Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Lemon scented leaves are used in many herbal preparations and to make a delicious tea.
How to Grow Lemon Balm from Seed
Lemon Balm is a perennial that can be grown in a variety of soils but prefers moist, well-drained loam with a pH between 4.5 and 7.6. Choose a site with full sun to partial shade.
Seeds germinate best if cold stratified for one week prior to planting. Seeds can be started indoors or direct sow outdoors in spring after the danger of frost has passed. Sow seeds 4-6" apart on soil surface and press lightly to settle. Seeds will sprout in 10-20 days. Thin seedlings so that mature plants are 18-24" apart.
Keep adequately moist for first year until plants become well established. Drought tolerant once established.
Harvest anytime during the growing season. Harvest plant parts by cutting above ground parts, which quickly regrow giving you multiple harvests in a season.
Parts can be used fresh or dry. Store dried plants in a cool dark place for up to 6 months.
How to Save Lemon Balm Seeds
Lemon Balm seed matures in summer/fall. Plants spread readily by seed. Seed is ready to harvest when the flowers have dried brown and seeds are black. Store seeds in a cool, dry place.