Aloysia Species, Lemon Verbena, Verveine Odorante

Aloysia citrodora

Family: Verbenaceae (ver-be-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aloysia (al-uh-WIZH-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: citrodora
Synonym:Aloysia triphylla
Synonym:Aloysia triphylla f. serrulata
Synonym:Lippia citrodora
Synonym:Lippia triphylla
Synonym:Verbena citrodora




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Hereford, Arizona

Aliso Viejo, California

Amesti, California(2 reports)

Big Sur, California

Bonsall, California

Castro Valley, California

Chula Vista, California

Clayton, California

Corralitos, California(2 reports)

Elkhorn, California(2 reports)

Encinitas, California

Eureka, California

Fairfield, California

Interlaken, California(2 reports)

Knights Landing, California

Menlo Park, California

Mission Viejo, California

Pajaro, California(2 reports)

Palo Alto, California

Pleasanton, California

Redondo Beach, California

San Diego, California

San Jose, California

Ukiah, California

Van Nuys, California

Ventura, California

Vista, California(9 reports)

Watsonville, California(2 reports)

Brandon, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Melbourne, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Townsend, Georgia

East Moline, Illinois

Bloomington, Indiana

Brodhead, Kentucky

Litchfield, Maine

Baltimore, Maryland

Salisbury, Maryland

Upper Marlboro, Maryland

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Denville, New Jersey

Millville, New Jersey

Deposit, New York

Clemmons, North Carolina

Jacksonville, North Carolina

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Portland, Oregon(2 reports)

Glen Riddle Lima, Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Knoxville, Tennessee(2 reports)

Memphis, Tennessee

Belton, Texas

Big Spring, Texas

Conroe, Texas

Edinburg, Texas

Houston, Texas

League City, Texas

Nacogdoches, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(2 reports)

San Marcos, Texas

South Jordan, Utah

Leesburg, Virginia

Norfolk, Virginia

Petersburg, Virginia

Bremerton, Washington

Issaquah, Washington

Midland, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

White Center, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 1, 2019, JennysGarden_TN from Collierville, TN wrote:

Lemon verbena is hardy in my zone 7b garden. I mulched it well for the Winter. Love the leaves in making a delicious lemony tasting tea.


On Aug 3, 2016, wendymadre from Petersburg, VA wrote:

Lemon verbena lives happily outside for at least six months in my Zone 7A Southern Virginia garden. It is probably six years old. I've trained it into something of a standard, one trunk with branches spreading out at about 30 inches, the whole plant being about four to four and a half feet tall. It spends the winter in a sunroom that doesn't get any colder than 50 degrees. It may indeed have the loveliest lemon scent of all the plants, but it gets tough competition from lemon basil. I use both with tea bags and mint leaves to make an iced tea in summer.


On Aug 21, 2015, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant fares well in a container, and overwinters well indoors in a bright location or with grow lamps. Otherwise, it handles direct sun in a hot summer climate without issue. When it comes to watering, this plant appreciates regular watering in fast draining soil, and does not like prolonged 'wet feet'. Many who have had trouble with this plant have used a soil or potting mix that is too compacted and too moisture retentive for the plant to thrive. One can tell when this plant is overwatered, as the branches will sag temporarily, returning to their regular position when soil conditions have returned to normal. This is often the case after heavy rains. If the leaves begin to look pale, the plant responds favorably to common commercial fertilizers. It tends to sprawl, so pruning may be ... read more


On Sep 28, 2013, debylutz from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I love my lemon verbena. I bought it as a 2-inch cutting in the herb section of my local garden store, and it is now a 6-foot shrub. It blooms all summer and emits the most heavenly sweet-lemony scent when its leaves are brushed or on a warm summer night. It is so happy planted on a south wall in my garden that I must cut it back severely every year when it is dormant. Yet it comes back stronger every year.


On Aug 26, 2012, betleyoun from Augusta, GA wrote:

My verbena has done well in a large planter on the deck, but will soon have to move because of the size. Near the the base, a branch has sprouted off the main plant that looks just like a branch from a hydrangea plant. Any ideas or is this common. I have checked several times, but it is in fact, coming from my verbena and not a volunteer gowning close by


On Aug 20, 2012, claire25 from Salisbury, MD wrote:

Overwintered successfully and is now almost six feet tall! We had an unusually warm winter here in MD (zone 7) and even though the plant largely died back it has more than made up for that with new growth--it even flowered heavily in midsummer with attractive airy white spikes of tiny flowers. But it's the leaves that are worth growing it for--just an incredible fragrance when they are rubbed or crushed. Great near a path!

I am interested to see if this will live through a more typical chilly winter here. I grow mine in full sun, very sandy soil, and rather dry conditions near some old brick/concrete masonry that has eroded into the soil, probably making the soil pH on the alkaline side, but I have not checked. It seems very happy!


On Aug 7, 2012, Domehomedee from Arroyo Grande, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I just wanted to add that my sister swears lemon verbena tea will cure just about anything that ails you. I have drank a tea made from the dried leaves for many years with no ill effects. It has a wonderful flavor. I cut it back by about 2/3rds in late summer saving all the leaves and it always comes back in Spring.


On Feb 1, 2011, Sonnenblume from Aurora, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

We are having a major cold spell in CO right now (zone 5b)! I am so glad I brought the lemon verbena bush inside after I trimmed it pretty low to the ground in late summer/autumn. I also took a cutting which at first grew fine but then did not make it after all. The trimmed and potted parent plant at first lost its leaves which was expected but it redeveloped fresh green leaves in abundance since so it looks like a healthy small plant with pretty strong branches and lots of fresh green foliage in the middle of winter but indoors. I bought it in late spring last year in the herb section of a local garden center it was a small pot and it grew into a pretty nice small bush from which I could harvest quite a few leaves for tea and such. I bought it for its great fragrance (lemony when you sn... read more


On Nov 28, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Half hardy for me, and I've lost it occasionally (replaced). Being in a temperate zone, I don't give much thought to winter protection. Very fragrant and a pretty herb.


On Sep 27, 2009, KaperC from No. San Diego Co., CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

Consider using long sleeves when working with this plant if you are sensitive to irritants. It can cause horrible itching. If you notice it, wash with mild soap right away to lessen the effects.


On Jul 25, 2008, brutusmother from Grand Rapids, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have had a lemon verbena plant in my garden for three years now. It has overwintered fine. I usually put a leaf mulch over it for the winter. It dies back to the ground every winter but has always come back. I live in USDA Zone 5b.


On Apr 11, 2008, onewish1 from Denville, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

I overwintered this plant indoors and only have a north facing window... I just took cuttings now for outside in a few weeks... the leaves dropped off by thanksgiving and I lightly watered once a week... the plant before taking the cuttings was about 6 inches long... looks nice and healthy


On Mar 18, 2008, khopton from Adelaide,
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

I bought Lemon Verbena as tube stock and planted in a pot where it seem to do nothing. I decided to put it in the ground and when I took it out of the pot, it was a mass of roots!! I put it in the ground in spring and by early summer it shot up about 4' by about 2' wide!! Flowered all summer and loved being dead-headed. We had a very hot, dry summer and it didn't even blink! The leaves make a great hot or iced tea. Worth growing.


On Sep 3, 2007, kate5683 from Houston, TX wrote:

This is by far my favorite plant. I purchased a young plant at a local native gardening center (Houston, Texas) last summer. The plant has grown well in a container, though it lost most of its leaves last winter. I have it on my patio, where it receives filtered sun from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, and is otherwise shaded. It leafed out well last spring and throughout the summer, until now. To my dismay, the plant seems to have gone into shock! I suspect I went a little too heavy on plant food during a recent watering. The leaves have yellowed, wilted, and are falling away.


On Jul 28, 2007, lola23 from Portland, OR wrote:

Here in Portland, OR, my lemon verbena is flourishing. In only a few short months, it has about doubled in size, tolerating clay soil and a few short periods of drought. Small sprigs of white flowers showed up in July.The flowers have a subtle, sweet fragrance and the leaves pack a lemony punch. It can get a little leggy, so I prune it often and enjoy it as part of an herbal infusion (just search the web for a plethora of lemon verbena tea recipes). Lemon verbena is a great alternative to lemon balm, which can be invasive, and I think the flavor is much cleaner.


On Jun 19, 2006, shutter_mania from Eureka, CA wrote:

I have only one lemon verbena and it flowers and keeps coming back year after year. It gets about 6 feet tall, and is loaded with blooms June through September. It is very aromatic. I haven't used it to cook with, but it does wonderfully in cut flower arrangements and will release its wonderful lemony smell throughout the room.


On Oct 20, 2005, phineas117 from Springfield, IL wrote:

this plant thrives on neglect! I grew it in a large pot, recieved sun in mornings and late afternoon. shade at midday to around 2. (north side of house) watered it frequently, it seemed to require more water that most of my herbs. wonderful smell! and it won the champion perennial herb at the Illinois state fair!!!!!!!!


On Mar 8, 2005, saya from Heerlen,
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

One of my favourite herbs with a wonderfull lemon scent..very yummy in releases its flavour very well in milk. You can make a very yummy ice-cream with it. I grow it in full ground and it stays there, although sheltered by a huge rosemary bush, during wintertime.. Untill now overwintering outside has been no spring I trim it a little back to keep it compact. Edited to mention that it has survived heavy frosts last winter with temps down to -18 C...remarkable !
Besides the wonderfull cullinairy uses Lemon Verbena is a herb that de-stresses & relaxes. Has a tonic effect on the nervous system, a natural de-stresser, relaxing, helps soothe bronchial & nasal congestion, indigestion, flatulence, stomach cramps, nausea. It gives a good tea to drink. BUT....don't drin... read more


On Jul 7, 2004, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Great in potpourri. Full sun in cool climates, light shade in warm. Fertilize once a month. May shrivel at the end of winter, but will come back up in early spring here. I love putting it in my hot or ice tea, nice lemony flavor, I sometimes use it along with my Orange Geranium, yummy, then remove before drinking.


On Jun 5, 2004, claude27 from Mozier, IL wrote:

I have not got the plant as yet, but next year I will be getting a plant or two. I found out about the plant late this, so I am planning of getting one or two next year


On Aug 24, 2003, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

In my western Washington zone 9a (most maps show it as zone 8) garden this has been hardy for me outdoors for the last four years. The upper part of the plant dies back somewhat in winter, but it resprouts from the lower stems. It flowers here in July and August.


On May 17, 2003, asturnut from Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b) wrote:

Supposedly this is a zone 9-10 plant, but I have successfully overwintered lemon verbena in the ground in my zone 7 (almost 8) garden. It looses all of it's leaves dies all the way back to the ground. I leave about 12 inches of the dead wood and leaves on top of it to protect it through the winter. Then as spring arrives I cut it back harder and the next thing I know, she is growing again! It's lovely and fragrand, but does not flower here for me.


On Jan 22, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Lemon verbena is best propagated by stem cuttings; seed is seldom produced. Although it is frost-tender, this plant will not grow well in hot, humid climates unless it is given some shade from midday sun.


On Aug 10, 2001, herbin from Park Hill, OK (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is a wonderful tender perennial with a heavenly scent of lemons. By far the most lemony of any of the herbs. It is great for potpourri, or to flavor teas, fruits, and cookies. Bruise the leaves and add to sugar overnight. Sift out the leaves and use sugar for cookies, cake or whatever.