Bald lemon verbena

lilyumestarJune 6, 2014

While I was on vacation in Florida, my lovely mother was taking care of my herbs. She did not do a very good job at it cause when I came back, all my herbs were dead with an exception of a few. Lucky, the lemon verbena was one of the few that survived. She didn't water the plants very well, and all the bottom leaves of the lemon verbena dried and fell off. Some of the branches are so brittle, it snaps right off. Thankfully it was able to bounce back after I gave it a good amount of water. This poor plant looks horrendous now! How do I promote the leaves to grow on the bottom, or am I out of luck? Do I need to trim back all the brittle branches? Thank goodness I rooted a cutting before I left D:

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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

I was hoping someone with experience with lemon verbena would chime in since I have none. What I would do is take cuttings of the top growth and start new plants with them. This plant just looks too scraggly and lanky to be saved as it is, in my opinion. Better to start anew.

Plus it really needs a lot more light than it's getting. Outdoors would be the best for it, if it's possible. But you'll have to gradually acclimate it to sunlight and outdoor conditions (it's called hardening off).


    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 6:15PM
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thank you!!! I think i should give up on growing lemon verbena since I don't have the conditions to grow it indoors. No outdoor option and the grow light/sun I'm getting seems like it's not enough. I will keep that in mind if i ever move to a place where I have the option to grow it outside. Thank you.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 10:54PM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

You mention a grow light. Grow lights need to be fairly close to the plants for them to be sufficient. And you can put a piece of cardboard wrapped in foil behind the lemon verbena (opposite of the window) so that it reflects the sunlight back onto the plant. While it's still far from ideal it might help a bit.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:59AM
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I've been growing lemon verbena in pots for years (here in zone 7 it won't make it outdoors all year). I've had times the leaves drop, and my normal course is to cut all the stems back to no more than a few inches. Once ready to grow it will send up lots of new shoots from that base. Usually, when I move it outside after last frost, my LV are little more than a base of 4 or 5 inches, but within a month I'm cutting whole stems, 6 to 8", for tea. I continue to cut these long stems back to the first leaf pair off the base, getting multiple stems next time. I've been getting at least five years out of my LV plants, but I'm usually considering starting new ones about that time.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:36AM
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