Lemon verbena

Lemon verbena is best in a pot
Lemon verbena is a small, attractive shrub but it loses its leaves in winter. Because it can’t withstand frost and therefore needs protection throughout the winter, it’s best to keep it as a container plant.

You can buy established plants from the garden centre or you can grow your own from cuttings. Take softwood cuttings from new growth in spring or more mature shoots in late summer or early autumn.

Push the cuttings into a mix of compost and grit, transferring into larger pots once they’ve rooted.

How to care for lemon verbena
A warm humid spot in light free draining soil – such as against a sunny wall – is ideal. Prune lightly in spring and remove any dead tips once your plant starts to reshoot – this will encourage new growth. Cut plants back in autumn to keep a compact shape and move them under cover to protect from frosts.

How to harvest

Pick fresh leaves while the plant is in full growth – they make a refreshing tea and can be used to flavour cakes and ice cream. Drying the leaves concentrates their flavour – store in an airtight container.