Lemon Mint, Monarda citriodora, or Lemon Beebalm, is a mint and is either an annual or a perennial depending on where it is growing. Its most distinctive feature is its square stems, its citrus scent when its leaves are crushed and its beautiful flowers. It tends to reseed and colonize which means that it will be enjoyed for many years to come.
Blooms and Leaves:
Lemon Mint or Lemon Beebalm blooms are tuft-like and range from a deep purple to lavender to pink and have whorled heads with elongated spikes. These beautiful, fragrant blooms have white or lavender colored, leaf-like bracts and are seen from May through August, but if watered regularly they can bloom on into September and October. Lemon Mint has many stems that grow from its base and reach heights of up to 3 feet tall. Each stem is lined up and down with pairs of leaves that are lance-shaped and release a citrus smell when they are crushed.
Lemon Mint grows well in different types of soil such as sand, clay and loams. These mint plants grow well in full sunlight but will thrive in part shade. Established plants or colonies of Lemon Mint do not require a lot of attention and care. They are even tolerant of dry soils, but only after they are established.
Lemon Mint grow well from seeds in the spring or fall. Simply spread Lemon Mint seed evenly through out the area where you want it to grow and rake to cover it with loose topsoil. But when establishing them in a landscape do not let the soil dry out until the plants are between 10 and 12 inches tall. After the initial planting, these plants should reseed each year on their own.
Lemon Mint can be used in cut flower arrangements, but also does well in many other areas. It can be placed in hummingbird, butterfly and flower gardens. It does well on roadsides, in meadows and even in disturbed areas and on slopes and grows in large colonies often, making them perfect for that area that needs filling in. Lemon Mint might just be the perfect plant for your landscape, especially if you are looking for something a little different that has beautiful blooms for months and has a scent.