A Discussion of Lemon Herbs
The world is awash in lemon herbs; how do you know which to plant??
Here's our advice:
Lemon verbena has the strongest lemon scent, especially when dry. If you only want one lemon herb and you don't mind planting this annual every year, lemon verbena is the choice for you.
Lemon balm is perennial and reseeds well. It has wonderful lemon flavor, although it doesn't hold it as well as lemon verbena when dried. If you only want one lemon herb and you'd prefer a perennial, plant this one. If you'd like two lemon herbs, plant this one, also!
There are several lemon varieties of thyme; Dune Valley is probably the hardiest and the most attractive. Lemon thyme is very nice for fresh use and freezes well.
Lemon mint is neither a mint nor lemon scented. It has a citrus odor, but nothing we'd exclaim over and it is actually a member of the monarda (Bee Balm) family. It grows about three feet tall and is one of the best bee plants we've ever grown.
Sweet Dani is the strongest flavored lemon basil variety, as well as the most robust. However, this is a smaller, slower variety than Sweet basil, so plan accordingly if you want to grow a lot.
Lemon grass is expensive and strictly an annual here. It does do well in the house through the winter (if the cats don't nibble on it too much!) so keeping it as an indoor plant is an option. Some years we carry lemon grass and other years we don't.
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