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How to Grow Lemon Balm From Seed

By M.H. Dyer ; Updated September 21, 2017

Lemon balm is a hardy perennial herb that is related to the mint plant. It’s a handy plant to have in the herb garden and can be used to flavor or garnish foods such as chicken, fish, sauces, salad dressings, herb butters or herb teas. The dark green leaves of the lemon balm and its light lemony aroma make the plant an attractive addition to the garden. Although lemon balm can be propagated by root cuttings, it’s especially easy to grow with seeds.

Prepare a place for the lemon balm seeds in full or partial sun, and loosen the soil with a rake or shovel in preparation for planting. If the soil is poor, mix in some manure or compost.

Plant the lemon balm seeds at least 12 inches apart in rows approximately 2 feet apart. The seeds are very tiny, so cover them with just a dusting of soil. The seeds should germinate in 2 to 3 weeks.

Water the lemon balm seeds lightly at first, so the seeds won’t be washed away. Once seedlings emerge, continue to water them regularly, and don’t allow the soil to dry out.

Clip the lemon balm as often as you like. Deadhead the flowers regularly or the lemon balm can reseed itself and can grow where it isn’t wanted. To deadhead, simply remove the blossoms as soon as they’ve finished blooming.


Things You Will Need

  • Lemon balm seeds
  • Manure or compost


  • To dry lemon balm, hang it upside down in small bunches until the leaves are dry and crumbly. Store the dried herbs in sealed glass or plastic containers.

About the Author


M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.