Do you want to grow lemon balm?
Lemon balm is a perennial herb that grows in clumps and has a strong, lemony scent. The leaves are heart-shaped and can be used fresh or dried for tea. It’s best to harvest the leaves before flowering begins as this will ensure the most potent flavor. Harvesting too early or late may result in an unpleasant taste.
Growing your own lemon balm means you’ll always have access to its delicious flavor and aroma! You won’t need to worry about finding it at the grocery store when you run out of it, either – just head outside and pick some more! Plus, growing your own herbs means less money spent on buying them from local stores. This plant is easy enough for beginners but still offers plenty of benefits for experienced gardeners!
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
When is the Best Time of the Year to Plant Lemon Balm
The best time to plant lemon balm is in the spring. Lemon balm is a perennial, so it will come back year after year. You can also plant lemon balm in the fall, but it may not come back as vigorously in the spring. Lemon balm grows best in full sun or partial shade. The soil should be moist but well-drained. Lemon balm can be grown in containers or in the garden.
Where in the Garden Should You Plant Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm is an easy plant to grow and maintain. Many people plant the herb in their kitchen garden or simply outside their home near a sitting area or along a pathway where it can be easily accessed for cooking, teas, tinctures, salves, etc.
Lemon balm can be easily grown in the garden and it is a great herb to have on hand for culinary and medicinal purposes.
Lemon balm can be planted in the garden in either full sun or partial shade. The plant prefers moist soil, but it can tolerate dry soil. If you live in a warm climate, you may want to plant lemon balm in the shade.
Lemon balm grows best when it is planted in soil that is rich in organic matter. You can add compost or well-rotted manure to the planting area before you plant the lemon balm.
How Often Should I Watering Lemon Balm
It is best to water lemon balm every other day. It is the best way to keep it moist and let any excess water escape. If you are using pots, watering every day may stress out your plant. An easy way to tell when your lemon balm needs to be watered is by looking at the soil. If the top of the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water your lemon balm. Make sure to water the lemon balm until the water begins to drain from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. This will help to prevent root rot. If you are using a garden, make sure to place a drip irrigation line near your lemon balm plants. This will help provide your lemon balm with the water it needs.
When you are done watering your lemon balm, make sure to thoroughly drench your plants. Do not let them dry out completely before you water them again. This may cause brown spots to form on your leaves and could possibly harm or kill your plant.
When and How to Harvest Lemon Balm
Lemon balm can be harvested at any time, but the best time to harvest is just as the flowers start to open. To harvest, clip off the tops of the plants with a sharp knife or scissors. Be sure to cut off the entire top of the plant, including about 1/2 inch from the tip. Harvest before the plant flowers to ensure a milder flavor.
As long as you do not harvest all of the leaves in one go and leave at least 4-5 sets of leaves on the plant, it will grow back. You can even cut off larger branches and stand them in a vase of water on your kitchen counter, and new leaves will sprout and grow in no time. This is a great way to have fresh lemon balm on hand whenever you need it.
Lemon balm can even be overwintered if protected from the harshest winter weather. Cut down your plant to about 8 inches tall in late fall after all of the leaves have dropped off. Bundle up the stalks with several rubber bands and cover the stems with a thick layer of straw. Place your bundles in an unheated garage or shed and gently remove them in late February or early March, pruning off any dead leaves.
Once spring rolls around, you can return the plants to their normal spot outside. They should start growing once again by mid-summer.
Different Ways to Store Lemon Balm
Lemon balm can also be stored in different ways. The best way to store lemon balm is by freezing it. Freezing the leaves will preserve their flavor and potency. You can freeze lemon balm by chopping it into small pieces and putting it in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Another way to store lemon balm is by drying it. Drying the leaves will preserve their flavor and potency, but they will lose some of their colors. You can dry lemon balm by chopping it into small pieces and putting it in an airtight container or a dehydrator.
You can also store lemon balm in oil. Storing the leaves in oil will preserve their flavor and potency, but they will lose some of their colors. You can store lemon balm in oil by chopping it into small pieces and putting it in an airtight container or a jar.
So, there are a few different ways to store lemon balm. It’s important to choose the method that is best for you and your needs. Lemon balm is a great herb to have on hand, and with these different storage methods, you can be sure to have it available when you need it.
Other Things of Interest about Lemon Balm
- Lemon Balm is a flowering plant
- The botanical name for Lemon balm is Melissa officinalis
- The flowers of lemon balm are white and fragrant. This herb belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae, which includes other herbs such as oregano and basil.
- It can be used in food recipes, such as savory dishes or desserts, where its aroma will complement other ingredients, and it can also be used as a garnish
- In many countries, lemon balm leaves are used to make herbal tea.
- Lemon balm can be grown indoors in pots or outdoors in gardens.
- Lemon balm is an annual plant meaning it will grow one season and die off at the end of summer.
- As lemon balm can act as a mosquito repellent, some people choose to grow it near where they like to spend their time outdoors
- The leaves of this herb are fleshy, small, and pale green in color. The plant produces small flowers that grow in clusters at the top of the stems
- The leaves and flowers can be used fresh or dried for later use.
Conclusion: Now that you know more about Lemon Balm, you can grow it yourself with ease. It’s a great herb to have on hand for tea, and it also has many other benefits. Be sure to harvest the leaves at the right time for the best flavor. Enjoy your homegrown Lemon Balm!