Lemon Myrtle is sometimes referred to as the “Queen of the Lemon Herbs”. It boasts an intensely citrus fragrance and flavour, and has long been used in Aboriginal cuisine and medicine. In the wild, you’ll find it in the subtropical rainforests of central and south-eastern Queensland.
Undoubtedly the most popular of Australia’s native herbs, Lemon Myrtle’s fresh tangy leaves may be used in teas, syrups, glazes, cakes, biscuits, dressings, sauces, ice creams, dips and meat dishes. Essential oil distilled from the leaves has a refreshing lemony scent, and has been found to have antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Harvesting is simple. Just pluck fresh leaves as needed, removing no more than one-third of the plant at a time.
This rainforest species prefers a warm, sunny or shaded spot that’s sheltered from frost and cold winds. Grow in a well-drained soil, but keep well-watered throughout the year. Leaves are oval, glossy green and 5-12cm in length.
Lemon Myrtle can grow up to 3m tall and up to 8m in rainforest conditions, but may be kept small in pots. With its elegant branches of foliage and fragrant, creamy Autumn flowers, it’s perfect as an ornamental shade tree or large shrub for any roomy garden.
How and when should I prune my Lemon Myrtle?
Lemon Myrtle is a versatile plant that can be trimmed at anytime of the year.
What should I fertilise my Lemon Myrtle with?
Use a slow release fertiliser in spring.
Why are the leaves of my Lemon Myrtle turning pale?
Leaves may appear deficient in colder winter months as this plant resents cold weather. Make sure the soil is ph neutral to slightly acidic.