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Lemon Verbena Seeds

Ningthoujam Sandhyarani Jun 6, 2019
Lemon verbena seeds are rarely used for propagation, mainly because of their low viability. However, if you purchase good quality seeds from a reputable nursery, you can definitely maintain healthy plants in your garden.
Lemon verbena, (scientific name Aloysia citrodora), is a strong-scented, perennial, flowering plant, popularly grown in herb gardens. It smells like lemon after being cut or crushed, hence the name. Also known by various other names, like lemon beebrush, lemon scented verbena, or lippia citriodora, it belongs to the Verbenaceae family, of the Lamiales order.
At maturity, the plant grows to a height of about 10-15 feet, thus resembling shrubs and bushes. The leaves are bright green and lanceolate in shape. Small, inconspicuous, white, or lavender blooms are born in clusters.
Nearly all the parts of a lemon verbena plant contain active ingredients, which are therapeutically important. It has been used for culinary and therapeutic purposes since a long time. Products based on this plant, like tea, extract, oil, and supplements are sold in health food stores.
For home propagation of this multipurpose plant, one of the major concerns is low viability of the seeds. Hence, most novice gardeners prefer opting for plantlets, rather than starting from seeds. Nevertheless, if you have a green thumb, you can grow them from seeds.

How to Grow Lemon Verbena from Seeds

Native to several parts of South America, lemon verbena is a type of deciduous shrub. The leaves are very sensitive to frost and extreme cold conditions, which is in contrast to the cold tolerant woody parts. Thus, it sheds its foliage during winter.
For growing and maintaining this flowering plant, make sure you select viable seeds of disease-resistant cultivars. Other requirements include selecting sunlit areas and preparing the correct potting media.

Sowing Preparation

Prepare regular starting pots (preferably 2-inch size) for sowing the seeds. Enrich the soil with nutrients (one part perlite and one part peat moss) and make it porous, so as to ensure quick germination. In a plastic seed tray, arrange the pots in a proper manner. Water the soil lightly to make it moist, but not wet.

Sowing Seeds

After you have selected healthy and viable seeds, place two seeds in each of the pots. Lightly cover the seeds with potting soil (about ΒΌ inch thick). Next, wrap the pots with a plastic sheet and secure it to the pot. Once you are done with plastic wrapping the pots, place the seedling tray in an area receiving indirect sunlight for at least 6-8 hours daily.

Seedling Transplantation

As the seeds sprout, remove the plastic wrap and relocate the tray in a sunlit place. When the seedlings are 2-3 inch tall, remove the weaker one from each of the pots. Fill 8-inch size pots with all-purpose, well-drained potting mixture. Gently transplant the healthy seedlings one by one to these pots.

Lemon Verbena Plant Care

Keep the newly transplanted plants in sunlit areas. Water them regularly, but make sure that the soil is not soggy. Monitor the soil pH (preferable range is 6.5 to 7) and maintain warm temperature throughout the growing season. In winter, as the temperature falls below 40 degrees F, you can keep your plants indoors.
With the arrival of spring, prune the plants. New leaves will develop soon after pruning. By this time, supplement potting soil with an appropriate dose of water-soluble fertilizer. Reduce fertilization during the dormant season. You can harvest the seeds and barks (occasionally), when the plants achieve maturity.
The benefits of this plant include treating fever, intestinal disorders, congestion, asthma, sleep problems, and stress.

Growing this scented plant not only fills your garden with heady fragrance, but you will also get to enjoy a continuous supply of aromatic leaves for cooking and herbal remedies.