Aloysia citriodora

Lemon verbena

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Key information

Plant type

Evergreen shrub

Flower colour



Aromatic foliage


Half hardy

Skill level


Aloysia citriodora

Plant details

A large, South American shrub, it has rough, lemon-scented leaves (some hang on over winter) which are traditionally used to flavour herbal teas and spice up potpourris. The tiny lavender to white flowers start opening at the end of summer. Since it's not quite hardy, coming from Chile and Argentina, you need to grow it in a sheltered, sunny position, for example at the foot of a sunny wall, where it also needs free-draining, poor soil. This is vital because if the roots are locked in cold, damp soil all winter it will die. Alternatively, dig up young plants in the autumn, put in a pot, and keep in a frost-free greenhouse for planting out the following spring. When they start getting too big for this, take cuttings and start again with a new plant.

Family: Verbenaceae

Genus: Aloysia

Species: citriodora

Plant type: Evergreen shrub

Flower colour: White

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Aromatic foliage

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Dry, Sandy

Hardiness: Half hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 300cm

Spread: 300cm

Time to prune: March to April

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