Lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) is a compact evergreen tree native to Australia. The lemon-scented leaves can be utilized for cooking and flavoring. Whereas lemon myrtle isn’t widespread in the USA, it’s value giving it a go. On this article, I’ll share my expertise of rising and caring for lemon myrtles.
About Lemon Myrtle
Household & Genus
Lemon myrtle is a part of the myrtle household (Myrtaceae). However in contrast to true myrtles, lemon myrtle comes from the Backhousia genus. The genus is called after James Backhouse, a 19th Century botanist, and missionary.
Lemon myrtle is endemic to southeastern Queensland in Australia. Lemon myrtle is native to subtropical rainforests on this area. As such, lemon myrtle grows finest in USDA Zones 10 to 11.
Lemon myrtle is a compact evergreen shrub or tree. In its native habitat, lemon myrtle grows as much as 25 toes excessive however solely reaches roughly 16 toes excessive in gardens. Lemon myrtle is also referred to as lemon backhousia or candy verbena myrtle.
Lemon myrtle is very prized for its aromatic lemon-scented foliage. These evergreen leaves are elliptical or lanceolate. These shrubs additionally produce rounded clusters of white flowers with lengthy stamens. The flowers additionally give off a fragile scent and bloom in the summertime.
Which means & Symbolism
Like true myrtle flowers, lemon myrtle is related to love, magnificence, and romance. It’s additionally a logo of marriage in lots of cultures. Lemon myrtle’s white flowers are additionally linked to innocence, peace, purity, and rebirth.
Makes use of & Advantages
Lemon myrtle is a standard culinary herb in Australian cooking. Lemon myrtle was first used extensively by Aboriginal peoples and is taken into account to be a bush tucker meals. Dried lemon myrtle leaves are used to taste baked items or fish and will also be was tea.
Lemon myrtle can be used to make an important oil that has antimicrobial properties. Nevertheless, it should be diluted to be secure for people to make use of. Lemon myrtle additionally makes a implausible aromatic decorative shrub within the backyard.
How Tall, Extensive, and Quick Do Lemon Myrtles Develop?
Lemon myrtle grows between 20 and 25 toes excessive and roughly 16 toes extensive in its native habitat. Nevertheless, it stays comparatively compact in gardens and infrequently will get above 16 toes excessive. Lemon myrtles are gradual to develop as seedlings or as cuttings. Lemon myrtles take roughly 3 to 4 years to succeed in full maturity.
Learn how to Develop and Take care of Lemon Myrtle
The place and Learn how to Plant Lemon Myrtle
Lemon myrtle wants full solar to partial shade and fertile, well-draining soils that also retain moisture. These adaptable shrubs can tolerate varied kinds of soil. Nevertheless, they do favor barely acidic soils with a pH vary between 5.5 and 6.5.
Dig a gap that’s as deep as the basis ball and twice as massive. Add natural matter resembling compost or manure to offer vitamins. Place the lemon myrtle’s root system into the soil and fill in round it earlier than watering it in. Lemon myrtles will also be grown in containers.
Lemon myrtle wants full solar or partial shade to provide its finest flowers. Lemon myrtle requires about 6 hours of direct daylight day by day in heat climates. Nevertheless, lemon myrtle shrubs want partial shade in scorching, dry climates.
Lemon myrtle shrubs thrive in most soils so long as the situations are well-draining. For optimum progress, they require reasonably moist soil however hate being waterlogged. IN addition, lemon myrtles additionally want barely acidic soils with a pH stage between 5.5 and 6.5.
Temperature & Humidity
Lemon myrtles are native to subtropical rainforests, so that they want heat, humid situations to develop at their finest. They’ll tolerate cooler climates, however this will inhibit the dimensions of the plant. As well as, lemon myrtles wrestle when uncovered to frost, so develop them in containers and transfer them indoors in cooler climates.
Water established lemon myrtle shrubs roughly as soon as per week if the soil feels dry (extra ceaselessly in scorching, dry summers). Water younger or newly planted lemon myrtles usually to assist them set up good roots. This takes roughly three years.
Feed lemon myrtles annually after the flowering season finishes. Use slow-release fertilizer granules or apply a diluted liquid fertilizer. At all times comply with the directions on the fertilizer packet.
Keep away from harvesting leaves out of your lemon myrtle straight after it’s been fertilized. The elements within the fertilizer can have an effect on the style of the leaves.
Prune lemon myrtle shrubs at any time of the 12 months. Nevertheless, the most effective time is in winter or late spring when the shrub is dormant. Lemon myrtles might be simply trimmed or formed to fit your wants. At all times use sterile, sharp slicing instruments when pruning your lemon myrtle, as this reduces the chance of illness.
Frequent Lemon Myrtle Pests & Illnesses
Aphids and spider mites are the commonest pests that assault lemon myrtle shrubs. Eradicate them utilizing insecticidal cleaning soap or horticultural oils.
Lemon myrtles are vulnerable to myrtle rust, a fungal illness that causes purple spots on the leaves. Myrtle rust can’t be cured, so present your myrtle with perfect rising situations to cut back the chance of an infection.
Lemon Myrtle Care FAQs:
The place Does Lemon Myrtle Develop Greatest?
Lemon myrtle grows finest in Zones 10 and 11 as a result of these shrubs want subtropical climates. Plant lemon myrtles in well-draining soil and supply full solar or partial shade.
What’s the Greatest Strategy to Propagate Lemon Myrtle?
Lemon myrtle might be propagated both via seed or by cuttings. Each strategies are pretty gradual, however cuttings are often the best choice.
How Quick Does a Lemon Myrtle Develop?
Lemon myrtles have a average progress velocity, taking 3 to 4 years to completely mature. Lemon myrtle shrubs develop extra slowly in cooler areas.
Lemon myrtle shrubs add perfume and class to subtropical gardens. The leaves are used extensively in cooking because of their lemony taste. For optimum progress, lemon myrtle shrubs require full solar or partial shade and well-draining, barely acidic soils.