How to Grow Lemon Verbena

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Do you love the fragrance of lemon? Then you should know Lemon Verbena!

This herb has what is possibly the most wonderful lemon fragrance, ever.

Sometimes called the Queen of Lemon Herbs, Lemon Verbena, or Aloysia triphylla is an easy herb to grow.  It does beautifully when planted in the garden and is also happy as a container plant when given sunshine, enough water and an occasional feeding.

Lemon Verbena Blooming
Lemon Verbena Blooming

Winter hardy only to zone 8, this lemony scented wonder just will not tolerate a frost and keep it’s leaves. When exposed to even a light frost, Lemon Verbena seems to drop her leaves in a flash.

Which brings us to this week’s botanical term:

Deciduous. Deciduous plants drop their leaves.

Merriam-Webster definition of ‘deciduous’ : Falling off or shed seasonally or at a certain stage of development in the life cycle.

If you notice your Lemon Verbena starts to drop leaves as the summer seasons ends, you may need to bring it indoors for the winter.

In my area they must all be potted up and brought indoors long before winter settles in. Once inside mine begin to look very tatty.

Potted Lemon Verbena Losing Leaves
Potted Lemon Verbena Losing Leaves

They lose leaves and look mostly dead. They aren’t really. Dropped leaves and looking dreadful is normal, so don’t worry too much. Your Lemon Verbena should perk up and start looking better when Spring rolls around again!

Your goal is to just keep the plant roots alive, and you don’t even need to be concerned about active growth. Of course a grow light may keep your herb happy and growing, but if it still loses leaves, don’t be overly concerned.

Water occasionally, let it stay in a fairly warm spot and leave it be. In the Springtime you may notice some new growth.

New Growth on Lemon Verbena
New Growth

Now you will want to give the plant a good pruning and trim out any old broken or dead branches and twigs.

If you aren’t sure if the branch is dead or alive, first look for new growth. Lemon Verbena produces leaves in a sort of whorl around the branch. Look for tiny green leaf buds starting.

Still not sure? Scrape the branch ‘bark’  just enough to see if there is green growth within. If it’s dry, brown and crispy feeling, go ahead and cut that part of the branch back to the main stem. It won’t be growing anything anyway!

Trimming Back Lemon Verbena
Trimming Back Lemon Verbena

Once you have your trimming taken care of, you can just watch your Lemon Verbena take off. If your weather is warm enough you can set it outdoors.

Remember: don’t let it get cold, or it may drop all of the new growth.

With a little sunshine and warm weather your lovely Lemon Verbena will start to fill out again and put on lots of fragrant new leaves for you!

Source: Growing Herbs For Beginners

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