Lemon balm

Melissa officinalis

Melissa officinalis

Melissa officinalis

Lemon balm

  • Position: full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: well-drained soil
  • Flowering period: June to September
  • Height: 60-90cm
  • Foliage: deciduous
  • Hardiness: fully hardy


Melissa officinalis

Melissa officinalis, commonly know as lemon balm, is a perennial herb, originating from southern Europe. It has bright, green oval leaves. The lemon-scented leaves can be used to make teas or you can add the aromatic leaves to fruit drinks.

Lemon balm produces small, creamy-white flowers in summer. The flowers are attractive to bees.

Melissa officinalis ‘Aurea’

There is also a variegated lemon balm, Melissa officinalis ‘Aurea’. With variegated lemon-scented gold and green leaves, it’s an attractive foliage plant. Expect a height of 65cm and a spread of 45cm.


When and how to prune lemon balm. Cut back lemon balm immediately after flowering to 5-7cm above the ground to stimulate new fresh leaves. It will regrowth quickly.

How to grow lemon balm

Lemon balm planted in the ground can become invasive. So best to grow in a container. It will also self-seed profusely. If you don’t want seedlings, cut back before the flowers set seed.

Lemon balm likes full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil.

Overwinter lemon balm

This perennial herb is fully hardy. A container-grown lemon balm doesn’t like wet conditions during winter. So place it against a wall where it is sheltered from heavy rainfall.

How to grow mint. See mint

Related Content