What Is Lemon Verbena?

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Lemon verbena is an herb used in cooking, scented products and lemon flavored beverages. It is often grown in pots or as a bush outside.

History

  • Lemon verbena originated in the countries of Argentina and Chile. It was brought to Europe by Spanish explorers during the 17th century and is still popular in France. It most often is used to make tea due to its lemony flavor. Its oil is used in perfumes and beverages.

Significance

  • The leaves and flowers of lemon verbena are used in flavoring culinary dishes, fish, poultry, vegetables and salads. It is a shrub that grows well in zone 9 and in pots anywhere else. It also has many medicinal uses.

Function

  • Dried lemon verbena leaves hold the flavor and scent, so they are often used in sachets, and pillows. The oil is often used in cosmetics like creams, oils and lotions. The lemon oil scent is often used to freshen rooms and storage areas.

Features

  • Lemon verbena thrives in well drained soil that is moist but not soggy. It needs full sun and soil with a pH level of about 6.5. Applying fish emulsion is helpful. It is best propagated by cuttings taken from the bush in the summer.

Considerations

  • If you bring lemon verbena in for the winter in colder climates, cut away any spindly branches. It does not do well in tempertaure below 40 degrees. It grows well in hot humid climates. Mist and wash leaves often when growing to keep away spider mites.

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