• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Melissa officinalis

lemon balm

  • Other common names lemon balm

    balm leaf
    balm oil plant
    barm leaf
    bee balm
    honey plant
    sweet balm
    sweet Mary
    tea balm

    see more
  • Family Lamiaceae

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

  • Details 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

  • Plant range S Europe


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Fragrance Leaf

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilChalk, Clay, Sand, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height 0.5-1 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

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 Flower borders and beds Cottage & Informal Garden Wildlife Gardens

How to care

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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