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How to plant and cultivate lemon balm?

How to plant and cultivate lemon balm?

The characteristics of lemon balm

  • Type: vegetable plant, aromatic plant
  • Height: up to 1m
  • Flower color: green
  • Desired exposure: sunny, shaded
  • Type of soil:sandy, clay, limestone
  • Foliage: obsolete
  • Interview : easy
  • Sanitizing: no

Origins and characteristics of lemon balm

Lemon balm is part of the Lamiaceae family. This aromatic plant comes in the form of a bushy tuft, whose appearance is reminiscent of mint or nettles.

Very fragrant, its lemon scent makes it an excellent natural mosquito repellent. You can therefore plant it in a pot near the places where you take your meals in the evening, in your garden.

There is only one type species and two hybrid species, namely golden lemon balm and variegated lemon balm. The so-called classic variety offers charming green foliage while the other two offer respectively, as their name suggests, golden or variegated foliage. The foliage of traditional lemon balm is much more invasive than that of hybrid species.

Lemon balm can be used in cooking. Delicate union of lemon and mint, it can accommodate desserts as well as drinks, or even savory dishes. Lemon balm is also used in herbal tea, hot or cold.

On the other hand, lemon balm water contains a high level of alcohol. It should not be given to children or consumed pure. On a sugar, use a few drops or in a grog, with hot water.

Lemon balm plantation

Planting lemon balm is done in spring or fall. The root ball is placed in a hole four times larger than it. This must be soaked before planting.

Add compost and then cap. Water and mulch to keep some moisture.

Lemon balm likes in a sunny or even partially shaded location and adapts perfectly to cool, clay soil.

Growing and caring for lemon balm

Like many aromatic plants, it does not require much maintenance. Watering is essential in summer, especially at the time of planting if it was carried out in the spring. It is advisable to fold the tuft in July and March to promote its development and prevent it from spreading too much.

Pruning is recommended in March to remove dry stems and in July if the leaves turn yellow. This will encourage the growth of new foliage for an even larger crop. Use pruning shears to fold tufts of lemon balm at ground level.

Multiplication of lemon balm

If it is possible to opt for division, sowing remains the most practiced method. It is at the end of summer that the seeds are harvested, leaving a few stems to rise. Dry them in a shaded place and place them cool in sachets.

Lemon balm harvest

Harvesting lemon balm takes place over a long period. Indeed, it can be harvested from May to October.

Then you can keep it by placing it in the freezer after washing it and drying it. The second solution is to dry the leaves by hanging them and then placing them in jars in a cool place and protected from light.

On the other hand, lemon balm retains its flavor for a shorter time. Remember to consume it in the months following its harvest.

Virtues and use of lemon balm

Used to improve the quality of sleep, it promotes sleep and prevents nightmares. It is also an anti-stress plant that is consumed in herbal tea. It also helps fight against digestive disorders, nausea, headaches and is very good for the heart.

Diseases and pests of lemon balm

Lemon balm is a robust plant, it has no natural enemies. On the other hand, it keeps mosquitoes and other insects away, which is why it is also called lemongrass or bee chili.