Lemon Balm: Cultivation And Uses

Among the aromatic herbs, lemon balm is interesting for its lemon aroma, excellent in salads or soups, but also for decoctions or liqueurs and is easily grown in the garden, in fact it is a very hardy plant. Lemon balm is grown with the variety officinalis and some cultivars with ornamental properties. In the garden, it is certainly preferable to Melissa officinalis.

Lemon balm is a perennial herb over half a meter tall that grows in thick bushes. Its emerald green leaves are slightly serrated at the edges and the lemon balm plant is covered with a light down.

Due to its citrus-like flavor, lemon balm is also called lemongrass, some mistakenly call it lemongrass, but it is not the so-called mosquito repellent plant.

Lemon balm flowers in the garden also have the quality of attracting many insects including bees and other valuable pollinators to the crop.

How to grow lemon balm

soil and climate. Lemon balm loves cool, deep soil, suffers from heat and aridity, is not afraid of the cold and does well even in partial shade. It is a hardy plant that does not require special fertilization.

Sow . In the spring, lemon balm can be sown from seed, planting it in the seedbed in March, then transplanting it into the garden. More simply, it can reproduce by dividing its clumps, in spring or autumn.

Irrigation. It is important to water the lemon balm often, especially during the summer it is essential to water regularly. For good leaf production, a continuous supply of water is important.

Opposites. In lemon balm, pests can cause damage to aphids, while as plant diseases, root rot can be avoided by avoiding water stagnation near the crop.

collection and storage . The leaves and inflorescences of lemon balm are used, the best times for harvesting are July and October, the leaves can be eaten fresh or can be dried in dark, dry rooms. This aromatic plant keeps very well even in the freezer.

Use and properties . The leaves and flowers of lemon balm are excellent in salads and cold summer starters, with their refreshing note and lemon aroma, they are also used in certain soups. The dried leaves make excellent herbal teas. Lemon balm is a medicinal plant known for its digestive qualities and it is also credited with a calming effect.

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