Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a rambunctious plant with attractive, heart-shaped leaves and a delicate, lemony aroma. A member of the mint family, lemon balm is easy to grow, even for newbie gardeners. If you’re wondering what to plant with lemon balm, read on for a few suggestions to get you started.
Lemon Balm Companion Planting
Lemon balm companion planting is a real boon in the garden, as this perennial herb attracts bees and other beneficial pollinators, while the strong, citrusy odor deters several unwelcome pests, including gnats and mosquitoes. Some gardeners even claim that lemon balm helps keep weeds in check.
Finding companion plants for lemon balm is easy because there are really no bad lemon balm companions! However, companions for lemon balm should be plants that thrive in the same growing conditions – rich, moist, well-drained soil, and full sun or light shade.
What to Plant with Lemon Balm
Most herbs, fruits, and vegetables make great lemon balm companions, including the following:
- Winter and summer squash
- All members of the cabbage family (kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc.)
Nearly any blooming plant pairs well with lemon balm, but if you’re hoping to attract pollinators, good lemon balm companions include other nectar-rich plants such as:
- Four o’clock
- Sweet peas
- Bee balm
If your goal is to deter pests, worthy companions for lemon balm are:
Note: Like mint, lemon balm tends to be an aggressive grower that may take over in the garden. If this is a concern, plant lemon balm in containers to reign in rampant growth.