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Lemon Balm

Melissa officinalis

Lemon balm's quilted green leaves release a delicious lemony aroma when brushed, making it the perfect fragrant addition to plantings near patios and garden benches. Low-maintenance lemon balm thrives in beds or containers, as long as roots sink into well-drained soil. Bees can't resist this bushy beauty, so be sure to tuck it in a garden where you grow vegetables and fruits that need pollinating. Trim plants after flowering to limit seeds and subsequent self-sown volunteers. Take advantage of lemon balm's scent as an insect deterrent -- toss a few stems onto a hot grill to drive away mosquitoes.


Part Sun, Sun



1 to 3 feet


2 feet wide

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Variegated lemon balm
Variegated lemon balm
Melissa officinalis 'Variegata' has green leaves splashed with golden yellow. It is less vigorous than the species, growing just 18-24 inches tall and wide. Otherwise, its qualities are similar. Zones 4-11

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