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Lemon Verbena – In the morning, I like a cup of steaming, aromatic tea, and I like mine with a slice of lemon on the side. In the absence of fresh lemons on hand, I’ve turned to preparing tea from verbena, preferably lemon verbena, to supplement my lemon intake. What exactly is lemon verbena? Only the most astonishing duplication of the lemon can be found, particularly considering that it is a leaf in this case. It does, in fact, have a distinct lemon tang, taste, and scent. Interested? Follow the links to learn more about how to make verbena tea, how to produce lemon verbena herbs for tea, and other useful verbena tea facts and information.
Growing Lemon Verbena for Tea
In USDA zones 9-10, lemon verbena is a deciduous shrub that may even live in zone 8 if given enough shelter. The plant, which is native to Chile and Peru, thrives along roadsides, where it may grow to heights of up to 15 feet (5 m). Despite the fact that it is not a “real” verbena species, it is often called as such.
Lemon verbena grows best in soil that is loose, well-draining, and rich in organic content, such as loam. It is important to have good drainage since the plant does not tolerate moist roots. It is possible to cultivate verbena plants in the garden or in a container that is at least one foot (30 centimeters) in diameter. For the best taste, grow in full sun for at least 8 hours each day, seven days a week.
Lemon verbena, in contrast to other herbs, is a strong feeder that reaps significant advantages from fertilization. Fertilize the plant with organic fertilizer in the early spring and throughout the growth season to ensure a healthy plant. During the plant’s development period, fertilize it every 4 weeks with a balanced fertilizer.
Lemon verbena often loses its leaves when temperatures fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 C.). If you wish to attempt to prolong the plant’s life, harden it off by limiting the amount of water it receives a few weeks before the first frost is forecast in your region. After that, you may move the plant inside before it freezes in order to overwinter it. Alternatively, you might allow the plant to shed its leaves before bringing it inside. Remove any straggly stems from the plant before taking it indoors for the winter. Do not over-water plants that are dormant or without leaves.
What is the Best Way to Harvest Verbena for Tea?
You may use fresh verbena leaves to make tea, of course, but you’ll want to preserve the lemony scent and taste of the herb for use throughout the winter months when making tea from it. This entails the drying of the leaves.
When gathering tea leaves for brewing, choose healthy leaves first thing in the morning, soon after any dew has dried; this is when the plant’s essential oils are at their optimum, imparting the greatest flavor to the leaves.
Leaf harvesting may be done at any time throughout the growing season, but if you are growing this plant as a perennial, you should stop harvesting about a month before the first projected autumn frost. This will provide the plant with more time to build up its stores before the onset of winter.
The Benefits of Lemon Verbena
Tea Lemon verbena is reported to be beneficial in the treatment of digestive disorders. Over the years, it has been used to treat a variety of ailments, such as fever reduction, sedation, spasmodic relief, and antibacterial qualities. There are a variety of methods for preserving herbs for use throughout the year.
One alternative is to cut bunches of lemon verbena and bind them together with thread or twine before hanging them in a warm, dry location with plenty of air. As soon as the leaves have become dry and crackly, remove them from the stems with your hands and crush them. Ensure that they are stored in an airtight container away from direct sunlight.
You may also dry the fresh leaves by stripping them from the stems and placing them on a screen, in the microwave, or in the oven to dry. As soon as the leaves are totally dry, place them in an airtight container out of direct sunlight to prevent deterioration. Make sure the container is well labeled and has the date on it. After approximately a year, the taste of most herbs begins to fade.
Making tea from verbena is a straightforward process after the leaves have been dried. 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of fresh herbs or 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of dry herbs should be used for each cup of boiling water, depending on your preference. Tea leaves should be placed in a tea strainer or tea kettle, and the boiling water should be poured over them. Cover and steep for 3 minutes or more, depending on how strong you prefer your tea to be. The addition of mint to verbena tea takes it to the next level.
Another simple tea technique is to prepare lemon verbena sun tea, which is a refreshing drink. Simply snip off enough leaves to make a couple of handfuls of leaves and place them in a big glass jar with a lid. Fill the jar halfway with water and let it out in the sun for a few hours to dry up completely.