If you find the scent of essential oils pleasant, you can bring the benefits of the senses into your home. The lemon bush, also called lemon verbena, gives off a fresh lemon scent with the slightest touch. The lemon bush is native to Chile, Peru and Argentina. Based on the countries of origin, some properties of the intensely fragrant plant, botanically Aloysia citrodora, can be derived. Above all, she loves the sun beyond measure and, under favorable conditions and with good care, she can reach a stately height of 2 to 6 meters. The lemon bush was brought to Europe on the trade route at the end of the 18th century and has since enjoyed great popularity in our domestic gardens. But not only hobby gardeners will enjoy the visually striking plant, it is also known to herb lovers and many gourmets. You can use it to refine any number of dishes such as salads. The plant is also considered to be of great importance when it is dried, because an aromatic tea can be brewed from the leaves, the healthy effect of which is undisputed.

outer appearance

The lemon bush is a type of plant that belongs to the verbena family. Its appearance is characterized by clustered leaves, which are subdivided into leaf blades and petioles. The leaf blade can be up to 11 cm long and 25 mm wide, while the petiole measures around 10 mm. The leaves have a lanceolate appearance and a dark green color. The annual inflorescences have a hairy inflorescence stem and bracts. The delicate flowers, whose colors range from white and pink to purple, are an eye-catcher. The four sepals and the four petals are fused together to form a long tube. The scent of essential oils can be perceived as soon as individual components of the lemon bush are rubbed in.

Essential features at a glance
The lemon bush can be a wonderful addition to the garden or terrace and you can literally enjoy it with all your senses. When a gentle greyhound brings movement into the plant, a bewitching scent envelops the environment and makes you want to travel to exotic regions. The plant is considered to be very undemanding, but it still needs some important conditions in order to be able to develop magnificently.

  • The lemon bush is a container and pot plant.
  • The plant loves a sunny to partially shaded place.
  • Not hardy.
  • Light wintering at 5 to 10 degrees Celsius.
  • Propagation takes place by cuttings.
  • Neutral, slightly alkaline soils are preferred.
  • 14 days of fertilization is necessary in the growth phase.
  • Water regularly, but avoid waterlogging.
  • Flowering time is in July, harvest time from September to October.

Care instructions for perfect growth

Regardless of whether the lemon bush finds its place in pots on the terrace or in a pot on the windowsill, the care rituals do not differ. If the plant is not hardy, it should always be stored frost-free. In native regions, the lemon bush loves neutral, well-drained and slightly alkaline soil. For pot and tub culture, however, it is completely sufficient if the usual substrates are used, which are also used for classic balcony plants. A sunny to partially shaded place is the ideal location for the fragrant plants. A regular water supply should be ensured when standing in strong sunlight. Otherwise, sporadic watering is sufficient, but the soil must not dry out completely. Nutrients for plants are essential for optimal growth. This means that the lemon bush cannot do without it either. Mineral fertilizers or organic nitrogen fertilizers are particularly suitable. So-called long-term fertilizers in particular can make the supply of nutrients much easier. A vigorous pruning in spring can ensure a lush, bushy splendor of plants.

Winter rest in the right quarters

Lemon verbena is not hardy and can only withstand the cold to a limited extent. If the temperatures climb below -4 degrees Celsius, then the plants need a shelter in which they can sit out the cold spell confidently. Before the first frost becomes noticeable, the plant must be cut back. Basement areas, a shed or a winter garden are ideal for wintering. However, darker rooms have the advantage that the plants shed their leaves on their own and in this way the risk of rot is significantly reduced. Even in their winter quarters, the lemon bush must not dry out and should be supplied with water from time to time. Waterlogging must be avoided in any case, and fertilization in the resting phase is not necessary. When no longer a period of frost is to be expected, then the lemon bush can sniff the spring air again. The pots and tubs can be put outside again and intensive watering and fertilization give the plant new vitality. If there are dead branches, they can be cut back. “Everything is new in May”, is the saying. You might think that the lemon slogan takes this as a model, because in May the new shoot begins and fresh green comes out again.

Successful propagation tips – cuttings

Seed dealers also offer the lemon bush as a seed, but propagation with the help of seeds is extremely difficult and requires a lot of patience and effort from the gardener. That is why the most common form of propagation is the propagation of cuttings. In order to be able to use this type of propagation, no great previous knowledge is required. In summer or autumn, cuttings up to 10 centimeters long are cut from the woody branches. The leaves must be removed from these cuttings and then the cuttings find their 5 cm deep place in a peat-rich substrate. For particularly effective rooting, the boxes or pots should be covered with foil. The cuttings love warm temperatures between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius. Once they have reached the desired rooting level, the small cuttings can be transplanted into pots. This should be done as soon as possible, as the cuttings wither quickly. The tip of the cutting may be cut for the first time when it is about 10 centimeters tall. The pruning means that the shrub branches out better and grows more bushy.

Propagation by seeds can be a matter of luck

If you want to experience your plant from the very first moment, you can of course also try growing it from seeds. Suitable growing trays or flower pots are suitable for this. A suitable substrate is then added, which is permeable, but can still store water well. A so-called coconut substrate is particularly suitable. This ensures that the seedlings can be separated at a later point in time without major damage. With the aid of a substrate, the planting distance of 3 centimeters can also be maintained better. Now all you have to do is put the seeds about 1 to 2 centimeters deep into the soil and moisten the substrate well. The planter is then assigned a bright, warm place.

However, it should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Now all you have to do is bring a lot of patience. The first seedlings should show up after a few weeks. If this is not the case, then the pouring behavior may well be to blame. Too much water leads to the death of the sensitive root areas. The small seedlings do not need additional fertilization as the substrate contains all the necessary nutrients. If several plants have been sown in one container, the time for isolation now begins. It should be noted that the seed core is not removed, as it contains a lot of valuable nutrients. If the plant is big and robust enough, the original planter will be too small. This fact becomes visible when the roots protrude from the drainage holes.

Different uses

The lemon bush is by no means a plant that only has visual stimuli to offer. Anyone who always has a few leaves of this noble plant in the house can use nature’s pharmacy. A tasty tea can be brewed from the fragrant leaves, which can alleviate many a nuisance. The tea drink has proven to be particularly effective for colds of all kinds, as well as nausea or indigestion. Restless sleep can also be a thing of the past if parts of the plant are sewn into fabric and placed under the pillow. The decorative scented sachets are also very helpful against bad smells in the living room or are ideal as a loving gift.

External influences can make you sick

As many positive properties as the lemon bush may have, it also has visitors who are not so good at it. Aphids also like the fascinating scent and tend to attack the plant. So that the crop does not have to be given up completely, it is extremely important to act immediately at the first signs of an infestation. As a first aid measure, the affected areas can be sprayed with a detergent solution and then wiped off. Regular repetitions ensure success here. If the infestation is already advanced, the plant must be showered with a medium-hard, lukewarm water jet and previously severely infested shoots or flowers must be removed. So that the aphids do not fall into the ground when you shower, the pot should be sealed watertight with a bag. The last resort in pest control is to use chemicals. If the lemon tree has sticky leaves, this indicates traces of the scale insects. These can be cleverly hidden on the underside of the leaves and are particularly troublesome for the lemon tree in winter quarters. A special oil-based agent, which is commercially available, suffocates the scale insects and cannot harm the plant any further. These can be cleverly hidden on the underside of the leaves and are particularly troublesome for the lemon tree in winter quarters. A special oil-based agent, which is commercially available, suffocates the scale insects and cannot harm the plant any further. These can be cleverly hidden on the underside of the leaves and are particularly troublesome for the lemon tree in winter quarters. A special oil-based agent, which is commercially available, suffocates the scale insects and cannot harm the plant any further.

The lemon bush is a plant that exudes a feeling of joie de vivre just because of its bewitching scent. It is ideal for beautifying the balcony, garden or terrace and enhances the appearance of many a bare corner. However, it does not only make a name for itself as a decorative addition, it also has a lot to offer as an aromatic and medicinal plant. The small flowers are an attractive ray of light in the midst of lush green and delight the beholder’s eye again and again. The perfect feel-good atmosphere for the lemon bush includes a sunny to partially shaded place as well as a neutral, loose soil without waterlogging. The plant loves to be pampered with fertilizer every now and then and thanks it with a lush, bushy growth.

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