harvest lemon balm is usually around 60 days.
Average size The average size of a full grown lemon balm plant is about 2-3 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide.
Spacing requirements Lemon balm grows best in full sun and in well-drained soil. It should be spaced about 18-24 inches apart in rows.
Sun tolerance Lemon balm is tolerant of full sun, but prefers partial shade.
Shade tolerance Lemon balm is a shade-tolerant plant and can grow in partial shade. It prefers full sun, but it will still thrive in areas with partial shade.
Water requirements Lemon balm prefers moist, well-drained soil and should be watered regularly to keep the soil evenly moist. It is best to water in the morning so the foliage has time to dry out before nightfall. A good rule of thumb is to water the plant when the top inch or two of soil is dry. Lemon balm typically does not require fertilization, but if desired, apply a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season.
Fertilizer The amount of fertilizer you should use when growing lemon balm depends on the type of soil you are using and the size of the plant. Generally, a balanced fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 10-10-10 should be applied at a rate of 1/2 to 1 pound per 100 square feet of soil.
Soil pH The optimum pH for growing lemon balm is 6.0-7.0.

Why Lemon Balm is Popular

People like to grow lemon balm for its attractive foliage, fragrant aroma, and medicinal properties. The plant is often used to make tea and is said to have calming and soothing effects. Lemon balm is also used in cooking and baking, and it can be used to make a refreshing and flavorful herbal extract.

Companion Plants For Lemon Balm

Companion planting is a great way to maximize your garden space and get the most out of your plants. By planting certain plants together, you can help each other thrive. In some cases, you can even help each other repel pests.

Popular companion plants for lemon balm include:

Common Pests For Lemon Balm

Plant pests are a common problem for gardeners. By understanding what pests are common for your plants, you can take steps to prevent them from damaging your plants.

When you grow lemon balm, keep an eye out for these common pests:

  • slugs
  • aphids
  • whiteflies
  • spider mites
  • mealybugs

USDA Zones

USDA zones are a popular way of determining which plants can grow in your area. Zones tell you when your average first and last frost date are, as well as how cold you can expect it to get in the winter.

Our site works best if you choose your zone from the list below. If you do not know your USDA zone, then you can use our zone map.

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