DESCRIPTION: A perfect addition to the herb garden with its lemony leaves; it prefers full sun but is moderately shade tolerant, especially in drier climates; spreads vegetatively as well as by...
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$5.99

DESCRIPTION: A perfect addition to the herb garden with its lemony leaves; it prefers full sun but is moderately shade tolerant, especially in drier climates; spreads vegetatively as well as by seed, tiny white flowers attract pollinating bees to your garden. Fresh leaves reveal a sweet lemon zest taste with a hint of mint. Mounding growth habit.

BOTANICAL NAME: Melissa officinalis
AVERAGE MATURE HEIGHT: 30-50 cm
AVERAGE MATURE SPREAD: 30-45 cm
SUN EXPOSURE: Full sun to partial sun
FLOWER COLOUR: White
FLOWERING TIME: Summer
FOLIAGE COLOUR: Chartreuse
COLD HARDINESS: Hardy Annual
WATER NEEDS: Average
OTHER FEATURES: Edible, Fragrant, Bee Friendly

Edible Qualities

Lemon Balm is an herb that is typically grown for its edible qualities, although it does have ornamental merits as well. The fragrant pointy green leaves which emerge light green in spring are usually harvested from late spring to early fall. The leaves have a zesty taste and a pleasant fragrance.

The leaves are most often used in the following ways:

  • Fresh Eating
  • Baking
  • Tea
  • Essential Oil

Features & Attributes

Lemon Balm's attractive fragrant pointy leaves emerge chartreuse in spring, turning light green in colour throughout the season. It features dainty lightly-scented white flowers along the stems in late summer.

This is an herbaceous perennial herb with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition. This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting bees to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration:

  • Self-Seeding

Lemon Balm is suitable for the following landscape applications:

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Herb Gardens
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

This plant can be integrated into a landscape or flower garden by creative gardeners, but is usually grown in a designated edibles garden. It does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in sandy soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. It can be propagated by division.

Lemon Balm is a good choice for the edible garden, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, most plants cannot be expected to survive the winter if left in containers outdoors, and this plant is no exception.

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