Growing and Saving the Seed Of Balm

Latin name Melissa officinalis is a perennial herbaceous member of the mint family. Pollinators love the flowers of this easy-to-grow, drought-tolerant plant! A popular choice for tea or for medicinal purposes.



Lemon Balm is native to Europe and the Mediterranean. For more than 2,000 years, this herb has been cultivated as a culinary and medicinal plant.






  • Seeds germinate in 7-14 days.
  • Start indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost, covering seeds very lightly and keeping moist until sprouts appear.
  • Keep the seed moist until germination.
  • Light helps seeds to germinate.
  • Set outside after last frost or direct sow in the garden, two weeks before last frost.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 65-75 F.


  • Easy to grow in average soil, and these vigorous plants need little care.
  • Most readily self-sow.
  • They like full sun to light shade and average, well-drained soil.
  • The plants should not be kept saturated or allowed to wilt.
  • Water thoroughly when irrigation is necessary and allow them to dry slightly between waterings. Somewhat drought tolerant.
  • Deadhead faded blooms to encourage the plant to rebloom in late summer.


  • Not usually bothered by pest or disease.
  • The most common insect pests are aphids, spider mites, thrips, stalk borers, and whiteflies.
  • Growers may also see caterpillars, grasshoppers, leafhoppers and slugs on occasion.
  • Can also be susceptible to powdery mildew and root rot in the right conditions.


  • Seeds usually mature 1-3 weeks after flowers bloom.
  • To test, bend spent head into a bag and tap. If seeds are brown, they are ready.
  • Spread out and allow to dry for 2-3 days.