|Soil Temp||65º F+|
|Area to Sow||30|
|Days to Germ.||7-14+|
|Days to Maturity||70+|
|Best Planting Method||Transplant|
|Thin to||≥6″ apart|
|Final Spacing||≥12″ apart|
|Approx. Seed Count||100|
Planting by Zones
- Lemon balm seeds can be grown in both the cool and warm seasons of Zones 9 and 10.
- Sow seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Plants go dormant in cold winters; apply mulch if temperatures go below 0°F.
Planting Lemon Balm Seeds
- Lemon balm is best transplanted out into the garden. Sprinkle seeds on the top of moist high-quality seed starting soil and gently press them into the soil. Do not cover with soil; lemon balm seeds require light for germination. Seeds must remain moist to germinate evenly and quickly.
- Plants can be transplanted into individual containers once the seedlings have four true leaves.
- Be sure to fertilize regularly with an organic liquid fertilizer once the seedlings have germinated and have their first set of true leaves.
- Plant your transplants out in the garden when they are 4-5″ tall, spacing them at least 12″ apart.
- If you are direct sowing the seeds (not recommended), make sure you sow them in debris-free, well-worked soil that has been deeply watered. Lemon balm thrives in full sun locations. Follow the same directions as above.
Growing Lemon Balm
- Keep your plants weed-free by pulling any weeds that may compete with your crop.
Growing Lemon Balm in Containers
- This herb is an excellent container crop. As with other members of the mint family, it can quickly take over a garden area. Planting in containers helps contain the spread.
- Make sure your container is at least 10″ deep. Keep in mind containers will dry out faster because they have more surface area and less soil to hold onto moisture.
- During hot, dry months, move your container into an area of part shade.
Harvesting Lemon Balm
- The key to a happy herb is to use it! Harvest individual leaves or cut entire stems about 2″ above the base of the plant. For best flavor, harvest stems just before the plants form flowers. You can cut back established plants several times during the growing season.
Southern California Pro-tips
- In areas of Zones 9 and 10, lemon balm is an easy crop that will give you delicious foliage.
- Cut back before flowering (harvest) for repeated foliage.
- Mulch heavily around your plants to ensure the soil does not dry out or heat up too much. Compost added to the soil at planting time will help retain soil moisture during hot, dry weather.
- Does best in full sun. During our hottest months of August, September, and October, plants can suffer from the heat. Using shade cloth can help protect the plants from extreme heat.