Lemon balm is a perennial plant native to southcentral Europe, north Africa and central Asia. It grows to around 40-70 cm and the whole plant has a pleasant, mild lemon scent and taste. The flowers, blooming in July to September, are white and small, rich in nectar and bee pollinated.
Today lemon balm is cultivated as an ornamental or herb. Its leaves are used for flavoring food, fruit dishes and sweets, but also for tea and its oil used in perfumes. The species has been used as a medical plant for at least 2000 years. It has a long tradition as antidepressant, treating weak stomachs and strengthening the heart. It is said to help against insomnia, headaches, fever and colds. Lemon balm has also been used externally to sooth wounds, gout and insect bites, as well as an insect repellent.
Sow the seeds in April in a broadcast tray. Use tray substrate and put in light conditions, approximately 20-23 °C. Do not cover the seeds, or at the most 0.2 cm, since lemon balm needs light to germinate. Germination can be irregular and/or slow. Transplant the plants into small individual pots in pot substrate when large enough to handle.