- Plant Type: Perennial, zones 5 to 9
- Sun: Full sun
- Plant Size: 12 to 15 inches tall
- Culinary Use: Leaves for seasoning, such as Bouquet garni and Herbs de Provence
Known for its vigor, size, and fresh flavor, our lemon thyme will give you something to brag about in your garden. Use lemon thyme for any recipe that calls for lemon, including salad dressing and marinades. More vigorous and full than many thymes, you can trim the glossy green foliage into a tiny hedge for a formal or knot garden. Also great for containers.
Plant in spring or fall. Leaves are evergreen or semi-evergreen, depending on how far North you’re growing. In hot and humid zones 9 and 10, thyme may suffer in summer; in zone 10, expect it to grow as a cool-season annual.
Plant Spacing: 1 foot. Plants Per Person: 2 to 3.
Secrets to Success »
Thyme needs ideal drainage and circulation; it’s perfect for a pot, where it can have well-drained soil and good air circulation. Mulch with limestone gravel or builders sand; this helps keep the surface dry for healthier leaves. Prune lightly in spring after the first year, cutting only the new growth. As lemon thyme is more vigorous than German thyme, so it will give you more trimmings and harvests. In areas where the ground freezes, cover the plants with a light mulch or pine boughs in winter to help protect from cold.
Harvest and Use »
Pinch off stems and leaves often, but stop about a month before first fall frost to make sure that tops are not too new and tender approaching the cool weather, which would increase chances of cold damage. You can continue harvesting in winter when plants are evergreen. Strip the tiny leaves from the stem and use in teas, seafood, chicken, or any dish calling for a lemony zing. Preserve by drying, freezing, or adding to oil, vinegar, or butter.
Try these garden companions »
- Rosemary, lavender, sweet marjoram, parsley, basil, lavender.
- More thyme varieties: German thyme, variegated lemon thyme.
- Cabbage, onions, carrots, turnips, potatoes.
- All squash, both summer and winter varieties.