One of the easiest (in my experience) to grow from seed, rooted cuttings, or by root division
Adds a lemon aroma wherever it is planted
Lemon Balm is relaxing and soothing for the nerves
It calms anxiety & also acts to restore depleted energy and revitalize us
Said to act as a decongestant and antihistamine, helping with chronic problems like asthma or allergies
Balm prefers loose, somewhat fertile soil
Thrives in full sun but likes some shade during the hot part of the day or it will wilt slightly
Lemon balm that is shaded during the hottest part of the day will have deep green leaves and a stronger aroma. In full sun, or poor soil, lemon balm leaves become yellow and loses it’s strong scent
Balm does not send runners (like mint) ~ it’s self seeding
Plant next to other vigorous growers (perennials) because balm competes for space
Sweet yet invasive herb
Grows from 2 to 2-1/2 feet tall, bushes out laterally, so give them some side space
Trim plants to maintain bushy appearance
Clip back when it flowers
Mulch so it’s root system will survive the coldest winters
Drought tolerant ~ I rarely water (doesn’t like wet feet)
Harvest and it comes back with vigor everytime. Leave several leaves on the plant to prevent it from dying
If you keep it harvested and don’t allow it to go to seed it stays under control
To harvest ~ cut the whole stems 3-4″ from the base of the plant, gather into groups of 5-6 stems, tie and hang in a warm, airy location.
When dry, strip off the leaves, store in a covered container and use as needed
Or wash some after harvesting to use fresh
Divide in the spring or fall
Take cuttings in midsummer to bring in for the winter
Grow from seed ~ start indoors in late winter & transplant
Lemon Balm Uses
Lemon Balm, week 2
1 Tbsp. fresh Lemon Balm
1 cup witch hazelCombine the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Allow to steep for 1 week. Strain. Use 1 teaspoon per application with a cotton ball. Refrigerate if you wish.
Lemon Balm, week 3
Chop the Lemon Balm and place it in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.Cover the Lemon Balm completely with olive oil or other oil.
Allow the Lemon Balm to infuse into the oil for at least 2 weeks ~ shaking it daily.
At the end of two weeks strain the Lemon Balm from the oil infusion to prevent mold.
Label the Lemon Balm infusion and store it in a cool, dark area.
Lemon Balm, week 4
Use Lemon Balm with seafood or vegetables.
Combine Lemon Balm with mint in cooking to enhance the flavors of both herbs
Lemon Balm makes a good substitute for the flavor of lemon in recipes when there is no lemon on hand
Add Lemon Balm to foods and beverages that use mint to give them a mild lemon flavor
Add Lemon Balm to hot black tea with mint
Lemon Balm is used as a conditioner for oily hair
Lemon Balm, week 5
lemon balm, chopped fine
2 tablespoons thyme, chopped fine
1 cup butter, softened
Cream butter and stir in herbs.
Chill for at least 3 hours to allow flavors to blend.Lemon Balm facial
Boil 1/4 cup of lemon balm in a quart of boiling water and then hold your face close to the bowl, using a towel to form a tent around the bowl and trap in steam.
After 10 minutes, rinse your face with warm and then cool water