Lemon balm is valued as a culinary, cosmetic and medicinal herb. Use fresh sprigs to top drinks and as garnishes on salads and main dishes. The fresh or dried leaves make a great cold or hot tea, and the dried leaves can be used pot-pourris. Traditionally valued as a medicinal herb, lemon balm has mild sedative properties. Lemon balm is easy to grow from seed sown in the spring or early fall.
Sow in average soil after danger of frost in spring. Sow seeds evenly and thinly and barely cover with fine soil. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist. Seedlings emerge in 14-21 days.
How to Grow
Thin to stand about 12" apart when seedlings are 1-2" high. Cut the plants back by up to two-thirds after they bloom, about 40 days after emergence, to encourage new growth. Divide the plants every year or two in spring or early fall to keep them in bounds.
Lemon balm is one of the easiest lemon-scented herbs you can grow. Use the fresh leaves to add flavor to foods and teas, or toss them into your bathwater. Include the dried leaves in potpourri. Lemon balm is suitable for flower borders, herb gardens, containers or vegetable gardens.