The Lemon Verbena Lady's Favorite Herb

| 8/17/2009 3:19:04 PM

N.HeraudMeet the Lemon Verbena Lady, one of our dedicated guest bloggers. She regularly blogs about the happenings in her herb garden and shares many of her most scrumptious herbal recipes. Lemon Verbena Jelly one of her favorites, mainly because it is made with her favorite herb—lemon verbena. Here are just a few of the things that she loves about this citrusy herb. 

Several years ago, when I opened an e-mail address, I decided that I would not use my real name, but an herb. I had married a gentleman from Peru—The Herbal Husband.  It was easy to pick the herb—lemon verbena. Cedron is Spanish for lemon verbena. It was the herb of the princess (Maria Louisa, wife of King Charles IV of Spain). Don't confuse it with lemon grass. It is a plant of American origin (that is Chile, very close to Peru). It is a perennial in tropical areas that can reach to ten feet high.

It is a tender perennial for us in the north. We always have it on our kitchen windowsill in the winter. When you bring it in, it will play dead and lose its leaves. Use them for tea or in potpourri. I would only use fresh leaves in cooking. Once it is in the house, you should water it every week to ten days. Then in December, cut it back to about 3- to 4-inches. In February, it will resprout and by the time it is ready to go outside in May, you will have a plant a little larger than the one in the photo. Although, this one came from the ground this year! It is a miracle and does not happen regularly for gardeners in Zone 6. It is always very exciting when that happens.


Here are some of my favorite thoughts about lemon verbena.

• In Gone with the Wind, lemon verbena is the favorite scent of Scarlett O’Hara’s mother, as Theresa Loe notes in The Herbal Home Companion.