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Lemon Balm (Garden Starter Plant)


Melissa officinalis

Beautiful reddish-bronze leaves have a fern-like appearance and a sweet anise flavor. They’re a nice addition to salads, coleslaw, and flavored butters. The flowers are edible and can be used for garnishing fish, beef, tomato, and potato dishes. If your main reason for growing this plant is for the leaves, though, remove blooms to prevent it from going to seed. Seeds can be used to freshen breath, and are an ingredient in some “natural” toothpastes.

  • Light:  Part shade
  • Spacing:  20 to 24 inches
  • Plant size:  24 to 36 inches tall
  • Garden use:  Flower beds, herb beds, great for containers
  • Culinary use:  For lemon flavor in a variety of dishes and tea

* Photos and description courtesy of Bonnie Plants.