lemon verbena

tcsouthpawJune 9, 2011

I live in Nashville, and this spring planted (in the ground) lemon verbena that I impulse purchased at the Herb Society of Nashville's plant sale.

I'm curious if it would survive the winter or if I should replant it into a pot -- and if replant, what size and kind of pot to use, and when to replant. Also would love any feedback on ways to dry / save / use up the herb, since I absolutely love the smell!

Any experience with lemon verbena, and what I should do?

Thanks!

Tracy

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fivemurfs(6.5 TN)

It will not overwinter. If you had a greenhouse or very good light you could probably keep it indoors through the winter. If you love it (it smells so good!) it's worth a try.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 8:29PM
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krikit

Hello Tracy,

I know what you mean about lemon verbena - love it! I've had mine 3 years now and started out trying to keep it in the house but it didn't do well for me. However that's no surprise as I'm not good with houseplants. It shed a lot of leaves that first winter and I got tired of it, so I put it in my 'well house' which is a very small block building heated with only a light bulb to keep the pump for our well from freezing. I might have lightly watered it 3 times during the winter, and then just pulled it out after danger of frost and it leafed out again with only minor die back to the stems. I've used it to flavor chicken, and to flavor tea (my fav way to use it) but have never tried drying it - but maybe I should :-) Mine had gotten quite large and needed to be re-potted so this year I put it in the ground in a very protected spot - haven't decided for sure if I will leave it there (and hope it makes it but most likely have to replace again next spring) or dig, pot and put into the well house. Whatever you decide, good luck and enjoy!!!!

Frances

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 7:14AM
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heathersgarden(6b/7a Mid TN)

I overwintered mine inside successfully this past winter, although it seriously pouted until it was warm enough to move back outside. It dries beautifully with a terrific flavor for teas. I imagine it would be really tasty added to pesto and salad vinaigrettes. This year I plan to take cuttings, and if they root, I'll plant the big one and keep the small one over the winter.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 11:33PM
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tcsouthpaw

Thanks for the feedback. I've since discovered I have almost an instant contact dermatitis with lemon verbena - I clipped it back some and took some leaves off to dry, and noticed my hands and arms getting itchy and developing red raised areas. A good wash with soap and water helped take care of it mostly, but that quick reaction might affect how much I use it as a tea or other food items. I do so love the smell though, so might just plant it in a smaller container to keep it manageable. I might bring it indoors, because I have a room with southern exposure that gets a great deal of light. I'll have to try that and see if it survives.

Tracy

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 11:03AM
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Dennis31

Well, I had some in a pot last year - when winter came it just sat out there like most of them do. This spring when thinking I would re-plant that same pot I discovered green shoots on 2 out of 3 of last years plants and so there you go. I suppose I'll mulch it over this coming winter to see if it comes back again.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 2:35PM
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