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Herbaceous PerennialHerbs - Culinary

Melissa officinalis

lemon balm

M. officinalis is a bushy perennial with broadly ovate, lemon-scented leaves with scalloped edges, and leafy spikes of creamy-white or pale purple flowers in summer

Other common names
balm
balm leaf
see morebalm oil plant
barm leaf
bee balm
dropsywort
honey plant
pimentary
sweet balm
sweet Mary
tea balm

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Purple White Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Lamiaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Melissa are herbaceous perennials with broadly ovate, aromatic leaves and small 2-lipped white flowers in spikes in summer

Name status

Correct

Plant range
S Europe

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in any moist soil, in full sun or partial shade. Protect from excessive winter wet

Propagation

Propagate by seed or by division in spring or autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Cut back hard after flowering to promote fresh leaf growth and to prevent seed setting as can be invasive

Pests

Can get leafhoppers

Diseases

Generally disease free

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