Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lemon Verbena

*Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla)

*a perennial shrub/bush
*best in zones 8-11
*popular for tea makers for its' lemon flavor

Parts Used:
*leaves and flowers, both fresh or dried

*full sun to partial shade (the colder your climate/zone, the more sun you should give it)
*well-draining soil: prefers a rich soil, but it will tolerate poor soil if you give it enough water and fish emulsion fertilizer

*propagates best by semi-ripe tip cuttings in late spring. Use a rooting hormone and extra heat in order to germinate it, also you must put the cuttings under lights for 14-20 hours per day while it produces roots
*you can also propagate by layerings

*this is a tropical plant, but if you live somewhere with cool winters but no or little frost, you can keep it out in the winter and simply heavily mulch it
*if you live in an area with heavy frost or snow, you should grow it in a pot and bring it in under protection during the winter/frost season
*trim it in order for it to keep a good shape
*this plant is prone to issues with whitefly and spider mite if grown in greenhouse conditions

*leaves can be harvested at any time to use fresh
*you can dry the leaves at any time by hanging upside down in a dark, well-ventilated area. Store in an airtight container
*the best taste is when the flowers are beginning to bloom

*a calming and excellent remedy for digestive issues, flatulence, and colic
*a calming remedy for insomnia and other sleep issues
*good for nerves and anxiety
*good for fevers
*ideal tea to drink after dinner due to its' digestion aid and relaxant properties

*the leaves are best when used fresh and young
*use sparingly or the flavor will overwhelm the food
*this is a common ingredient in herbal teas
*gives a lemon flavor to fruit salads, fruit dishes, desserts, and drinks
*can be a substitute for lemon grass in Asian recipes

For more information, see: references and warnings

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