Lemon Balm is a Mediterranean herb used for centuries for it’s medicinal qualities. This herb is part of the Lamiaceae plant family. Lemon Balm’s Latin name is Melissa officinalis.
The leaves have a subtle lemon flavor that is popular for teas and adding and a wide variety of culinary dishes. It is a very versatile herb used to season fish and poultry and also in desserts. Bees and butterflies are attracted to the herb’s white flowers. It is also a natural mosquito repellant. Lemon Balm is a great addition to your Phoenix herb garden.
Gardening Steps: Grow Lemon Balm in Phoenix
- When and how to plant lemon balm
- What grows well near lemon balm and what doesn’t?
- How to care for lemon balm
- Harvesting lemon balm- When is the ideal time to lemon balm?
When to Plant and How to Grow Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm is a perennial herb. When lemon balm is harvested it will regrow throughout the growing season. Plant lemon balm transplants after the last frost or when soil temperatures reach 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant mid-September or in the months of February and March.
From seed it takes up to 200 days to reach maturity. Due to the herb’s length of time to reach maturity we transplanted in the month of February.
Lemon Balm seeds should be sown just under the soil about 1/4 of an inch and takes about two weeks to germinate. Allow space for lemon balm to spread up to eighteen inches wide and just under two feet high.
Companion Plants for Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm grows well with nearly everything, but it can be particularly beneficial for squash.
How to Care for Lemon Balm
Light Requirements: Lemon Balm prefers full sun or 6-8 hours of sun per day.
Soil Requirements: Prefers fertile well-drained soil. Like most herbs, Lemon Balm prefers a slightly acidic pH. The soil pH range of 6-7 is ideal.
Water Requirements: Lemon Balm likes consistent moisture. Water frequently so the soil doesn’t dry out.
When to Harvest Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm takes up to 200 days from seed to harvest. If planted in September the plant would not reach maturity until March. Lemon Balm seeds planted in February or March would not reach maturity until August or September.
We recommend purchasing transplants or starting from seed indoors, so the herb has time to root before the soil gets too hot or too cold depending on when you plant outdoors.