Lemon Balm Plant (Melissa officinalis)
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a perennial herb within the mint family and native to south-central Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, Iran, and Central Asia, however, currently naturalized elsewhere. Bee balm grows to a most height of a hundred cm. The leaves have a light lemon scent. The leaves are used as a herb, in teas, and conjointly as a flavoring. Bee herb plant is employed to draw in bees for honey production. It’s big as a decorative plant and for its oil (to use in perfumery).
The tea of lemon balm, the volatile oil, and also the extract is utilized in ancient and medicine, as well as aromatherapy. Lemon balm has been cultivated a minimum of since the sixteenth century. A fashionable analysis is being conducted to determine the protection and effects of the plant on humans.
Overview Lemon Balm Plant
Scientific name Melissa officinalis
Common name Lemon Balm, sweet balm, bee herb, balm, bee balm
Plant type Herb plant
Sun Required Full sun
Soil well-drained, sandy loam soil
Soil pH 6.5-7.0
Growing and Caring of Lemon Balm Plant
Lemon balm grows best in cool weather. In-state change temperatures, it’ll shrivel to the bottom then get from the roots in spring. Melissa officinalis blooms throughout the summer and into the fall. Sow lemon balm in spring regarding the common date of the last frost. Seeds are often slow to germinate. Also, sow seed in late summer or fall. Root divisions are often planted at any time throughout the season however can become established faster in cool weather. Cuttings from new growth are often started in damp sand.
To keep bee balm from changing into invasive, set it within the garden in exceedingly bottomless instrumentation which will keep the roots in position. Take away unwanted plants before they become established. Cut plants back by half when flowering to encourage a second crop of leaves and a compact type. Deadhead plants to stop self-sowing.
In each indoor and outside environment, lemon balm requires a sunny spot. However, in contrast to an outside lemon balm plant—which will tolerate a touch of shade—those planted inside want ample daylight, a minimum of 5 to 6 hours every day.
So, place your herb containers close to a sill that gets ample light-weight throughout the day. If you notice your plant obtaining plenty of harsh direct rays or turning brown on its leaves, rotate it sporadically to avoid burning.
Grow lemon balm in well-drained, sandy loam. However, bee herb can grow in nearly any soil not wet soil. It prefers a soil hydrogen ion concentration of 6.7 to 7.3. Once choosing an instrumentality to accommodate your bee balm plant, opt for a pot with ample drain holes to attenuate the danger of the herb turning wet or the decomposition of the roots.
Most simple potting soils can work simply fine, however, if you discover your mixture could be a bit dense or stays too wet between watering, Mix it with sand or a drier soil varietal sort of a succulent combine.
Lemon balm needs regular, even watering. It grows best in slightly wet soil. Once established, lemon balm tolerates drought. Check soil wet every few days and water once the top inches become dry. Be careful not to over-water or under-water your lemon balm. Underwatering may kill the plant more quickly than over-watering.
Temperature and Humidity
A cold-hardy perennial, lemon balm will survive temperatures to -20F (-30C). It is best to stay your herb far from any draughty air that’s too cold or too hot, like before of a cooling system or next to a radiator.
Lemon Balm can survive in low or normal humidity and does not require high humid conditions. So, increasing the humidity level additionally or artificially with a humidifier is not necessary.
Lemon balm doesn’t need further feeding; you can side-dress plants with aged compost throughout the season. You can treat it with a lightweight liquid plant food every few weeks to encourage growth.
Use All Purpose plant food throughout spring and when harvest if the growth seems scrawny. Follow the manufacturer’s directions once applying plant food. Don’t over-fertilize as excessive use will cause lush growth and reduces aroma and flavor.
Lemon balm has no serious gadfly problems, however is at risk of fungus wilt, mint rust, and mildew. To forestall these fungous diseases, keep plants sufficiently spaced to permit permanent air circulation. Spray plants with compost tea throughout the season; compost tea could be a natural antifungal. If mildew will develop, take away the infected leaves, and treat them with a gentle antifungal.
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