How to successfully plant lemon verbena

4-lemonverbenaIt often happens that successful planting combinations happen entirely by chance. For years I marveled at my lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla) that thrived in the company of some ‘Judy Garland’ floribunda roses. But then I planted a chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) not far from the lemon verbena and, voila, these two plants seemed to make a perfect tandem, blooming simultaneously with scented flowers that have the same vertical orientation.

Lemon verbena has the strongest lemon fragrance of any plant. When it is young, it must have sun protection but, as it becomes more robust, sun exposure may be increased. During winter, you will swear it is dead; its first foliage of spring is pale yellow and looks sickly. Just be patient. By the time summer is in full swing, its olive green, sandpaper-textured, lemony leaves will find their proper place in a large tumbler of iced tea. As for chaste tree, it wears an incomparable, mildly fragrant floral crown of deep lavender-blue from summer until fall.

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