"Lemon Balm: The Unlikely Weed with Surprising Benefits

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Widget Grove Blog/Plants/"Lemon Balm: The Unlikely Weed with Surprising Benefits

Weeds are typically seen as the bane of a gardener's existence, invading our meticulously maintained gardens with their tenacious growth. But what if we told you that not all weeds are created equal? Some, like lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), might just be worth a second look. Lemon balm, despite its reputation as a garden intruder, offers a treasure trove of benefits that might make you reconsider its weed status.

Lemon Balm: The Accidental Garden Guest

Lemon balm, often dubbed the "common balm" or "sweet balm," is a perennial herbaceous plant known for its bright green leaves and a refreshing, lemony scent. It's this citrusy aroma that attracts many gardeners to cultivate lemon balm in the first place.

But lemon balm has a bit of a rogue side. It's known for its aggressive spreading, often self-seeding and popping up where you least expect it. As a result, many gardeners find themselves weeding it out more often than not, earning it the "weed" label.

Surprising Benefits of Lemon Balm

However, it's essential to recognize that lemon balm's classification as a weed doesn't negate its worth. In fact, this resilient herb boasts numerous benefits that might make you think twice before pulling it out:

  • ​Medicinal Marvel: Lemon balm has a long history of medicinal use. It's known for its calming properties, making it a popular choice for soothing anxiety and promoting relaxation. A cup of lemon balm tea can be the perfect remedy for a stressful day.
  • Culinary Delight: The leaves of lemon balm are edible and add a delightful lemony flavour to salads, desserts, and beverages. They're often used as a culinary herb, infusing dishes with a subtle citrusy note.
  • Garden Attraction: Lemon balm is a magnet for pollinators, particularly bees. Allowing it to grow in your garden can contribute to the well-being of these vital insects and support overall biodiversity.
  • Natural Pest Repellent: Lemon balm's lemony scent is lovely to us but detested by many arden pests, including mosquitoes. Planting it near your outdoor seating areas can help keep these pesky insects at bay.
  • Aromatic Beauty: Crush a few lemon balm leaves, and you'll release a burst of refreshing fragrance. It's an excellent addition to potpourri or homemade essential oils.

Cultivating Lemon Balm Responsibly

While lemon balm may assert its dominance in your garden, there are ways to manage its growth without completely eradicating it. Consider planting lemon balm in containers or designated areas, allowing it to thrive without taking over your entire garden.

In conclusion, lemon balm may wear the label of a weed, but its incredible versatility and benefits make it worthy of consideration in your garden. As with any plant, it's all about finding the right balance between control and appreciation for the unique qualities it brings to your green space. So, before you reach for the weeding tools, take a moment to savor the lemony aroma of this underestimated garden gem. You might just discover a new appreciation for the resilient lemon balm.

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Widget Grove is an extraordinary 2-acre haven nestled in the heart of Baranduda, Victoria, Australia.

It's a place where nature and innovation coexist, where art and technology intertwine, and where gardening and homesteading flourish.

This vibrant sanctuary invites you to explore a world of limitless possibilities, fostering creativity, curiosity, and connections.

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What I'll write about

🍑 Effective Costing:  Investing in both artistic endeavours and technological gadgets, as well as maintaining a garden or homestead, could strain finances. 

🍑 Garden time management: Balancing artistic pursuits, gardening, technology exploration, and homesteading can be time-consuming. It can be a struggle to find time for all these passions within busy schedules.

🍑Sharing knowledge: Navigating the intersections of these diverse fields can be challenging, especially for beginners. Lack of knowledge about art techniques, gardening practices, technological integration, and homesteading methods might hinder your progress.

🍑Innovation Integration: Integrating new technology into gardening and homesteading practices might be intimidating. Adopting and integrating innovative tools and methods