View Larger Lemon Balm

Planted at Mount Vernon

Planted at Mount Vernon Lower Garden

  • Lower Garden

  • Hardiness Zones

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

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

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

    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

    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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