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Lemon balm is a spreading herb with a strong citrusy fragrance. It can be used for teas and cooking and is frequently used for essential oil. Gardeners should be aware that it can be aggressive and should be carefully contained.

Latin Name

Melissa officinalis



Also Known As

Balm Common Balm Balm Mint

Type of Plant

Herbs Herbs
Perennials Perennials

Bloom Season

June - August


Summer Summer
Spring Spring


Max height Max Height: 2'
Max spread Max Spread: 3'


  • Edible
  • Herb
  • Ground Cover

  • Sunlight Exposure

    Full Sun Full Sun
    Part Shade Part Shade


  • Deer

  • Colors

    Native Range

    Southern Europe, Iran, Central Asia


    Lemon balm was a valuable herb in the fledgling American colonies and was found in the medicinal gardens at Bethabara in 1761.

    Other Details

    Pollinator Pollinator

    Planted at Mount Vernon

    Planted at Mount Vernon Lower Garden

  • Lower Garden

  • Hardiness Zones

    3a 3b 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b USDA basemap

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

    map legend 3a 3b 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b

    Bartlett Tree Expert Company has been working with Mount Vernon Estate since 2011 providing expert arboricultural care and GPS mapping for the estate’s historic trees, as well as support from their research facility.   Mount Vernon is proud to partner with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates their sponsorship of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plant Finder App.

    Bring Washington's Garden Home

    Purchase our historic seeds, collected from plants grown at Mount Vernon and plant them in your own garden.

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