Shopping for seedlings at the nursery tends to be a wonderful way for gardeners to pass the time, but, of course, it can get expensive. If you have a lemon balm plant from the previous year going strong and you’d like to have more in your garden, perhaps this is the year you try your hand at propagation instead of making a purchase.
According to the Utah State University Horticulture Extension, lemon balm can be started by seed or propagated through cuttings, however, layering is considered a more reliable way. To get started with layering, look along the bottom of your plant for a 6 to 12-inch long healthy and flexible stem. You’re going to use a clean, sharp knife to slice a cut into the underside of the stem before burying it a few inches under the soil. Provided light and watering conditions are sufficiently met, within a month or two the stem will grow roots around the point of the cut.
Root division is another option, and an easy one at that. It should be done at the end of the growing season yet before the first frost. Simply dig up your plant and gently break off some of the roots. These can be moved to a new location, planted in a container, or simply set to grow next to the original plant. Before winter sets in, apply mulch around any new growth to protect it. See the section on winterizing below for more informaiton.
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