Lemon Verbena Care

One of my favorite herbs to grow is lemon verbena. The botanical name is Aloysia triphylla, for its unusual arrangement of the leaves on the stem. There are three leaves at each leaf junction. That is a good identifying label, but really, if you smell the plant, you’ll identify it immediately. It has a very, very pungent lemon aroma that is quite lovely. It’s great for teas, punches, desserts, and all kinds of beverages. It’s just a very, very versatile plant.

It’s easy to grow here, but it does like a fairly good soil, so add lots of compost. It doesn’t mind having some afternoon shade, but it will grow in full sun with sufficient moisture. Some winters, it does dive back into the ground, and doesn’t return, but most of the time, mine do return quite nicely.

Some times aphids, spider mites and white flies can be a problem. If so, just wash it with some soap or horticultural oil.

In warmer climates it will sometimes be 10-12 feet tall and have fabulous blooms. Here we tend to see it at 3-4 feet at its largest. You can cut the leaves and dry them. Just cut the stems, bundle them with rubber bands, and hang them upside down and dry them. Or, you can pull them off the stem and lay them out on trays or in boxes to dry them for use all winter long.