Lemon Balm is a refreshingly humble member of the
Mint family, which means like its spicier cousins, it is a vigorous grower. Easy to grow and maintain, you can prune Lemon Balm into beautiful mounds in the fall for lovely spring shapes.
Lemon Balm has been used for centuries by bee keepers to encourage a higher return of bees to their homes by crushing and sprinkling it on their hives. It was believed that the lemony aroma would help attract and direct them to the correct hive.
A lovely citrusy culinary herb, Lemon Balm adds a wonderful zest to salads, fish, drinks and more! Try lining your cake pans to infuse your desserts with natural lemon flavor, or by making a Lemon Balm marinade for your next steak. By using this flavorful herb, you're cutting down on the amount of sugars used to artificially produce the same taste, and infusing your food instead with nutritious natural lemony flavor.
Scent of Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm's pleasing lemon scentis activated by bruising or crushing the leaves, and when rubbed on your skin or clothing, it will help naturally deter biting insects and mosquitoes.
Medicinally,Lemon Balm has been proven to cure cold sores very quickly due to its active antiviral polyphenols contained in the essential oils. Traditionally it has also been used to cure nausea, colic, tooth aches and anxiety. Its antispasmodic properties can also lessen the effects of coughing fits and muscle spasms.
Characteristics: Lemon Balm is a wonderful lemon-scented herb that has the hardiness of Mint. A vigorous grower, Lemon Balm makes a great culinary herb and is perennial in zones 4-9.
Light: Lemon Balm prefers full sun
Water: Drought tolerant, Lemon Balm isn't fussy about water. It prefers consistently moist soil, but can hang on in between waterings if needed.
Soil: Also not picky about its soil, so long as it drains fairly well. For best results, it needs a pH of anywhere between 6.1 (mildly acidic) and 7.8 (mildly alkaline).
Use: A terrifically aromatic herb, Lemon Balm really emits a great lemon scent. Plant it in your garden to attract beneficial butterflies and bees, or pot it to enjoy its fragrance indoors! Great for making teas and adding a light lemon flavor to desserts, fish and other dishes. Medicinally, it can help treat cramps and nausea, and it naturally contains properties that helps to heal cold sores more quickly!
Extras: Because it is so similar to Mint, you may want to container plant to control Lemon Balm's spreading habit. A profuse self seeder, you can also deadhead spent blooms to control seed spread and new growth.
Lemon Balm in the garden will ensure pollination of your plants, as it
is a true favorite of bees. Lemon Balm was originally named Bee Balm! A
wonderful dark green ground cover of 18" with a delicate white flower.
If you really want the scent of fresh lemon in the garden, combine with
Lemon Thyme and Lemon Scented Geraniums to a large outdoor container on
the patio! Toss in a little Lemon Verbena for a added kick!
taste of the leaves adds the perfect tangy note to fruit salads. Freshly
steamed vegetables come alive when tossed with Lemon Balm and a touch
of cracked pepper. For a general seasoning, use it in tandem with
Tarragon. Try adding some freshly minced leaves to lamb or fish
marinades for the grill, and toss a few sprigs on the fire to perfume
the air and keep away the mosquitoes.