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How to Grow Lemon Balm From Cuttings?

My naturalist neighbor, who’s a gardener by profession, used to grow and propagate different varieties of Herbs at his front yard through the process of cutting and layering, one of which was a Lemon Balm Plant.

Watching and learning from him while propagating those Herbs is how I grew up.

Lemon balm can easily grow from cuttings during spring. To grow lemon balm from cuttings, remove two-three leaves from the bottom of the stem, dip them in water, it will take about a month to grow roots underwater, and you can gently transfer them in the potting mix. Again, a favorable environment is a key to healthy growth.

 Lemon balm
Eye blessing Lemon balm

The aromatic smell of lemon coming out from the Lemon Balm plant is something you can’t resist. And to grow such a minimalist plant in a concise period of time is fascinating.

Such a wide range of benefits, from a mosquito repellant to flavorings used while making recipes, herbal teas, and several other medicinal uses, is why growing this plant can earn a spot on your to-do bucket list.

Reasons to Grow Lemon Balm from Cuttings

Here are some of the reasons to grow the lemon balm plant from its cutting.

  • Growing the Lemon Balm plant from cuttings is one of the fastest ways of vegetative propagation, which only takes about a month.
  • Cutting is an inexpensive process of growing a Lemon Balm plant. All you need is an old Lemon Balm plant or the plant’s stem from which you can grow a new plant itself.
  • A single Lemon Balm plant has multiple stems from which you can grow as many new Lemon Balm plants as you like from an old plant.
  • We can develop the plant as per our desire. The height or size of the new plant can be of our choice as it produces identical plants to its parents.
  • The offsprings of the plant produced from cutting produce seed viable than its parent plant.

So, the Lemon Balm plant is better planted from its cutting.

Best Time to Grow Lemon Balm from Cuttings

Lemon Balm plants mostly grow during the spring and summer seasons when the temperature and the humidity are most favorable.

The Winter season is not favorable for the plant to grow and will rest in the winter.

The best time to cut and propagate the Lemon Balm plant is the beginning of summer or in the late spring season. Summer is the most favorable time for the cut steam to grow and mature its roots under the soil.

There is no specific period on when to cut and grow a new Lemon Balm plant, but you can cut the plant’s stem and propagate it every year during its growing season.

Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm (Source: Amazon)

You can buy this beautiful Lemon Balm on Amazon.

Materials Required while Cutting Lemon Balm Plant

After finding the right reasons and best time to propagate the plant, you should keep the following things ready before cutting the plant.

  • Old Lemon Balm plant
  • Pot or Container with drainage hole
  • Soil Mixture
  • Scissors or Sharp Knife
  • Clean Water
  • Transparent Glass

Quick Tip: Sanitize the scissor or knife, wiping it with rubbing alcohol before cutting the stem.

The Lemon Balm plant is also used as an indoor plant. A similar indoor plant that adds beauty to your home is Jade Plant. Have a look at repotting the Jade Plant.

Best Container for Lemon Balm

Containers are the best option for growing lemon Balm pants both indoor and outdoor.

Since the Lemon Balm plant has many uses for medicine, consumption, mosquito repellent, etc., it is grown in large quantities in containers.

The container should be at least 8 inches deep and 15-18 inches wide to grow the Lemon Balm Plant in large quantity.

It is essential to place the container to receive at least 5 hours of direct sunlight in a day.

You can find different types of containers to buy on the market. The pot made of terracotta or clay with lots of drainage holes is best for growing Lemon Balm.

Terracotta Pots with Drainage Hole
Terracotta Pots with Drainage Hole (Source: Amazon)

Buy this Terracotta pot on Amazon.

Growing Lemon Balm Plant from Cuttings

Here are some steps on how to grow the Lemon Balm plant from the cutting process.

 Step 1: Identify and Select the Plant

You should first identify and select a healthy mature plant with a 3-4 inch long stem. The stem should have new green-grown leaves at its tip, which makes it easy to grow.

 Step 2: Cut the Stem

With the help of scissors or a knife, cut the stem about 3-4 inches long at an angle, just below the leaf node.

Deep cut releases hormones at the end, which helps the cut steam bear roots in the soil.

Remove two-thirds of the lower leaves from the stem so they won’t rot when submerged inside soil or water.

Step 3: Growing Roots

Dip one-third of the cut stem in a glass or jar filled with water. Make no leaves are submerged in water, and the top leaves have plenty of airflows.

Don’t forget to change the water every day to prevent the growth of bacteria and algae. It will take about a month for the roots to grow underwater.

You can also skip this step and plant the stem directly into the soil, as mentioned below.

Step 3: Prepare the Soil

Organic soil is best for the Lemon Balm plant. However, any soil will do if the soil is well-drained and less humid. You can also buy the soil from the market.

Step 4: Fill the Pots

Fill the soil mix on the pot or containers. Make sure that they have drainage holes at the bottom for water outflow. At least more than two-thirds of the container or pot should be filled with the soil.

Step 5: Plant the Cut Stem or Stem-Root

Make a small pit about 1 inch deep in the soil. Take the lower end of the cut stem or the stem root and place it about 1 inch deep into the soil and fill the pit with soil.

While planting it into the soil, make sure the soil does not touch its leaves because the leaves will decay and wither once it touches the soil.

Step 6: Watering the Plant

Once you plant the stem, water it whenever the soil mixture feels dry to touch; it will take about a month for the stem to bear roots.

If you have planted the stem root, you need to water it at least twice a day.

Quick Tips: You can use the sharp tip of the scissors to make a small pit in the soil which will fit in with the stem.


Taking Care of Newly Potted Lemon Balm

The amount of care you put into the newly potted plant decides the plant’s extent of growth and development.

Therefore you must be very careful while taking care of Lemon Balm Plant and consider the following things after potting.

ParametersFavorable Condition
Location Shady place where direct light cannot reach.
LightPrefers bright light, grows best in partial shade.
Soil CompositionWell drained clay or sandy loam.
pH 6.0-7.5
Temperature15-30 Degrees Celsius
Prefers less humid soil
WateringWater everyday or once every two days
FertilizerOrganic fertilizers rich in Nitrogen-Potassium-Phosphorus
USDA HardinessGrow in Zones 4a to 9b
Pests and DiseasesLemon Balm can be susceptible to Whitefly, Spider mites, Thrips and Powdery Mildew
Alternative Growing MediaSoilless potting mixes, Perlite, Vermiculite, Rockwool, Coco Peat
Growing CultureOutdoors, In containers and Hydroponics

1. Location Requirement

Keep the newly potted lemon balm plant in indirect sunlight for about a month.

A shady place outside where the sunlight doesn’t reach is also suitable for the plant to grow.

The sunlight helps the plant to grow its roots properly.

After the roots are fully grown, you can place them in direct sunlight during the day.

2. Soil Composition

The soil mixture should be moist but not very wet. Make sure the soil mix is loose and well-drained.

Lemon Balm prefers a soil Ph value of 6.7 to 7.3, so don’t forget to check the pH value of the soil.

If you have used an organic soil mixture, you don’t need to use fertilizer right away.

Wait until the roots start to grow and use the fertilizer.

3. Humidity and Temperature Requirement

Cool-weather is optimum for the lemon Balm plant to grow.

It needs less humid soil, about 20 to 30 % humidity, so you don’t need to use a humidifier.

The plant may die during winter due to freezing but regenerate themselves from the underground roots once spring occurs.

Lemon Balm loves the temperature around 15 to 30 Degrees Celsius. It can tolerate room temperature between 20-25 degrees and cold temperature up to-20 degrees.

4. Watering Schedule

The Lemon Balm plant needs to be watered every day or once every two days since it grows well in slightly moist soil.

Make sure not to water too much and make the soil wet. The Lemon Balm plant can survive less water or drought once it’s fully grown or established.

5. Inspect Fungal Diseases

The Lemon Balm plant is defenseless against a fungal attack which causes several diseases such as mint rust, powdery mildew, verticillium wilt, etc.

The solution to preventing these fungal diseases is spraying the plant with compost tea which acts as a natural fungicide.

6. Check Out for Pests and Insects

Pests and insects like Mites, Aphids, Bugs, Homoptera, Cicadellidae are likely to weaken, wither, stun or even kill the Lemon Balm plant.

You can also wash them off with a strong jet of water if they are in large numbers. In extreme cases is best to use insecticidal soap.

7. Fertilizer Requirement

It is essential to use the right fertilizers to aid the proper supply of nutrients to the Lemon Balm plant.

It would be best if you waited at least before fertilizing the newly potted plant until its root is fully grown.

Organic fertilizers rich in Nitrogen-Potassium-Phosphorus are suitable for the Lemon Balm plant.

You can also buy organic fertilizers at Amazon.

caterpillar eating Lemon balm leaf
Caterpillar Eating Lemon Balm Leaf


Growing Lemon Balm from cuttings is an effortless method which anyone can perform without any prior experience.

During its propagation, the only hard part is taking care of it until the roots are fully grown and mature.

Isn’t this fascinating to be able to grow a whole new plant with just a stem of an old plant? I’m sure you would be willing to try this out yourselves.

Happy Gardening!

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