Scented shrub or thyme (Thymus) is a member of the largest genus of the Yasnodeum family. The Russian name "thyme" comes from the Greek word "incense", which means "fragrant substance". Thyme and thyme are in some cases the same plant, but only when it comes to creeping thyme. This plant has many other names in the people: bogorodskaya grass, lemon douche, muhopal, incense, chebarka, verest. This plant is native to North Africa, the first mention of it can be found in the works of Dioscorides and Theophrastus.
The genus has several hundred species and is found in Greenland and Eurasia. This crop is sought after in the perfume and food industries as well as in medicine.
Brief description of cultivation
- Sowing. Sow thyme seedlings in mid-March. Plants are planted in open soil from mid to late May.
- Flowering. The bushes bloom from June to August. The first time the bushes bloom is in the second year of growth.
- Brightness. The site can be sunny or in semi-shade.
- Ground. Nutritious, lightly drained, alkaline or neutral.
- Pouring. Water moderately only when needed, but when the bushes are in bloom, water more often. If there is a lot of rain during the summer, the thyme does not have to be watered.
- Fertilizer. Feed the bushes only when growing in poor soil, and hornmeal should be added and the surface of the bed should be covered with a layer of mulch (decomposed compost).
- Trimming. Shorten the stems by 2/3 at the beginning of the spring period, as well as after the bushes have blossomed.
By cuttings, seeds, and bush division.
- Pests. Aphids, sand medrs, meadow moths and weevils.
- Diseases. When the soil is wet, fungal diseases affect the bushes.
Thyme bushes can reach about 0.35 m in height. The woody trunks can be ascending or reclining, and the flower-bearing herbaceous branches can be upright or ascending. The woody root is a tap root. Depending on the species, the leaf blades of this plant may vary in size, shape and veining.
Most often they have short petioles and the plates themselves are rigid and leathery, less often they are full and sessile, and in the far-eastern species the leaves are serrated. Elongated or globular inflorescences are located at the tips of branches and consist of pink, white or purple flowers. The fruit is a capsule which contains 4 globular-shaped nuts with a bitter taste and pleasant smell, which are used as a condiment called black thyme. Flowering of this plant is observed from June to August. The ripening of fruits occurs in August-September.
This crop is related to the following plants: lavender, oregano, rosemary, hyssop, basil, motherwort, sage, melissa and mint. This plant has become very popular among gardeners in recent years, nowadays being grown in the vegetable garden almost as often as celery, dill and parsley.
Springing of thyme, From A to Z,
Seeding thyme for seedlings
What time should one sow seedlings
Sow thyme seeds in mid-March. Since the seeds are very small, it is recommended to combine them with river sand in a 1:3 ratio before sowing. The container is filled with a soil mixture for cacti, and a third of the black earth should be added to it.
After that, the seeds are evenly distributed on its surface. For sowing, you can also use a substrate consisting of peat and sand (1:1), and it must be disinfected. The seeds should not be deepened into the mixture, they are only covered with a thin layer of sand. The seeds are then gently watered with a fine sprayer, and the container is covered with glass and placed in a well-lit and warm place.
Rules for growing seedlings
The seedlings should be grown in room conditions for at least 8 weeks.
It is best to plant the plants in open soil at the age of 70 days. Once the seedlings have emerged, place them in a cooler place and remove the glass. Water with a sprayer as soon as the top layer of substrate dries out a little. The room in which the seedlings are placed should be well ventilated but protected from drafts.
Thyme or Thyme - how to grow from seed and plant ( thyme or thyme)
Growing on a windowsill
Yyme can be planted indoors.
You will need a pot, not larger than 15 centimeters across, with a drainage layer of 20 to 30 mm at the bottom. Drainage on top can be filled with a layer of soil mixture (composition see above). Soil mixture should be moistened, and a few seeds should be evenly distributed on its surface, with a half a centimeter layer of substrate on top, which is then moistened with a sprayer. Container is covered with film or glass, then it is removed to the south orientation window, while protecting the seeds from direct sunlight. The seeds are characterized by good germination.
After the emergence of seedlings, the cover should be removed. Watering should be moderate, it is carried out after the drying of the top layer of substrate. After 8 weeks, remove all weak seedlings, only the best developed ones should remain. To get fragrant and fresh herbs for as long as possible, cut them down often enough and try not to let the bushes flower.
Putting thyme in the open ground
What time to plant
Putting thyme seedlings in the open ground should be done from mid to late May.
A suitable area for planting should be well lit. It can also be grown on a shady site, but such bushes do not develop well and stretch out a lot. The soil should be well-drained, nutritious, light, alkaline or neutral. If the soil is clayey and damp, the shrubs may become stunted, so good drainage may need to be arranged.
Preparing the site for planting should be done in autumn.
To begin with all plant residues should be removed, then it should be recultivated, and the soil should be decomposed manure or compost, as well as potash and phosphorus fertilizer. In the spring, before planting the site should be loosened, and the soil is poured with a solution of urea (1 liter of water 20 grams). When planting bushes between them, keep a distance of 20 to 25 centimeters, and the width between the rows should be 0.4 to 0.5 m.
Maintenance for thyme
To prevent water stagnation in the root system of bushes and also to prevent crusting on the soil surface, it should be regularly loosened. It is necessary to weed the bed in a timely manner, pulling out only the weeds that have appeared. To reduce the number of weeding and loosening, the surface of the plot should be covered with a layer of mulch (compost). You should also trim the bushes regularly, this should be done in early spring or after the thyme has bloomed. The stems should be shortened by 2/3 before they begin to harden.
Trimming should be done to make the bushes more compact and dense.
How to water
This crop reacts very badly to stagnant liquid in the roots but is drought resistant. Therefore, only water thyme when it is really necessary. When the bushes bloom and the young stems begin to grow, they should start to be watered a little more frequently. If it rains regularly in summer, you should not water the bushes at all.
Thyme does not need much fertilizer, especially if you have placed all necessary fertilizers in the ground before planting. Only if the soil of the bed is very poor will the plants need replenishing, so the surface of the bed should be mulched with decompost or you can add hornmeal.
What can be grown after thyme
As thyme does not need much nutrients and the soil is not exhausted after it like after potatoes, cabbage or celery for instance, any plants can be cultivated after it but they must not be of the Leafy lily family.
Thyme grass in your garden How to grow thyme and thyme
Pests and diseases of thyme
Pests of thyme
This crop is highly resistant to various diseases and pests because it contains essential oil. However, if you do not follow the crop's agricultural rules, sand borers, meadow moths, aphids, and weevils may take up residence.
Meadow moth caterpillars nibble the underside of leaf plates and in the process they braid a web around them. They also injure the flowers and stems. To prevent these pests, it is necessary to make sure that there is no weed on the plot, and in the autumn time it should be recultivated. To get rid of such a pest, bushes are sprayed with Decis solution.
Sand Bears are black beetles reaching 0.
7-1 cm in length, they affect the above-ground parts of the bush. To get rid of such a pest, you will need baits that are poisoned with pesticides.
Aphids are sucking insects, they suck the sap from young stems and leaf plates by biting them. To kill them, use preparations such as Antitin and Biotlin.
Longhorned Weevils injure flowers by depositing larvae in the buds.
To get rid of them, bushes are sprayed with a solution of Fitoverm, which is harmless to humans.
If such a culture is cared for incorrectly, or rather overly abundant watering of bushes, it can cause the development of fungal disease. To cure the affected bush, it is treated with a fungicide: Ridomil, Horus, Fundazol, Topaz or other means of similar action. But it is better to try to make sure that the plants do not fall ill, than to treat them for a long time afterwards. All you have to do is water the thyme properly.
Thyme Varieties and Types
Tyme has many different species and varieties. The most popular among gardeners are the creeping thyme and the common thyme.
Thyme common (Thymus vulgaris), or medicinal thyme, or medicinal thyme
Native to this species is the northwestern Mediterranean. This plant with flowering stems reaches about 15 centimeters in height. The leaf laminae have pubescence on the underside.
The color of the flowers is light purple, almost white. This species has several varieties or subspecies:
- Alba - flower color white;
- Splendens - flowers are carmine red;
- Alfin - this dwarf shrub, not more than 50 mm in height, forms compact dense pillow of about 15 centimeters in diameter.
An arrangement of subspecies with flowers of various colors looks great.
Thyme Creeper (Thymus serpyllum)
This plant is also called thyme or thyme and is found in natural conditions in Siberia, western Europe, the Far East and the European part of Russia. This perennial reaches a height of about 15 centimeters.
Its stems are cylindrical, creeping and have tufted hairy shoots in their lower part. The petiolate leaflets are lanceolate in shape and reach 10 mm in length. The flower stalks are about 15 centimeters tall. Head inflorescences open in July, and the flowers are colored purple-pink. It has been cultivated since the 16th century.
Among the varieties of this species there are those with flowers colored white, carmine and pink, and there is also a form with mottled foliage. It is cared for in exactly the same way as the groundcover plant.
Thyme early (Thymus praecox)
Thyme has 2 varieties:
- Minor. This shrub is characterized by its slow growth and is great for alpine mountains. Its inflorescences are small, as are its pubescent leaf plates.
- Pseudolanuginosus. This groundcover variety forms a flower carpet with so many flowers that it is impossible to see the foliage behind them.
Lemon thyme (Thymus x citriodorus), or lemon-scented thyme
Thyme is a natural hybrid of thyme fleabane and common thyme. In nature it is most commonly found in southern France. The flower stalks are about 30 centimeters tall and the inflorescences are colored pinkish.
The mottled leaf plates are round in shape. This hybrid has been cultivated since 1595. While growing this type of thyme its mature bushes should be pruned in time and covered for wintertime. The most popular varieties are:
- Golden Duorf and Bertram Anderson with yellow spots on the surface of the leaves;
- Silver Queen with white borders along the edge of the leaves;
- Golden King with yellow borders on the green leaves.
Thyme subarcticus (Thymus subarcticus)
In nature, this species is found in eastern and northern Europe on rocks, in forests and along the banks of various bodies of water.
The inflorescences of this stunted shrub are somewhat loose, and include bell-shaped flowers of a dark purple color. The edges of the small dense leaf plates are bent down. Shrubs bloom in July and August. The scent of this plant is pleasant and strong.
Thyme of Japan (Thymus japonicus)
In nature, this species is found in Japan, Mongolia, the Far East, Korea and Northern China on rocks near river and sea shores.
The small leaf plates of this semi-shrub have an elliptical shape. The semi-muth-like inflorescences include pink-colored flowers that open in July and August.
Thyme fleecy (Thymus pulegioides)
The shape of the leaf plates of this plant is elliptical. The purplish-pink flowers are gathered in dense heads. They open in June.
Thyme of Siberia (Thymus sibiricus)
Native to this steppe species, Eastern Siberia and Mongolia. This plant blooms throughout the summer. The bush is decorated with many pink-colored flowers.
Thyme doerfleri (Thymus doerfleri)
Homeland of this species is the Balkan Peninsula. It is not very popular in culture.
This species is quite interesting, but it is not very persistent. In May-June, the pinkish flowers open.
The properties of thyme: harm and benefit
Therapeutic properties of thyme
The aerial part of thyme has medicinal properties. Infusions and decoctions with antimicrobial, coating and expectorant properties are prepared from it, they are used to treat whooping cough, tracheitis, maxillary sinusitis, bronchitis, angina, sinusitis, bronchopneumonia. Such remedies help to thin sputum and stimulate the activity of bronchial glands.
Preparations based on thyme are recommended for neuroses, neuralgia, diseases of the gastrointestinal system (enterocolitis, dysbacteriosis, dyskinesia, atony, intestinal spasms and flatulence). Even this culture has shown high efficiency in the fight against pathogenic microflora, which is characterized by insensitivity to antibiotics. If you use a pillow that is filled with thyme to sleep, then headaches and insomnia will no longer bother you. The composition of such an herb includes bitterness, gum, essential oil, tannins, organic pigments and minerals. Essential oils "white thyme" (fresh) and "red thyme" (aged) have a warming effect on the skin, they are used for cosmetic and medicinal purposes.
But when using such remedies, it is necessary to strictly follow the instructions and dosages. And best of all consult a qualified specialist.
Therapeutic properties of Thyme (Thyme), a natural stimulant of the body's defenses!
Because the herb contains a large amount of thymol, it should not be used in cases of heart and kidney failure, stomach and duodenal ulcers, especially when the disease is acute. During pregnancy, this herb is also contraindicated, because it can cause uterine contractions. With prolonged use of thyme preparations or an overdose, there is a high probability of developing hyperfunction of the thyroid gland (basid disease).
Such preparations should not be used to treat children under two years of age.