(Growing conditions) Lemon verbena; addendum

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Just to add on to my previous post on growing lemon verbena, propagation can also be done with growing tips, preferably no more than three or four leaf nodes down from the tip, placed in pure perlite, and then bagged up, allowing a small opening for some air circulation.

Roots formed in about two to three weeks; this picture shows the stalk in my fish tank, after I'd transferred it there

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(Growing conditions) Lemon verbena

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I love the lemon verbena plant. Oh yes, I do. Sure, its leaves smell exactly like any other plant with the citral component in them to give them their lovely citrus flavor, but other than loving to grow plants, I also like some challenge in increasing my skills and knowledge in propagating a plant which seems reluctant to reproduce through stem cuttings alone.

Like many other plants which grow in the tropics, the lemon verbena isn’t hard to grow. Just give it a well-draining moisture-retaining mix, and some occasional fertilizer, place it in a spot with at least four hours of direct morning sun, and water it everyday. It will shoot up to almost half a meter tall within less than two months, healthy and happy.

But like I said, the challenge comes in propagating this plant. I’ve had a friend who used cuttings in water, but succeeded only rarely.

The methods I’ve found which propagate this plant easily are through either air-layering, or marcotting. However, one should always use the growing portions instead of the woody portions, since the latter parts will not root, however long you wait.

Care: A well-draining moisture-retaining soil mix
Sunlight: Preferably full sun; however, it can grow well with four hours direct sunlight
Propagation: By marcotting or air-layering

(Updates) Lemon verbena via air layering

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The lemon verbena has been doing very well ever since someone cut it away from the mother plant.

I’d say that my air layering method is a success.

(Propagation) Air layering

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Less than two weeks after I posted previously about the traditional method of air layering and causing an open wound to a plant’s stalk to aid in rooting, I checked in on my lemon verbena and saw what I thought are roots! Or, at least, from on top, one visible root.

I understand that when a part of the plant stalk is injured (especially if the injury is near any plant node) through say cuttings, or partially-open wounds like as if the plant had been bent and a small part snaps, but not fully, hormones or chemicals are produced by the plant. This leads to the plant either attempting to heal itself by growing new cells over the wound, or leads to root production.

In this case, rooting hormone made into a slurry and smeared onto the open wound definitely helps.


The flat beige piece is a wire I’d used to peg the stalk down. The long white thing is the (suspected) root/s.

(Propagation) Air layering

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Credit: Hub Pages

I find that plants which are harder to propagate through cuttings have a higher rooting chance through air layering. And, to increase the chances of the stalk rooting, I like to use a knife to make a cut through the stalk, usually about quarter- or halfway. Then, I smear rooting powder on that open wound, and bury that portion in the soil, and pin it down.

Apparently, open wounds on the plants (and open wounds nearer to plant nodes) encourage rooting. The rooting powder should encourage it a lot further.

I am trying this on my lemon verbena right now. I shall report any progress I have.

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