What's Growing

Lemon Balm

Melissa officinalis

Lemon balm which can grow to 2 feet in height is a perennial herb with a branching stalk. Its dark green fuzzy leaves have serrated edges. Like other mint family members, it possesses a square stem and heart-shaped leaves.


Harvesting lemon balm should be done in the morning after dew has dried, but before the heat of the day. For peak aroma and oil, pick lemon balm before it flowers. Prune stems 2 or 3 inches from the base of the plant. Older, lower leaves have thes trongest aroma.


Since the Middle Ages, lemon balm has been thought to reduce stress, anxiety, and alleviate indigestion. As a tea, it is often used as a calming, relaxing herb. From salves to chapsticks to salads and pesto, lemon balm is utilized for its storng lemon aroma.