You can sow lemon balm seeds in both spring and fall. It germinates and grows well at around 68°F (20℃). If managed at the right temperature, it will germinate within 14 days.
- Germination Suitable Temperature: Around 68°F (20℃)
- Sowing Period: Spring (March to June), Fall (September to November)
- Growth Suitable Temperature: 59 to 68°F (15～20℃)
- Germination Days: 10 to 14 days
Lemon balm is a delightful herb characterized by its leaves, which are used in herbal teas and meat or fish dishes.
Its fresh and sweet aroma, similar to lemon, makes it a favorite. This herb is resilient to both heat and cold, making it an easy-to-grow plant, even for beginners.
- Sowing to Cultivation Steps
- 1- Starting off: Fill the seedling pots with soil and moisten them with water
- 2- Planting: Evenly distribute the seeds on the soil surface and lightly cover them with soil
- 3- After Germination: Place in a sunny and well-ventilated location for at least half a day
- 5- For Bigger Growth or Indoor Cultivation: Grow in a larger pot
- 6- After Planting, Mind the Fertilizer, Water, and Temperature
- 7- For Better Growth
- What to When Lemon Balm won’t Germinate
- Final Words
Sowing to Cultivation Steps
1- Starting off: Fill the seedling pots with soil and moisten them with water
Lemon balm seeds are tiny, and the early growth is slow, so it’s recommended to raise the seedlings in pots instead of sowing them directly in the field.
2- Planting: Evenly distribute the seeds on the soil surface and lightly cover them with soil
Gently press down with your hand at this time. Avoid direct sunlight until germination and keep the soil surface from drying out in a bright place.
You can cover it lightly with plastic wrap to prevent moisture evaporation. But don’t forget to remove it once germination occurs, as the seeds may rot.
3- After Germination: Place in a sunny and well-ventilated location for at least half a day
Water generously when the soil surface dries. Continuously watering when the soil is not dry may cause rot. Thin out the plants that grow close together, leaving the healthy ones.
5- For Bigger Growth or Indoor Cultivation: Grow in a larger pot
Carefully transfer from the seedling pot without breaking the roots. For pot cultivation, use 7 to 8 inch (18 to 21 cm) pots for one plant or a 25 inch (65 cm) planter for 2 to 3 plants.
6- After Planting, Mind the Fertilizer, Water, and Temperature
Provide diluted liquid fertilizer about once every two weeks. In hot weather, avoid direct sunlight, and be careful not to run out of water.
Lemon balm is a perennial, but if you sow in fall, protect from cold with straw or similar material if planted outside.
Pots or planters can be overwintered at a temperature that doesn’t freeze. If the leaves turn yellowish-brown and develop an unpleasant odor, be careful.
7- For Better Growth
After about two months, it will grow lush. If it becomes overgrown, trim the branches to improve ventilation. If the plant becomes large, divide it and plant it in a new place.
What to When Lemon Balm won’t Germinate
When my lemon balm seeds didn’t germinate after four weeks, I was frustrated. I had done everything right: planted the seeds in a seedling planter, lightly covered them, and placed them in a sunny spot. Other plants, like cosmos and sunflowers, were thriving, but the lemon balm wouldn’t sprout.
I realized that the surface had dried out quickly on days when I couldn’t water them, and I heard that dried seeds won’t germinate. Ready to give up, I sought advice instead. I wanted these seeds to sprout, especially for my son who was excited to see them grow.
A local garden expert suggested using vermiculite. He said to mix in fine vermiculite when planting in a planter and cover the pot with a plastic bag. This way, they won’t dry out. He also recommended placing them in the shade within a sunny area and watering from the bottom, with light misting to ensure the fine seeds stay in place.
I followed his advice, and the seeds I planted just 10 days ago are already seedlings. With proper care and a warming climate, germination will be faster. If your lemon balm is slow to germinate, don’t lose hope. Just follow these instructions, and you too can enjoy fresh lemon balm in your garden.
Lemon balm, with its refreshing lemon scent, is a versatile herb. You can enjoy its fragrance by floating the leaves in tea or wine, adding them to salads, using them in dressings and sauces, or even as a relaxing bath additive.
It continues to grow from spring to fall, so you can pick and harvest the leaves whenever you like.Feel free to take on the challenge of growing safe and secure lemon balm in your home. It’s an enjoyable and rewarding gardening experience!