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May 2011
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Orange thyme – Thymus fragantissimus – has citrus scent and flavor

Orange thyme is a perennial that can grow up to a height of 8-12 inches and grows in US zone 5-8. The plant has a citrus scent and flavor (resembling that of an orange) and hence the name Orange thyme. It need full sun to partial shade. It is used as a seasoning and flavoring fish, roasted vegetables, stews and soups or in marmalades and chutneys. It is a part of culinary herb garden.
It has grey-green foliage and is bushy and balsamic. It is also used in Potpourri. It needs alkaline to neutral soil with a touch of gritty compost. It is a hardy perennial.
It has therapeutic and healing properties because of its compounds. It is an aromatic, decongestant, relaxant herb with a strong lemon scent. Its tea cures respiratory problems, including asthma, in children. Its inhalation can relieve melancholy and epilepsy. Its essential oil has Thymol which is an antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal agent. It is used as an expectorant and for loosening phlegm to cough up and relieve the respiratory tract. It relieves diarrhea and fever too and is an antiseptic agent for fungal infections like athlete’s foot. It is used to treat dry coughs, whooping coughs and used as a sedative too. It is known to repel cabbage root flies when grown near brassicas. It treats laryngitis, indigestion, gastritis and diarrhea and enuresis in children and externally it is used for treating tonsillitis, gum diseases, rheumatism, arthritis, digestive disorders, sore throats and fevers.

Growing conditions for Lemon Thyme:

• Plant thyme in full sun and in well-drained soil.
• It grows well in Zones 4-11.
• They need neutral or alkaline soil.
• These plants can be propagated from new clumps and roots too.
• Establish new clumps and transplant them.
• The roots can be grounded after last frost in spring.
• Plant in holes dug that are 3 to 4 inches deep and across.
• Break the root plugs of 1-2 inches across.
• Soak the roots.
• From stem cuttings, take stems that are 3-4 inches long.
• Plant them in the soil and cover in 1/3 of the stem after dipping them in rooting hormone.
• Transplant them after 4-6 weeks in spring.

Care for Lemon Thyme:

• Fertilize it for it to grow well.
• Use organic fertilizer but do not over fertilize and the flavor of the thyme might be lost.
• Do not place the plants deeper when growing.
• The plants should be 6 to 9 inches apart.
• Mulch around and not on the top of the plant.
• Mulch with 3 inches of organic compost.
• Water well until the soil is moist.
• Trim back the plants in spring.

Images of plant on Google Search (link)

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