Lemon balms, scientifically known as Melissa officinalis, is a mint family member with a lemony aroma and attractive heart-shaped leaves, making it desirable for gardeners.
Lemon balms are very easy to grow, even for novice gardeners, and are used in making teas and even drinks like smoothies.
Lemon balms have an incredibly long life span of over 20 years and grow way too rapidly. Keeping them in check is also necessary, as they may take over your entire garden if their growth is not monitored.
Let us know more about why lemon balm needs companion plants and what are the best companion plants for Lemon balm.
Why Does Lemon Balm Need Companion Plants?
Lemon balm is actually used as a companion plant for a lot of vegetables and fruit plants, as its aromatic scents are helpful in repelling pests.
But lemon balm plants also need companion plants to grow well and yield productivity.
Below are some reasons why lemon balm needs companion plants:
- Increase Nutrients
Nitrogen is an essential substance for a plant’s growth. Companion plants like peas add nitrogen to the soil, which is then taken up by the lemon balm plant, which helps in increased productivity.
- Enhanced Flavors
Companion plants with lemon balm may increase the flavor and taste of the plant. Lemon balm, in return, can complement other plants with its fragrance, which might help them as well.
- Space Consumption
Lemon balms are known for their rapid growth, and they can take up empty spaces pretty quickly. Companion plants help in the proper and effective usage of garden space.
- Shade Regulation
Companion planting around lemon balm also provides partial shade from the scorching heat in summer times. Taller plants often provide shade regulation which prevents smaller plants from heat exhaustion.
- Attract Pollinators
Companion plants help lemon plants and the entire garden by attracting insects and pollinators that are beneficial for the plants, which boosts yield.
8 Best Lemon Balm Companion Plants
Companion plants are very beneficial to a plant’s healthy growth and increased productivity.
If you are wondering what companion plants you should plant along lemon balm, you are just at the right place.
We have gathered the best companion plants that will help flourish your lemon balm and your garden. Let us have a look.
Melons and lemon balms are perfect partners when it comes to companion planting. They both complement each other well.
Both are annual plants that require very similar growing requirements, as they both need full sun and well-drained soil for their excellent growth.
Lemon balm helps pollinate by attracting pollinators to the melons and other plants. Growing lemon and melon together helps create a highly productive garden.
Beets form a good relationship with lemon balm. Beets are beneficial to lemon balm as they have deep roots inside the soil, which can go down to 48 inches.
Beets bring water and other nutrients that other plants cannot reach. Beets do not use all the water and nutrients they soak up, so they release them into the upper layers of the soil.
The lemon balm takes up this released water and nutrients, helping them grow and thrive.
Tomatoes make an excellent companion plant with lemon balm. They both help each other in many ways.
Tomatoes help lemon balm with a tall structure to grow up and around it. In return, lemon balm helps tomatoes by attracting pollinators and adding an additional aroma to the tomato plants.
There is a long list of pests that troubles the tomato plant, and this is where lemon balm comes in. It helps in repelling pests and hornworms, which feast on tomatoes.
Basil and Lemon balm grow well together. Basil and lemon balm act as good companion plants due to their pest-repelling abilities.
Basil and Lemon balm can be planted together along the borders of a plant to form a safety ring that helps deter pests. Basil’s lush foliage helps to provide shade for the more delicate lemon balm.
Basil and lemon balm both require the same sun and soil requirements. They also draw pollinators to your garden, making your garden boost yield.
Radishes make a good companion plant for lemon balm. Radishes have quick growth and don’t have deep roots.
Radishes can be grown between lemon balms and other crops as it maximizes the use of garden space. Planting them near lemon balms also prevents radishes from falling prey to maggots and aphids.
Carrots are a good neighbor of lemon balm. Carrots have deep roots which go downward, whereas lemon balm’s roots spread outwards.
Carrots soak nutrients from deep down the soil, and excessive water and nutrients are thrown into the soil, which lemon balm absorbs for its benefits.
They do not compete for nutrients; this is why they are good companion plants. Lemon balm can be planted in the same row as carrots which will help as lemon balm repels insects that eat carrots.
7. Cabbage Family
Anything from the cabbage family can be planted along with lemon balm. Cabbage plants provide a nitrogen-rich mulch to nearby planted lemon balm and other plants.
Cabbage plants are rapidly growing plants. They also provide partial shade to lemon balm from scorching heat, which is sometimes necessary for them to thrive and flourish.
Allium plants, such as onions, garlic, leeks, etc., make excellent companion plants for lemon balm.
Onions, in particular, have a strong odor that keeps pests away from any nearby crops safeguarding their neighbors.
Onions also provide nutrients to the soil, which is helpful for other plants to flourish and grow well. Onions are known to have antifungal properties, which help lemon balm stay safe from fungal diseases.
Planting onions alongside lemon balms is highly recommended.
What Not to Plant With Lemon Balm?
We learned about the plants that benefit from lemon balm in numerous ways, there are some plants that do not do well when planted with lemon balms.
Let us find out about the plants which are not to be planted with lemon balm.
Lavender likes to grow in dry soil, whereas lemon balm needs well-moist soil to grow. If they are planted together, they will probably die or suffer from root rot.
Planting in groups according to their moisture needs is an important factor in increasing the productivity and life of your plants.
2. Black Walnut
Do not plant black walnuts any way near your lemon balm. Black walnut releases a toxin that can kill your lemon balm.
Black walnut secretes a toxin that tends to stay in the soil for long periods, and even if the black walnut tree is uprooted, do not plant it around the soil where the tree used to be.
Rosemary, very much like lavender, likes dry soil without organic matter in it to grow. Planting them together can be disastrous.
Plant lemon balm on the moist side of the garden and rosemary, along with plants like lavender, on the other side.
What Are Lemon Balm’s Growing Requirements?
Lemon balm is one of the easiest plants to grow. Even novice gardeners can attempt to grow lemon balm. But first, they should know the growing requirements of lemon balm plants.
A lemon balm plant requires the below-mentioned conditions to grow well.
- Lemon balm plants require full sunlight and can handle light shade, especially in hot summer conditions.
- Lemon balm does not need any specific fertilizers or pesticides frequently. Treating it with a light liquid fertilizer every few weeks will do the work.
- Lemon balm needs watering once a week, at the least. Ensure the soil is dry before you water it, as you don’t want it overly moist, which may cause root rot.
- Lemon balms require soil that is moist and rich but is well draining. Lemon balm can also be planted in 8-inch containers or pots with good composted soil.
Plant Diseases And Pets
Lemon balm is often the safest and disease-free plant around, but as with every plant, lemon plants also are prone to some infections and pests.
Aphids and spider mites are very common pests that can infest lemon balm. When planted indoors, they can disappear by simply washing them in the sink or through a hose.
Lemon balm can observe powdery mildew in their leaves. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that gives leaves a whitish powder-like appearance.
This infection can go away if proper air circulation is provided with regular pruning.
Septoria leaf is one such infection that can cause lemon balm leaves to get a black or dark brown angular leaf spots. Good air circulation and proper spacing can help treat it.
Today, we read about lemon balm and how easily it gets with other plants, how beneficial it is to have it in our garden, and what are its good companion plants.
We also learned about a few plants which are nowhere to be planted with lemon balm as they negatively affect each other.
Lemon balm is the go-to plant for every garden. It is easy and low maintenance. Even beginners can attempt to plant it. Let us know in the comments which companion plants you prefer to go with among the given.