Lime Balm (Melissa officinalis ssp. altissima), packet of 30 seeds, organic
Family: Mint (Lamiacea)
Hardy to Zones 6 to 9
(Crete Balm) Herbaceous perennial to 2 feet, native to the mediterranean and hardy to 20 degrees F. Light-green lime-flavored foliage is softly pubescent, with outsize flowers of light lavender. Good for tea or nibbling fresh. A rare and unusual subspecies of lemon balm. Cultivation: Light-dependent germinator. Scarify seed lightly on fine sandpaper and sow outdoors in the fall or very early spring or provide 2 weeks of cold conditioning by placing seed in moist medium in a container in the fridge and sow outdoors or in the greenhouse. Germ. in 10-40 days. Prefers full sun or shade; normal garden soil and moderate water. Plant 1.5 feet apart.
30 seeds/pkt., Certified Organically Grown
Annie Ryan (verified owner) –
I planted the seeds last year in zone 7 it grew huge! Same thing now. My question is what can I do with all the leaves except dried for tea? Can I tincture lime balm the same way I would lemon balm? Does it have the same medicinal value as lemon balm? I have found nothing on web searches. Thank you
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Richo Cech –
Hi Annie, It’s a subspecies of lemon balm. It works well as an annual barrier–tall and thick. In the fall, I like to use the multiple brittle stems in my composting work–very good carbon source. bees love it, you can make tea of it, its a big, robust plant.
Cheryl Webb (verified owner) –
This plant (lime balm) has been returning in my garden for the last two years. I am in zone three where we regularly go down to -20 f or below in the winter. I only cover it with some leaves. So it is acting as a hardy perennial.
Nicole (verified owner) –
Hi, I am also curious if this has the same medicinal attributes/value as lemon balm? Would you consider it medicinally interchangeable with lemon balm?
Richo Cech –
Hi Nicole, Lime balm is for all practical purposes interchangeable with lemon balm. If one were to have any doubts, knowing that lime balm is a valued tea herb in Mediterranean countries where it grows wild is reassuring. For those that find the hot terpenes found in lemon balm to be a bit intense, lime balm is a welcome substitute–it is a bit mellower. I personally recently have been using neither of them. I’ve been drinking thyme tea and its keeping me healthy and sane. Richo
Hey Annie! I was wondering The same thing about whether this sub species has the same medicinal qualities as lemon balm. Once learning that it is also Melissa officinalis, and not just a misleading common name, I was reassured that yes – they are interchangeable. The subspecies may have slightly different concentrations of the terpines and medicinal compounds, and it may affect you personally in a slightly different way since everyone’s system is unique. Just listen to your body and see if it feels the same or slightly different than when you consume its lemony cousin 🙂
Drina Carbajal –
Hi I was wondering if this is invasive like mint ???
Mayche Cech –
Lime balm spreads differently from Mint. It self-seeds, whereas mint is stoloniferous. Richo