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Lemon balm

Lemon balm grows well in UK conditions, producing lemon-flavoured leaves for use in cooking and herbal teas. A perennial herb, it's easy to divide established lemon balm plants to share with other growers.
Growing calendar
Sow indoors Mar - Apr
Plant out/transplant May - Jun
Harvest May - Sep

How to grow lemon balm

Sow lemon balm seed 0.1cm deep in pots and transplant seedlings 45cm apart. You can also dig up and split established lemon balm plants in spring or autumn. Choose well drained soil in sunny site.

Pinch out growing tips to encourage bushy plants. Leaves die back to soil level in winter.

Harvesting and using lemon balm

Pick strongly lemon scented leaves before flowers open for use fresh or drying. Flowers are also edible with sweet lemon flavour. Lemon balm is a perennial herb so will crop year after year.

Tips on growing lemon balm

Cut back after flowering for new growth and prevent stems becoming woody.

Growing notes
Difficulty Easy
Germination time 7-14 days
Average time to harvest From 12 weeks
Equipment needed None
Average plant size Up to 75cm tall, 45cm wide
Family group to grow with Lamiaceae: mint, thyme
Seed saving notes Perennial, self-pollinating