How to Grow Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla)
- Plant: perennial, hardy to -12degC
- Height: 2m
- Soil: average, well drained
- Exposure: sun
- Propagation: cuttings
- Uses: culinary, fragrance
This deciduous herb-shrub has very branching, woody stems that grow
to about 2m high. Legginess is its natural growth form, although by
pinch-pruning you can shape it into an interesting tracery against a
wall. The simplest solution, however, is to let it grow naturally out of
lower plants that will conceal the branchiness. Its narrow, 10cm leaves
are arranged in whorls of 3 or 4 along the branches. Very small, white
or lilac flowers are carried in spikes at the ends of the stems.
Lemon verbena is a native of Central and South America and was
probably brought to North America and Europe by Spanish explorers.
Plant lemon verbena where it will have full sun, in any good, well
drained garden soil. It can be grown from seeds but they usually take a
long time to germinate; much easier is to start new plants from stem
cuttings. Although hardy in warm winter areas, it must be brought
indoors before frosts in harsher climates.
The leaves often are included in potpourris, to which they add a
lemony fragrance. They also can be brewed into a tea or used like mint
as a garnish in iced drinks. Place a leaf in the bottom of a jar of
homemade apple jelly for a spritely hint of lemon. Sprigs placed in
drawers among linens will give them a lemony scent.
| Anise |
Bee Balm |
Dittany of Crete |
Lemon Balm |
Lemon Verbena |