- botanical name: Thymus x citriodorus
- perennial zones 5-9
- height 2-6″
- spacing 6″ apart
- full sun tolerant, partial shade
- poor-average, well-drained soil
- flower color pale lilac
- uses in garden: great in containers, cut foliage, drought tolerant, as an edging, fragrant
- use in salads, poultry dishes, herb butters and herb breads, in marinades
- attracts honeybees
Lemon Thyme is is known to be especially mouth-watering with poultry and in salads. An herb whose scent is regularly described as astonishing, it is super delicious when added to herb butters and herbed bread. It’s low mounding habit is beautiful in the landscape as a border or edging plant. Honeybees love the flowers of the thyme plant!
Plant in well-drained but relatively poor soil. Once plants are established they will require little care. Thyme plants are susceptible to fungal diseases, avoid over watering. Wetting their leaves, while watering, also reduces their fragrance.
To keep plants from becoming too woody, cut back plants by one half after flowering, to encourage new growth. To overwinter – keep sheltered from cold winds by mulching. In climates where the temperatures regularly go below 10 degrees F, plants should be heavily mulched, or potted and brought inside to overwinter. Thyme will become woody and needs to be divided or replaced after 3-4 years.
Find great Thyme recipes here!
Sowing Thyme from seed can be tricky. Indoors – sow the tiny seeds on top of the growing medium and cover with a thin layer of soil mix 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Keep moist until germination. 14-21 days to germination. Transplant in individual containers when plants have four true leaves. To avoid legginess, pinch off growing tips of upright varieties to make bushier plants. Transplant outside when all danger of frost has passed. Space plants 12 inches apart, in rows at least one foot apart. 90-100 days to harvest.
Preferred method: take herbaceous cuttings from established plants from new green growth. Root cuttings in fine garden soil or other growing medium, misting daily until well rooted. Transplant outdoors after all danger of frost is passed. For best results, space plants 12 inches apart.
To harvest – harvest leaves as needed, in the morning after dew has dried, before flowering in midsummer. The entire plant may be harvested by cutting plant leaving about 2 inches above the ground. The plant will recover before the end of the season; however, the plant may not be as winter hardy. Plants generally become woody after 2-3 years and should be replaced.
Storage – to dry, hang in small bunches – hanging upside down in a warm, dry, dark place. Once dried remove the leaves from the stem and keep whole. Do not crush or grind leaves until ready to use. Store in airtight containers. The ice cube method can be used to store fresh Thyme for use throughout the winter