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MELISSA officinalis

Image of Melissa officinalis

©Pennystone Gardens

Family

Lamiaceae

Botanical Name

MELISSA officinalis

Plant Common Name

Lemonbalm

General Description

The lemony leaves of lemonbalm are fragrant and wonderful. It is grown exclusively as an herb and its pungent green leaves are used for tea and potpourri.

Lemonbalm is a hardy perennial herb in the mint family. The plants are clump-forming and offer inconspicuous white or pale pink flowers in late spring to summer. The flowers are pollinated by bees and set lots of seed. This herb heartily self-sows, so watch out. It can quickly become unwelcome if you don't cut the seedheads off.

Adaptable and easy to grow, lemonbalm grows best in full to partial fun and fertile well-drained soil. It is easier to keep it at bay if grown in containers or troughs and takes well to regular shearing.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Herb

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    12"-24" / 30.5cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Southern Europe

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes