Effect of propagation method, plant density, and age on lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) herb and oil yield

Saglam C., Atakisi I., Turhan H., Kaba S., Arslanoglu F., Onemli F.

NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF CROP AND HORTICULTURAL SCIENCE, vol.32, no.4, pp.419-423, 2004 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of cultivation of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) in the Thrace region of north-western Turkey, which has a rich flora with many medicinal and aromatic plants. The study evaluated two propagation methods (cuttings with roots and seedlings) and three row spacings (40 x 20 cm, 40 x 30 cm, and 50 x 30 cm). Measurement of herb fresh and dry weight, leaf dry weight, and essential oil content helped to determine the effect of propagation method and row spacing on lemon balm yield. Yields were higher in the second year than the first year. Propagation from seedlings was better than cuttings. The highest dry herb yield (11167 kg/ha) was obtained in the second year of production at 40 x 20 row spacing using seedling propagation. Essential oil percentage (0.20-0.28%) did not significantly vary with treatments and years. Therefore, 40 x 20 cm row spacing and propagation from seedlings are recommended to optimise production in the Thrace region.