Aromatic Plants

LEMON SCENTED GUM (Eucalyptus citriodora)


  • The oil of lemon-scented or citron-scented or spotted-gum is extensively used in soap, perfumery and cosmetic industries for improving the odour of germicides and disinfectants and for extraction of aroma chemical citronellal. It grows as a tree in forests, the trunks can be used for general construction, carriage building, tool handles, railway sleepers, etc.,
  • It is a graceful tree of Australian origin naturalized in India. The crop can be cultivated thoughout Andhra Pradesh either as a rainfed or irrigated crop in all kinds of soils except heavy clay and highly alkaline soils.


  • Spotted gum is propagated through seeds (about 240 seeds weigh on gram) by raising nursery.
  • 22 cm x 16 cm size polythene bags are filled with garden soils and 2 seeds are sown in each bag at 1 - 2 cm depth, kept under partial shade and regularly watered. The seeds germinate in 4 - 15 days.
  • Seedlings from seeds sown in February - March are ready for transplanting in July - August.


  • The land is cleared of other plants, ploughed and harrowed to good tilth. Pits of 60 cm are dug at a spacing of 2 m or 3 m between rows and 2 m between plants for rainfed crops and 1 m between rows and 1 m between plants for irrigated crop.
  • The dug soil is mixed with 100 g single superphosphate, 25 g each or urea and muriate of potash and is allowed to weather.
  • Planting is done in July - August by placing the seedlings in the pits after removing of polythene bags and by pressing the soil around the plants.
  • Stalking of plants is done to prevent wind damage. The plants are irrigated regularly until the sedlings establish. Irrigations are also given during non-rainy periods until the plants are obe year old, thereafter, irrigations may not be required. However, in areas with irrigations facilities, watering the plants improves oil yields.

Interculture - Fertilizers

  • The field is to be kept weed free during the first year with occasional weedings or hoeings, with bullock or tractor-drawn implements.
  • In widely spaced crop, non smothering crops can be grown as intercrops to increase profits.
  • The plants are pruned at a height of 1m above ground level to promote vigorous growth of side branches and to facilitate easy harvesting of leaves and twigs. Irrigated crop can be coppiced at 15 cm height from ground level for the same purpose.
  • The crop is fertilised with 150 - 200 kg urea per hectare per year in 3 or 4 equal splits. 125 kg single superphosphate and 30 kg muriate of potash per hectare per year are also applied from second year onwards.
  • 25 - 50 kg zinc sulphate per hectare is applied in zinc deficient soils. Micronutients and growth regulators are sprayed for every harvest.

Plant protection

  • Lemon-scented gum is not affected by any major pest or disease, therefore, no plant protection measure is required

Harvesting - Profits

  • Two and three to four harvests are obtained from second year onwards under rainfed and irrigated contions, respectively.
  • Leaves with tender branches are harvested. The crop yields 60 - 100 kg oil and net profit of Rs. 12000 - 20000 per hectre under rainfed conditons and 100 - 150 kg oil and net profit of Rs. 20000 - 30000 per hectare under irrigation contions.
  • Under ideal contions, 200 - 250 kg oil/ha can also be obtained.


  • The oil is distilled from freshly harvested herb by usual process as described earlier in palmarosa. The recovery of oil from the herb is 0.5 - 1.0 percent, it takes about 3 - 4 hours of distillation fpr complete recovery of oil.