Drei exotische Kräuter für Deinen Balkonkasten

Three exotic herbs for your balcony box

Fresh herbs are not only beautiful to look at, they also taste much better fresh than dried. In addition to the well-loved classics such as chives, parsley or oregano, there are also many unusual types of herbs. We introduce you to three exotic herbs that also grow on your balcony.


Lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora)

Origin and characteristics

In the 18th century, the lemon verbena - also known as the lemon tree - was brought to Europe by Spanish seafarers from South America and became a popular ingredient in dishes and sachets. The lemony aroma emanates from essential oils on the underside of the leaves of the shrub.

Cultivation and Care

Due to the South American origin of lemon verbena, you should pay particular attention to plenty of sun when growing it on the balcony or windowsill. The soil in the box or pot should be well drained, which you can achieve by adding sand, for example. Always keep the soil slightly moist, but avoid waterlogging through excessive watering. You can also make your plant happy by regularly fertilizing it.


You can harvest the fragrant leaves all year round and if you dry them, the aroma will last for up to a year. Mainly used in sweets and desserts, lemon verbena gives your dish the finishing touch.


Perilla (Perilla frutescens)

Origin and characteristics

You may also know the spice plant from Japan and China under the name Shiso. The leaves of the perilla are either green or bright red in color and their shape is reminiscent of the leaves of the stinging nettle.

Cultivation and Care

The annual plant is perfect for growing in balcony boxes as it is very undemanding. It tolerates poor soil, loves warmth and moisture. Pruning stimulates new leaf growth.


The seeds and leaves of the perilla are used in many Asian dishes. Fresh or pickled, they season sushi, salads and rice dishes. Oil pressed from the seeds is often used as a flavoring cooking oil or as a medicine.


Mexican cinnamon basil (Ocinum basilicum cinnamon)

Origin and characteristics

As the name suggests, this rare type of basil originally comes from Mexico and other South American countries. The annual plant grows bushy and bears red-purple flowers. The dark green leaves in particular spread a slightly sweet and cinnamon-like scent.

Cultivation and Care

The cinnamon basil prefers a warm and wind-protected place in the sun. Your plant will thank you with strong and healthy growth if the soil is kept evenly moist and nutrient-rich, as well as regular fertilizing. Incidentally, the following applies to all types of basil: if you don't cut off individual leaves when harvesting, but instead cut off entire shoot tips, bushy growth is stimulated even more.


Like its relatives from Europe, the Mexican cinnamon basil is ideal for Mediterranean cuisine. Freshly harvested leaves can also be used to prepare delicious teas or chais.

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