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How To Grow Lemon Myrtle

Dried Lemon Myrtle Leaves ready for Tea

Lemon Myrtle is a delightfully fragrant and versatile flavouring used in icecream, desserts, cocktails, with white meat, and a range of other diverse dishes. The leaf of the Backhousia citriodora can be eaten dry or fresh, with the whole leaf being used or milled finely in a powder. You can find Lemon Myrtle dried and ready to use in cooking here.

The shrub grows dense, green foilage which has an uplifting frangrance that is a great lemon flavouring. Most commonly, the leaves are distilled to harness the essential oil citral which gives the delicious perfume. 

The leaves are commonly used in teas and theraputic products. There has been a strong demand domestically and from abroad for this incredible native.

Native to the tropical east coast, Lemon Myrtle can grow as far south as Tasmania, and can tolerate light frosts, although the plant itself will grow slower than if grown in its suptropical natural habitat. 

They make excellent pot plants if kept sufficiently watered, and can tolerant a variety of environments typical of pot plants. If growing indoors, keep at a sunny, north-facing window for best results.


An example of a Healthy Lemon Myrtle Plant in a Balcony Setting.

How to Grow Lemon Myrtle at Home.

Habitat: Coastal rainforests along the eastern coast.

Size: A dense shrub that can grow up to 8 metres with the right conditions, but 2 metres in a suburan backyard or in cooler climates.

Foliage: Deep green leaves up to 12cm long, with a powerful citrus fragrance when crushed.

Where to Plant: Lemon Myrtle tolerates a range of climates, but being frost-sensitive, it should be grown in a warmer spot that is sheltered and free from frost, in a fertile, well draining soil. 

In their natural environment, you can find Lemon Myrtle growing in sheltered positions along creeks, so young trees are best when given some shade. 

Propagation: You can grow Lemon Myrtle from cutting and seeds, with cuttings growing faster than seedlings. Lemon Myrtle produces seed in autumn and has a good germination rate. 

Fertilizing: For established trees, cover with a layer of compost or manure every spring and autumn. If you have poor soil you can also add some pelletised fertiliser. TIP: Make sure you don't forget to top up the mulch too.

Pruning: If your plant is used as a screening hedge, a light prune with trigger dense foilage. However, if grown alone as a feature tree, prune the lower growing branches to promote upwards growth and shape.