Lemongrass, lemongrass, bella luiga, lemon verbena, limoncina or lemon berry, all these names for a beautiful plant that adorns many gardens in our area.
The Latin name is Aloysia citrodora and comes from the family Verbenaceae, and although it has spread successfully in the European Mediterranean, it comes from South America.
It was brought by the Spaniards and Portuguese in the 17th century and was named Aloysia (Louisa) in honor of the Spanish Queen Maria Louise de Parma, the wife of Charles IV, a beautiful aristocrat known for her love of art .
It is not known how the elegant bella luiga was found in our region, but its characteristics make it ideal for our coast.
This beautiful plant is propagated in late spring by seed or cuttings, and can grow up to three meters under good conditions. The leaves are oblong, smooth and collected in groups of three, and the flowers are very small, white and purple. The scent of the plant is carried by the leaves, so there is no need to wait until the plant blooms to enjoy the wonderful scent.
In colder regions, lemon verbena is grown in greenhouses or pots. The plant has a low frost resistance – the maximum indicator is -12 degrees Celsius.
The plant blooms from July to autumn, ie until the first temperature drop.
Lemon verbena is ideal for growing on balconies or loggias, because in such conditions the plant rarely exceeds a height of 45 to 50 cm, so it does not take up much space.
If you want to grow it in pots, place it on windows facing east or south, as it requires a lot of sunlight. Keep it away from drafts, and too moist soil does not fit, writes Tportal.hr.
It should be watered regularly so that the top layer of soil is moist, but be careful as excess moisture can cause root and stem rot.
The most important concentration of essential oils is found in the leaves and stems, and the plant also has healing properties, especially the tea.
Tip for the end: Every two years you should transplant the lemon verbena into a larger pot, because if the pot is too small, the bush will start to shed its leaves.
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