Lemon balm is a perennial plant from the mint family. It has a lemon scent and taste and the leaves can be used for teas, desserts, and to season various recipes with a hint of lemon flavor. Some say that the plant has medicinal uses, and the essential oil of the lemon balm plant is commonly used for aromatherapy. Although lemon balm is not particularly ornamental, it does produce small, attractive flowers that you will enjoy as part of your garden.
Planting, Growing, and Harvesting:
Plant lemon balm in rich soil in an area with full sun or partial shade. In warmer climates, lemon balm prefers a bit of shade during the hottest parts of the day.†
Lemon balm is easy to care for but can become overwhelming if it isnít cut back once in a while. It can also reseed itself, so be aware of this if you donít want the lemon balm to become invasive. Lemon balm plants can grow up to 2 feet.
Try not to harvest lemon balm leaves until right before you are ready to use them. Simply snip off the leaves and use fresh. You can dry lemon balm, but the flavor will not be nearly as strong as when the herb is fresh.
Recipes/How to Use:
Use lemon balm leaves in teas. You can also add it to recipes to provide a little extra lemon flavor.
Lemon Balm Salad Dressing
1 cup lemon balm leaves, shredded
Ĺ cup red wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil
Ĺ tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
-Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend for a few seconds. Use as a dressing for salads. Serves 2.