Lemon Balm Growing Conditions Soil. Lemon balm is often made into a herbal tea as well as a tincture, cream, and capsules. For that reason, many gardeners choose to plant lemon balm in containers, whether grown indoors or out, in an attempt to control its invasive nature. A hardy perennial shrub that is tolerant to USDA zones 3 through 7, lemon balm can be grown year-round indoors, as well as outdoors in warmer climates. If you have good access to a reasonably level and protected surface in the sun go for it! Sundried lemon balm is ready within one day or less in the sun. Find a simple homemade ginger ale recipe here, then just add springs of crushed lemon balm. After a year, replace with your newest harvest. Lemon balm has gastrointestinal benefits as well. Water well after transplanting. However, companions for lemon balm should be plants that thrive in the same growing conditions – rich, moist, well-drained soil, and full sun or light shade. When it comes to watering your lemon balm plant, always err on the side of under-watering, rather than over-watering. Lemon balm water – enjoy throughout the day, Herbal iced tea – steep lemon balm by itself or with other herbs and dried fruits; add maple syrup or stevia to taste for mildly sweet tea, Dried fruits pieces, including dried lemon and other citrus, Spices such as cinnamon sticks and cloves, Wind can also blow away the cloth you lay your herbs on, so place rocks or something on each corner to anchor it, Ants or insects can get to them, especially sweet foods like fruits, If you forget to bring them in when it rains, you’ll probably lose the entire batch (yep… speaking from experience! You will find them alongside the herb and vegetable plants. We’re all about growth! Contribution by Jane Seeley, retired, gardener, photographer, food artist. What Vegetables to Grow in Winter – Garden Plants for Year Round Harvests, Natural Homegrown Remedies for Common Ailments. The Best Climate for Growing Lemon Balm. Avoid knocking the seeds out of the soil or burying them too deeply with a heavy stream of water. We don’t worry about washing our lemon balm before drying for several reasons. Lemon balm is an ancient herb native to southern Europe that is closely related to mint. What to Plant with Lemon Balm. However, once you establish the plant, it does tolerate drought well. Keep in mind, fertilizing some herbs has been known to decrease the potency of their scent and/or flavor—if you’re growing lemon balm specifically for cooking, you can likely skip fertilizing it and still be just fine. For soil, any decent potting soil will work, but make sure the container drains. © When growing lemon balm at home, the bushes reach a height of 25-30 cm. It should take from one to three weeks for your lemon balm to be free of moisture. More on growing lemon balm and verbena: How to divide oregano, chives and lemon balm They need just enough water, but not too much. If you grow the lemon balm in a pot, choose one that is 8 inches deep and equally wide. Dig up or un-pot a mature plant carefully. To grow lemon balm in a container, plant seeds or transplants in a pot that is at least eight inches deep and 15 to 18-inches wide. Research indicates that those with hyperthyroidism should seek a health practitioner’s advice before using lemon balm, and especially if on any medication. Lemon balm is a perennial herb in zones 4-9. However, unlike an outdoor lemon balm plant—which can tolerate a bit of shade—those planted indoors need ample sunlight, at least five to six hours a day. So for efficiency, plus the additional energy we imagine coming from the sun into the drying process, we prefer sundried. Growing Lemon Balm in Containers. For more on dehydrating foods, we’ve written an article on the best food dehydrators, which includes hanging air drying option dehydrator racks as well as oven dehydration. Nature’s vitamins are the best. It is a perennial grown from seed that can be grown from cuttings taken in the spring or fall as well as routed divisions as your plants grow larger than the area you intend to keep it. Growing Lemon Balm in Pots. Lemon balm as a houseplant is a fabulous idea because this lovely herb offers a beautiful lemony aroma, a tasty addition to foods and drinks, and a pretty potted plant for a sunny window ledge. Fresh leaves can be left in the cup or teapot, if desired. You can keep it fresh in a container in the fridge for a few days as you would other greens, but otherwise, ideally, just trim it as you need it in the amount you need for that day. Those suffering from insomnia would benefit from lemon balms’s ability to bring about restful slumber. Transplanting is recommended during cool evening hours to give the lemon balm plant time to recover before higher temperatures return. Transplanting is recommended during cool evening hours to give the lemon balm plant time to recover before higher temperatures return. We like to make herbal iced tea with lemon balm and maple syrup or stevia for those who like it a little sweet. Growing zones: Zones 4 to 9; lemon balm does not like hot, humid climates. Strain into cup and enjoy hot, or add sweetened if desired and ice to enjoy cold. Take a few moments today to learn about growing, harvesting, and using lemon balm in your daily life. If you notice your plant getting a lot of harsh direct rays or turning brown on its leaves, rotate it periodically to avoid burning. Your lemon balm should last through the winter months and well into spring. It’s important to remember that herbs can be powerful and potent medicine, and they can have unexpected side effects that differ per person, in much the way pharmaceuticals can. For maximum flavor release we like to gently crush or roll the fresh leaves between fingers just before adding to a beverage. You can grow your lemon balm indoors year round, but with a container you can also move it outdoors to enjoy it in the garden or on the patio in the warmer months. Lemon Balm Growing Cultures. Well, I developed a goiter and discovered it shortly after harvesting, masticating and making lemon balm tincture. Why Grow Lemon Balm? Also, a little known fact about Lemon Balm. Growing season: Lemon balm grows best in cool weather. Freeze dryers are expensive, but great for doing larger volumes. Growing lemon balm is not difficult for even the novice gardener. To cook with your lemon balm, harvest the leaves as soon as the plant is established and putting out regular new growth. Adjust your watering accordingly, checking the soil for moisture each time. You can have fun experimenting with all kinds of other herbs, fruits and spices you may have on hand for an herbal blend, such as: In the mint family, lemon balm plants are readily available at your local garden center during the spring and early summer months. Gardening provides us respite from a stressful outside world – a place to call our own and grow whatever pleases our bodies and souls. A citrusy member of the mint family, lemon balm originated in the Mediterranean, North Africa, and parts of the Middle East. Add another screen on top – for most foods you’re drying, the window frames will provide approximately 1/2″ of space between the screens for food to lay. Like many other herbs, lemon balm plant grows extremely well in containers of all sizes. CAUTION: If sun drying herbs uncovered, as in our photo below, there are some issues to be aware of. Lemon balm is self-seeding and sows its seeds all over the place as pone bush grows very well. Lemon balm is a helpful herb that deserves a place in our hearts and gardens. No commercial fertilizer will be needed as long as good quality compost is used to supplement your soil from time to time. The compost will feed your lemon balm plants while improving your garden soil overall. Keep the co… If serving it to company, it may look better to keep the leave the leaves unrumpled. Your exact watering schedule will depend on the environment in your home and the plant’s sun exposure levels, but a good general rule of thumb is to water in small quantities (do not saturate) as soon as the first inch or so of soil in the pot has dried up. Make certain your plant has at least thirty leaves before you begin to harvest it for use. When selecting a container to house your lemon balm plant in, choose a pot with ample drainage holes to minimize the risk of the herb becoming waterlogged or the roots rotting. Choose a container of just about any size, but the larger the container, the more lemon balm you’ll get as your original plant grows. Sow the lemon balm seeds about 1/4 inch deep and thin the seedlings to about 8 inches apart. One made of clay or terracotta can also be helpful, as the porous material will help to wick any added moisture from the soil. Growing lemon balm can also be done in containers or pots. Just like basil and many other herbs, lemon balm does extremely well in a pot. Since my thyroid levels were “normal” there is little cause and effect in my case but it did give me pause to explore how powerful herbs can be and the need to thoroughly research them before using, especially in larger quantities. A nice sunny spot will be best for your lemon balm, with at least five hours per day of sunlight. Lemon balm grows well in zones 4-9, as you can see on the National Gardening Association map.. Lemon balm loves to be surrounded by compost a few times each growing season. 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