Organic and mineral fertilization in lemon balm

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a medicinal plant commonly used as a sedative and ingested as a tea. Studies on agricultural practices are required to optimize its yield. To optimize its production, this study evaluated the effect of different doses of organic fertilizer (cow manure) in comparison to mineral fertilizer on biomass production and essential oil yield. The experiment was carried out at the Federal University of Uberlândia, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, and at the Agronomic Institute of Campinas, São Paulo state, Brazil. The experimental design was randomized blocks with six treatments (0, 1, 2, 4, 8 kg m-2 of manure and 30 g m-2 of NPK 4-14-8), and four replications. Hydro-distillation was done with a modified Clevenger distiller for essential oil extraction. Cattle manure influenced plant height, total fresh and dry mass of leaves, per plant and per hectare. The two fertilization forms were better than the non-fertilized control for all variables, except for leaf length and width and oil content in the leaf fresh and dry matter. It can be concluded that lemon balm is responsive to organic fertilization with manure and mineral fertilization for biomass production.

Melissa officinalis; medicinal plants; organomineral fertilization

Associação Brasileira de Horticultura UFRPE (Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Rua Manoel de Medeiros s/n, Dois Irmãos,, 52171-900 Recife-PE, Tel. (81) 3320 6064, - Vitoria da Conquista - BA - Brazil