Balm is a bushy perennial herb with oval, scented leaves with scalloped edges, and leafy spikes of creamy-white or pale purple flowers in summer. Fresh or dried leaves can be used to make herb teas, while leaves will give a kick to salads, sauces, vinegars and fish dishes they are best used fresh, rather than cooked. Dried leaves are added to potpourris and herb pillows.
Keep plants well watered, especially during dry spells in summer. Growing to around 80cm (32in), traditional lemon balm makes a mass of green leaves, but there are several showier cultivars available and plants that have a more compact habit of growth. In early summer, cut back variegated cultivars to encourage strongly coloured growth. Cut back plants after flowering to encourage a fresh flush of leaves. Protect plants in pots from excessive winter wet by moving into a sheltered position and raising up onto pot feet to allow excess moisture to drain away.
Please Note: When purchasing plants please consider that each live item is unique and may therefore differ from the images shown, which are for illustration purposes only. Depending on season, some plants may be pruned back to encourage growth and deciduous plants may arrive without leaves. Collections or 'mixed' listings for plants will be selected dependant on availability and carefully hand-picked to ensure their quality.
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