Gardening 101: Lemon Verbena

Lemon Verbena, Aloysia citrodora: “Tea Master”

I am a voracious tea drinker. And I love making my own combinations of different herbs, like some sort of tea scientist (actually, my son enjoys this activity as well). I really try to grow my own herbs for tea instead of buying them, and one of the herbs I grow is lemon verbena. Noted for its multiple health benefits and the lovely scent of its leaves, lemon verbena is a plant I highly recommend you grow in your herb garden.

Please read on to learn how to grow this herb garden staple.

Lemon Verbena by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr.
Above: Photograph by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr. A 4-inch pot of Lemon Verbena is $7.95 at Annie’s Annuals.

Native to the warmer parts of western South America and brought to Europe by the Spanish and the Portuguese, lemon verbena was mainly cultivated for its oil. When introduced to England in the 1700 it made a cozy home there. Apparently, Victorian women would tuck lemon verbena leaves into their handkerchiefs to get relief from the summer heat by inhaling the citrus smell.

Lemon verbena is a perennial shrub with slightly rough, pointed leaves...