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I have a lovely healthy little lemon balm plant outside in my back garden and it has been there for a few years and it is still thriving. The lemon balm is a member of the Labiate Family and it comes from the Mediterranean orginally. I always think that lemon balm looks a lot like mint or basil but there is a difference, if you know what you are looking for.
It is usually much more bushy and bigger than the mint plant and the stems are larger too, I find. I have a few different lemon balm plants in my garden and my largest one is well over one metre high now. It is a very hardy plant and it is a perrenial and it sits in full sunshine but it seems to enjoy this, I find. I grew all of mine by taking cuttings from my next door neighbour. I grew them in small pots and then planted them out into my garden in the spring time and they just grew themselves without any further bother fom me.
During the middle to late summer I tend to chop mine back quite a bit and I find this is the best way of making it thrive. There are a lot of different varieties of lemon balm, I have the variegated with the lovely leaves which are a deep dark green colour. I like to dry my lemon balm leaves myself on my window sill and I make my own tonic for my bathwater and I find this very relaxing and invigorating at the same time. I make and sell these at the Church fetes and they always are appreciated and I received some lovely compliments for them.
It is also a lovely addition to my soups, and casseroles and summer salads. It is very underrated I find and a very easy little plant to grow and I recommend it to you.
Position: full sun Soil: poor, well-drained soil Flowering period: June to August ... more
Hardiness: fully hardy Claimed to have antiviral and antibacterial properties, the leaves of this bushy, perennial herb will release a strong lemon fragrance when they are bruised. They are useful for creating calming teas, lemon balm pesto or flavouring drinks (like Pimms) fruit or fish dishes. The crushed leaves are also said to help keep mosquitoes at bay when they are rubbed onto the skin, while the nectar-rich flowers, which appear in summer, are a firm favourite of bees. Garden care: Surface-sow from late spring to late summer in seed trays and keep at around 20C. Alternatively sow directly into a well-prepared border after all risk of frost has passed. Water regularly without waterlogging and thin out to 35cm intervals when large enough to handle. It self-seeds freely, so it is best cut down after flowering if you don't want it to get out of hand. Sow: May - August Harvest: July - November Approximate quantity: approximately 500 seeds