Lemon Verbena Tea

So refreshing!

Lemon verbena Aloysia citriodora is the most beautiful herb. Once you have experienced its vibrant sherbet lemon fragrance and taste you’ll want to have a pot of it at home: a very large pot preferably!

Just squeeze a leaf between your fingers if you feel a bit wiped out: you’ll feel a fresher instantly.

Unsurprisingly, it makes the most lovely, refreshing and reviving tea to drink hot or cold.

Bruise a small handful of fresh leaves and put them into an infuser pot or directly into a cup if you prefer. Steep it in hot, but not boiling, water for 5 minutes or so.

You can use dried leaves in the same way, you may need a few less but not necessarily.

Just in case you’re interested, here’s a bit more about this gorgeous plant and how to grow it.

Lemon Verbena Notes

Once you’ve grown lemon verbena, you’ll never want to be without it again.

Pick the bright green leaves at any time to use fresh or dried. They are at their most fragrant just before the delicate tiny pale pink or white flowers appear at the ends of the stems in late summer.

Great with fish and poultry, pick fresh or dried leaves to make a fantastic herbal tea or tisane, or to flavour sugar or vinegar.

Try chopping and blending fresh leaves into butter or use them fresh in drinks and fruit salads.

You can also use fresh leaves in finger bowls or dried in pot-pourri and linen sachets: the scent lingers for years.

Buy a young plant: it thrives in sun with a bit of shade and likes light, free draining compost. Water twice a week in summer (but don’t let the roots get water-logged) and give it a liquid feed once a month. Trim regularly to keep the plant compact.

Lemon verbena is a half-hardy shrub, native to South America. Bring it under cover once frosts threaten. The leaves tend to drop in winter even inside. Stop feeding and water sparingly. Revive in spring by pruning drooping and straggly growth and misting with tepid water.

Small sprigs of stem with a few leaves attached root easily in a jar of water. Once roots form transfer to a small pot of compost mixed with horticultural grit and keep moist.

Keep lemon verbena in a sunny sheltered spot handy for picking and brushing against.

To Dry Leaves

Dry leaves by hanging the stems upside down inside a paper bag in a warm, dry place until completely dry. Once dry, strip leaves from stems and store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.