When I took down my bean frame, at the beginning of October, tucked away inside was a very large and healthy lemon balm plant. It had self seeded itself. If you do not want it to grow everywhere it is best to cut it
back after it flowers. Lemon Balm can also be propagated by dividing established plants or be taking cutting in early summer. Growing it from seed has some problems, it only takes two weeks for the seed to germinate but tthe seedlings are prone to damping off. Lemon balm will grow in any soil except waterlogged soil. It is not fully frost hardy but new plants will probably pop up in unexpected places in early summer.
Lemon balm has a delicious lemon flavour as its name suggests it is can be added to green and fruit salads. It does not cook well, but it makes a refreshing country wine. It will gives a lovely zing when added to mixed vegetable juice. A teaspoon of the leaves will make a uplifting hot tisane, but only infuse it for no more than five to six minutes. A few dried leaves can be added to indian tea to gives a boast to those of us who find the dark Autumn and Winter mornings makes us sluggish first thing. Lemon balm tea can also help with insomnia as it is both rivitalising and relaxing it. It can
soothe nervous tension and helps prevent and heal cold sores. a dried leaf infusion is good for stomach upsets and can be given to children.
The white flowers are attractive to bees. Bee keepers would often clean the outside of hives with the crushed leaves. A handful of leaves rubbed on your arms will keep away midges and other blood sucking insects. If your are bitten Lemon balm rubbed on the bite will soothe the irritation of the bite and help to relax you. An infusion made with of a handful of leaves make a soothing addition to a bath. It is also a good herb to add to pot pourri.