One of the easiest and most prolific herbs to grow, lemon balm has a fragrance much like lemon-flavored lollipops.
Best climate and site: Zones 4-9. Full sun is best for the development of essential oils. Ideal soil conditions: Sandy to loamy soil high in organic matter. Lemon balm prefers well drained soil. Lemon balm reaches a height of 2 feet. Flowering time for this beautiful, perennial herb is July to October. Yellow or white blossoms form in bunches at leaf axils. Lemon balm is a favorite herb of the honey bee.
Collect the leaves in late August and dry them quickly to prevent them from turning black. Cut the entire plant, leaving about 2 inches of stem. Tie the plants together with twine or ribbon and hang them upside down to dry in a warm and well ventilated room. Use the leaves in cooking, baking, crafts, or crumbled in the tea pot for a delicious and healthy tea. The leaves lowest on the plant are said to be highest in essential oils.
Interesting trivia: Queen Victoria suffered from bouts of depression during her reign. Her private living quarters had hundreds of lemon balm sachets, tiny pillows, nosegays, tussie mussies scattered about. She often drank lemon balm tea before retiring for the night, and slept with lemon balm pillows. The fragrance helped with her depression.
End of part one – Lovely Lemon Balm.
~ Meadow Walker
” She Grows Lemon Balm”
For more information about the many medical uses for lemon balm:
University of Maryland Medical Center
This is a 12 minute video from Herb TV about the benefits of Lemon Balm