OP A perennial herbaceous plant in the mint family that originated in the Middle East and North Africa. The genus name, Melissa, means “honey bee” in Greek, and the plant was named for its ability to attract bees. The word “balm” is derived from the Greek word “balsamon” which means “balsam,” an oily, sweet-smelling resin. Lemon balm has been cultivated at least since the 16th century. Other common names include Apiatrum, Bee Balm, Bee’s Leaf, Honey Plant, Labiates, Lemon Fragrance, Melissa and Sweet Balm. Considered a calming herb. It has been used since the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion as well as colic. Even before the Middle Ages, lemon balm was steeped in wine to lift the spirits, help heal wounds, and treat venomous insect bites and stings. Today, lemon balm is often combined with other calming, soothing herbs, such as valerian, chamomile, and hops, to promote relaxation and sleep. It is also used in creams to treat cold sores (oral herpes) and acne. Fresh leaves impart a delicious lemon taste to salads, soups and stews. The leaves also make a refreshing tea on their own, I often use with other mints together. The leaves repel flies and ants and bees are attracted to the flowers, so ideal to plant in the veggie garden or near the home. Use dried leaves in potpourri. It accumulates phosphorus, so add excess leaves to compost or use as a mulch. Pick leaves from spring to autumn, for drying best done in the heat on a dry day. Height of 1m, prefers full sun, and likes some moisture in summer. Cut back in late autumn to induce new growth.
Sow into tray in from early spring to early autumn, DO NOT COVER seed. Prick out to 4cm diagonal spacing when true leaves appear. transplant into a garden bed at 30cm diagonal spacing or as you see fit for your garden design.