Perennial. Hardy to USDA zone 4. Lemon Balm is a lemony mint relative. Use leaves to make tea, as garnish, in salads and potpourri, or for their medicinal qualities. Be sure to save some leaves for cooking. Lemon balm adds a lemony flavor to fish, chicken, and vegetables. It is also used herbally for insomnia or with peppermint in tea for an upset stomach. Mature plants have pretty white flowers. Charlemagne, a medieval Frankish King, had lemon balm planted in every monastery garden for its beauty. (Recommended for containers as plants will reseed freely if planted directly in garden beds.) Plant in sun or shade.
When to plant outside: Spring after average last frost.
When to start inside: 6 weeks before average last frost
Special Germination Instructions: Easy to grow from seed. You can start indoors on a sunny windowsill or under grow lights. Requires light to germinate. Sow on surface and press lightly into soil.
Harvesting: Harvest young leaves at any time to use fresh or dry for later use. (Dry leaves will lose some of their scent.) Shear back plants in summer and late fall, or trim at any time to prevent reseeding from flowers.
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