Lemon Verbena

Name

Botanical Name

Family

Native to

Water

Soil

Sun

Height

Width

Space

Lemon Verbena

Aloysia triphylla syn. Aloysia citriodora

Verbanaceae

Chile, Peru and Argentina

Just moist - not soggy (think wrung out sponge)

Well-drained; rich, garden loam

Full sun - part shade (afternoon shade) in hot weather

 

24-48"

18-24"

Price

4" Pots:  $2.20

6" Pots:  $3.50

Clay pots and other planters:  Prices vary

Description

Spear-shaped, rough-textured, light-green leaves.  The flowers are small, mauve and white racemes which appear in the summer.  The best part of lemon verbena is its wonderful lemon-floral scent!

Keeping it Going

  • Cut back hard in the spring - new growth regenerates from woody stems - this will create a more compact plant

  • In cold weather, lemon verbena needs to be brought inside.  It will drop its leaves when stressed with cold (don't throw the plant away; the leaves will grow back.)

  • It is a heavy feeder.  Give it a well-balanced water soluble fertilizer 1x month 

  • Keep soil moist, but not soggy

  • Give it as much sun as possible until it becomes too hot; then move to part shade

Won't Tolerate

  • Poorly drained soil - especially in the winter (produces root rot)

  • Frost - or prolonged cold weather.  Must be brought inside in cold climates  

  • Drought

History

&

Points of Interest

  • Lemon Verbena was introduced to Europe in the 1790's via South America.  The plant was possibly named after King Charles IV of Spain's wife, Maria Louisa.  "Aloysia" being a corruption of the name "Louisa".

  • Has an intensely fresh, lemon-floral scent.

  • Uses:  Culinary and Aromatic

  • Parts used:  Leaves and essential oil

  • Leaves retain their scent, even when dried, for several years

  • Attracts pollinators and butterflies

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