Thursday, May 16, 2013

Maligned Melissa

Grown in my garden last year. I hope I get a healthy crop at our new home.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) -- not to be confused with Bee balm (Monarda fistulosa) --  is in my opinion, one of the easiest plants a person can grow. Left unhindered it grows to about two feet tall with lemon scented leaves and flowers that are borne on auxiliary stems and are a light yellow, white or lavender color. This herb will thrive in full sun to partial shade, needs only moderate watering, and prefers well-drained soil. Bees love it. Growing lemon balm in the garden will attract these beneficial pollinators to your garden. Being a perennial herb that is part of the mint family, it will spread like crazy and unless you are a serious Lemon balm aficionado, you'll definitely have to reign it in or have it coming out of your ears.