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Lemon-smelling thyme has another name - it is thyme. Breeders were able to create several varieties of it, differing in characteristics. The plant can be used for different purposes, so it is actively grown by gardeners on their plots.
Description of lemon thyme with photo
The first mention of thyme can be found in the chronicles of the 16th century. The genus Thyme belongs to the Yasnotkov family. Outwardly, it is a short, up to 35 cm high shrub with a pleasant aroma reminiscent of lemon. Its root system is powerful, in adult plants the stem is lignified.
The flowers of thyme lemon are pink or purple, collected in spikelets, similar in shape to a bell. Leaf plates are small in size, short, hard, resembling skin to the touch. Their main color is green with a yellow undertone, but with age it becomes more and more dark.
Lemongrass thyme is a perennial
Lemon thyme varieties
About 400 types of culture are known in the world. There are four varieties ubiquitous in horticultural plots around the world:
- Donne Valley (Doone Valley) is a perennial 15-25 cm high. The stem is pubescent, decorated with beautiful, oval, small foliage of a dark green hue, along the perimeter of which yellow spots are located in a chaotic manner. The flowers of the variety are lilac, with a lemon scent. The buds bloom from June to July. The culture belongs to unpretentious plants, but does not tolerate excess moisture. Under favorable conditions, it quickly grows over the site. You can use thyme as a spice or as a decorative element on the site.
If you rub the leaves of the Donne Valley variety, the lemon aroma will increase several times.
- Bertram Anderson (Bertram Anderson) - undersized perennial up to 15 cm high. Its root system is pivotal, but highly branched. The stems are creeping, covered with small, ovoid leaves of a green tint with yellow spots. Buds are small, up to 4-8 mm in length, pink, collected in a spike-shaped inflorescence. Thyme gives off a pleasant aroma, which makes it an excellent honey plant. Thyme is not afraid of pests and diseases, does not like excess moisture and heavy soil. The variety needs shelter for the winter and shading in the spring.
The Bertram Anderson variety is most often grown for decorative purposes.
- Silver Queen (Silver Queen) - perennial, common in southern France. The height of the bush is 15-30 cm, the leaves are ovoid, small in size, green in color with white edging. Pale pink buds bloom from June to July. The variety withstands partial shade, but grows slowly. Differs in lemon-smelling thyme unpretentiousness and drought resistance, needs pruning.
The Silver Queen variety is known for its healing properties, used in folk medicine and cosmetology.
- Golden Dwarf is a low-growing perennial, reaching a height of 10-15 cm. Leaves are small, green in color with a yellow, rounded shape with a pronounced lemon aroma. The buds are pink, collected in a capitate inflorescence. Thyme is resistant to pests and diseases, prefers sunny places with neutral or alkaline soil. For the winter, he should be provided with protection; in the spring, he needs shading.
The Golden Duarf variety is known among landscape designers as a carpet plant, therefore it is planted along the curbs, on the alpine hills.
Advantages and disadvantages
One of the main advantages of lemon thyme is its high decorative properties. It not only pleases with its appearance, but also with a pronounced pleasant aroma. The bushes are resistant to trampling and mechanical damage, they are not afraid of pests and insects. An important role is played by the unpretentiousness of culture to care.
Among the shortcomings, one can single out the need to observe crop rotation: the plant cannot be grown in the same place for more than four years. It should also be borne in mind that there are a number of contraindications to the use of lemon thyme for people who want to take advantage of its valuable properties.
Planting lemon thyme
On the site for the plant, it is recommended to allocate places protected from the wind, well-lit by the sun. The presence of light partial shade is allowed, but without sufficient lighting, the shrub quickly dies or grows slowly and does not bloom.
The soil for lemon thyme should be fertile, light, neutral in acidity. To lower the pH level, lime can be added to the garden bed, and to improve water permeability, mix the earth with sand.
Thyme is most often grown using seeds. To do this, you can use greenhouses or immediately land in a permanent place.
All work should be started after the snow melts:
- Dig up and level the earth, add urea to the garden bed. To do this, dissolve 20 g of the mixture in 10 liters of water and spill the flower bed.
- Use a chopper to build furrows up to 0.2 cm in depth, observing a distance of 30-50 cm.
- Sow seeds, sprinkle with earth and level.
For decorative purposes, you can plant lemon thyme in a pot on a windowsill. In this case, the thyme seeds are placed in containers filled with soil. Pot soil is obtained by adding peat to the sand in a 1: 1 ratio. The earth must be moistened.
The sown material must be covered with foil or glass until shoots appear. This period is usually 30 days. Further care consists in watering and sprinkling the sprouts with water, weeding weeds.
After 2-3 leaves of lemon thyme appear, you can dive. Weak plants must be destroyed, leaving only strong specimens. The distance between them should be at least 7-10 cm.
The optimal time for sowing lemon thyme is March.
Important! If you use the seedling method, then flowering can be admired already in the first year of growing a crop. If you sow the variety in a garden bed on the street, then the buds will appear only in the second year.
Lemon thyme care
Despite its unpretentiousness, the plant needs some care. Watering lemon thyme is necessary only during dry periods and before flowering. To avoid waterlogging of the soil, it is necessary to cover the flower bed with fine gravel.
The bush practically does not need feeding. With proper planting, nothing should be added to the garden bed for the first two years. With further cultivation, it is enough to feed them annually in March with mineral complexes.
Lemon thyme is pruned in spring, it consists in removing shoots 2/3 of the length, destroying dry flowers
The procedure can be carried out in several ways:
- Cuttings. Before flowering, separate the shoot up to 5 cm long from the creeping branches and plant it under a film shelter in a greenhouse or immediately in a garden bed. The protection can be removed after rooting the cuttings.
- By dividing the bush. Divide the plant into several parts while preserving the root system, and then plant in separate flower beds. Protect the seedlings with a film or glass jar until they are strong.
- Seeds. Lemon thyme is characterized by rapid spreading over the site. This is due to the fact that the contents of the capsules fall into the soil in the fall and are carried by the wind. To control self-seeding, it is recommended to collect the material in advance, to thin out the plants in time.
Lemon thyme in landscape design
The plant is a wonderful decoration for the garden, it is often planted instead of lawn grass. So that it does not lose its decorative properties, it is recommended to cut it more often and not let it bloom.
The culture looks great on alpine slides, not far from gazebos and benches, which makes it possible not only to admire the appearance of the plant, but also to enjoy the aroma.
To control the spread of lemon thyme, designers plant it in stone gardens or along curbs.
Useful properties and contraindications of lemon thyme
Thyme can be used not only as an ornamental culture, but also as a remedy. The plant has a pronounced antiseptic and bactericidal effect, is rich in minerals and trace elements. Known thyme and vasoconstrictor, expectorant and bronchodilator action. Such useful properties make it possible to use the culture in the treatment of lung diseases, gynecological pathologies.
Contraindications to the use of lemon thyme are:
- allergic reactions;
- pathology of the liver and kidneys;
The use of lemon thyme
The plant is popular in cooking. Dried it is added to fish and meat dishes, salads, vegetables. You can also meet lemon thyme in conservation. With prolonged processing, it does not lose its taste, so it is allowed to use it at all stages of cooking.
In the store, among the spices, lemon thyme can be found under the name thyme
In folk medicine and cosmetology, culture is added to baths and compresses, infusions and teas are made from it. The medicinal properties of lemon thyme are so useful that its components are included in cosmetic products, oils and pharmaceutical preparations are made of it.
Important! The best container for storing dried thyme is opaque glass. The container must be transferred to a dark, cool place, do not allow moisture to get on the raw material.
Lemon-smelling thyme is not only an ornamental, but also a medicinal plant. It is unpretentious in care, beautiful, multiplies quickly, has a wide range of applications. You can grow a culture both at home and on street beds.