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Variegated Lemon Balm

Melissa officinalis Aurea

Decorative variegated leaves and beautifully scented

An ideal herb for the smaller garden as it makes a decorative, neat, lush mound of bright green leaves with attractive markings which have a delicious lemon scent when crushed.


An attractive addition to a mixed border or cottage garden in sun or part shade. Also great in containers by the kitchen door.


Hardy and easy to grow, in a moist but well drained soil. Pick the leaves as needed during the summer and cut back to keep tidy in late autumn. Use a good quality potting compost for container growing.

Add the leaves to flavour cold drinks and herbal teas.

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Herb, Perennial herbaceous
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available February - September
Season of interest Summer, Autumn
Flowering June - August
Evergreen No
Plant height 60 cm - 100 cm
Plant width 10 cm - 50 cm
Fragrant flowers Yes
Attracts bees No
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 80 cm
Hardiness zone (?) H4

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Light exposure Full sun, Part shade
Soil drainage Well drained
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Position the stake in the hole, on the side of the prevailing wind and drive it into the soil, to a depth of 60cm. The stake should be a third of the height of the tree, when planted. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole close to the stake, with the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Use two tree ties to secure the stem to the stake. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year. Check ties regularly and adjust them as the tree grows.

Planting site Flower border and beds

Additional Information for Fruit, Veg and Bulbs

Property Value
Sowing March - June

Typically available

From February to September