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Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
1m
Max height
0.5m
Max spread
2-5 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Melissa officinalis

Other names

Lemon balm, Sweet Mary, Tea balm, Honey plant, Pimentary, Sweet balm, Barm leaf, Bee balm, Dropsywort, Balm, Balm leaf, Balm oil plant

Genus

Melissa Melissa

Species

M. officinalis - M. officinalis is a bushy perennial with ovate, lemon-scented leaves, and creamy-white or pale purple flowers spikes in summer.


Melissa officinalis is: Deciduous

Fragrance

Leaves are scented - hence the common name Lemon balm - and can be used to flavour refreshing, cool drinks.

Habit

Bushy, Rounded

Flower

Pale-purple, White in Summer

Foliage

Bright-green in Spring; Bright-green in Summer

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Leafhoppers Leafhoppers

Diseases

Generally disease-free.

General care

Pruning

Cut back after flowering to encourage fresh leaf production and to prevent unwanted self-seeding.

Propagation methods

Division, Seed


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Where to grow

Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm) will reach a height of 1m and a spread of 0.5m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Bees (attract & feed bees), Cottage/Informal, Flavouring food and drinks, Wildlife

Cultivation

Melissa officinalis will grow happily in any soil or aspect. Dead-head to avoid self-seeding.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Melissa officinalis

Other names

Lemon balm, Sweet Mary, Tea balm, Honey plant, Pimentary, Sweet balm, Barm leaf, Bee balm, Dropsywort, Balm, Balm leaf, Balm oil plant

Genus

Melissa Melissa

Species

M. officinalis - M. officinalis is a bushy perennial with ovate, lemon-scented leaves, and creamy-white or pale purple flowers spikes in summer.

Foliage

Deciduous

Fragrance

Leaves are scented - hence the common name Lemon balm - and can be used to flavour refreshing, cool drinks.

Habit

Bushy, Rounded


Colour

Flower

Pale-purple, White in Summer

Foliage

Bright-green in Spring; Bright-green in Summer


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Leafhoppers

Diseases

Generally disease-free.

General care

Pruning

Cut back after flowering to encourage fresh leaf production and to prevent unwanted self-seeding.

Propagation methods

Division, Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm) will reach a height of 1m and a spread of 0.5m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Bees (attract & feed bees), Cottage/Informal, Flavouring food and drinks, Wildlife

Cultivation

Melissa officinalis will grow happily in any soil or aspect. Dead-head to avoid self-seeding.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4, Zone 3

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

Melissa offcinalis

Lemon balm is closely related to mint but has a milder taste and a less invasive habit. Its flowers are very attractive to bees: its botanical name, Melissa, is the Greek for bee. The lemon-scented… read more

There are 3 active discussions about Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm)

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