Lemon verbena grows as an attractive shrub, but is winter hardy only in zones 9 to 10. A popular alternative to other lemon fragrances and flavorings, the aromatic leaves retain their fresh scent for years when dried. You can easily dry your own lemon verbena leaves for enjoyment in your favorite recipes and potpourris. Begin harvesting leaves once weekly in midsummer, even from young plants started during the past spring.
Cut 10- to 12-inch-long stems from a healthy lemon verbena plant.
Hang the stems upside down in a cool, dry, dark location with very good air circulation for seven to 10 days.
Strip the leaves from the lemon verbena stems. Refrigerate in airtight plastic containers or zip-type plastic food-storage bags. Use the leaves at your leisure because leaves dried and stored in this manner will remain flavorful and fragrant for years.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper if you're in too big a hurry to hang and dry your lemon verbena. Spread the stems out in a single layer so that they're not touching each other.
Bake in your oven on the lowest setting for two to three hours. Cool the lemon verbena leaves to room temperature. Strip the leaves and store as outlined in Step 3.