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Care of the plant Melissa officinalis or Common balm.

Care of the plant Melissa officinalis or Common balm

The genus Melissa, family Lamiaceae, includes 4 species of perennial herbaceous plants native to Asia and Europe. The species are: Melissa officinalis, Melissa yunnanensis, Melissa flava, Melissa axillaris.

Common names: Common balm, Balm mint, Lemon balm. This species is native to the Mediterranean region.

They are highly branched perennial herbaceous plants that reach 1 meter in height. They have lemon-scented oval leaves and serrated edges. The flowers are small, white, pink or yellowish in color and have no ornamental interest. They bloom from mid spring to late summer. The aerial part of the plant dies in winter but sprouts again in spring.

They are used as vegetable gardens, in aromatic plant gardens and in pots for balconies, terraces and patios. Calming infusions are prepared with the leaves and are used as a condiment in the kitchen.

Melissa officinalis can grow in full sun exposure but prefers semi-shade. They do not resist frost or drought.

The soil must be well drained and contain organic matter (compost); they do not resist too poor and dry soils.

Water regularly to keep the substrate moist but without waterlogging.

Before sowing fertilize the substrate with compost.

They do not need pruning.

They can be attacked by snails and slugs or by fungi (powdery mildew) if there is excess watering.

They propagate from seeds sown in spring in the nursery; the seedlings are transplanted when they have 5-6 leaves.

Images of the plant Melissa officinalis or Common balm

Melissa officinalis
Melissa officinalis
Melissa officinalis
Melissa officinalis
Melissa officinalis
 

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