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How do you trim thyme so it keeps growing?

By: Sundeep Kumar ChowdaryUpdated: March 29, 2021


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    May 20, 2022
Really, the more you trim your thyme, the more it grows. Cut fresh stems in the morning, leaving behind tough, woody portions. Leave behind at least five inches of growth, so that the plant can still flourish. Regular pruning not only encourages more growth, but also promotes a more rounded shape.

So, when should thyme be pruned?

Pruning to Promote Healthy Growth. Prune thyme in the early spring once you see new growth starting. Look for the new growth at the base of the plant or from the lower stems. Once you notice new growth, use small garden shears or scissors to trim off about ? of the oldest, woodiest parts of the plant.

Similarly, should herbs be cut back for winter?

Cut back herbs such as germander, marjoram, oregano, and winter savory—by half in the spring to get rid of old foliage that was not harvested in the prior year.

Will thyme grow back after winter?

A majority of herbs are perennials throughout most of the United States. That means they come back year after year and usually get bigger or spread in territory each year. Some of our most-used cooking herbs are perennials, including sage, oregano and thyme.

Can you use thyme that has flowered?

Thyme produces flowers abundantly, and the blooming period is long. To eat them, use the flowers as a garnish while they're still attached to the stem. You can also break them up and sprinkle them over a dish.


Should I cut off thyme flowers?

Though you can pinch the flowers off to allow the plant to produce more leaves, the flavor of thyme really isn't compromised by letting the plant bloom.

Does lemon thyme come back every year?

That means they come back year after year and usually get bigger or spread in territory each year. Some of our most-used cooking herbs are perennials, including sage, oregano and thyme. But a bonus of perennial herbs is that many of them are as attractive as they are tasty, making them functional beyond the kitchen.

How do you look after thyme?

Thyme doesn't like rich soil, but will benefit from a light feeding of a high potash plant food in spring. Give plants a liquid feed during summer to improve growth, flavour and flowering. Trim plants after flowering with secateurs or shears to keep them compact and to promote fresh, new growth.

Are you supposed to cut lavender back?

The best time to prune lavender is after flowering is complete, but this plant is forgiving. All lavenders bloom on the stems that grew in the current year. This means pruning can be done in early or mid-spring without sacrificing the current year's flowers.

Why is my thyme dying?

Water Stress
Thyme grows well in slightly dry soil. It can develop root rot or mildew problems if it's kept too wet. As the roots suffocate and die in wet soil, the foliage will also begin to die back. Drought and overly dry foliage can also cause dieback, although usually the whole plant declines at the same rate.

How do you cut and dry thyme?

The leaves will dry more quickly off the stem but they will remove more easily from an already dried piece of the herb. To remove the leaves, pinch the end of the stem with your thumb and forefinger and pull up the stalk. The leaves will fall off. Remove any of the peripheral twigs and proceed with drying fresh thyme.

How do you stop thyme going Woody?

In late fall, after the first frost, select one-third of the oldest and woodiest stems on your thyme plant. Using sharp, clean shears, cut these stems back by half. Repeat the process the next year until your thyme plant has returned to growing younger, more tender stems all over the plant.

How do you stop lavender going Woody?

Remove them only when they are truly dead. Never cut them back, hoping to stimulate new growth. The plant cannot produce new growth from the woody parts. When you're pruning woody lavender plants, it's also a good idea not to prune all of the plant at the same time.

How long does a thyme plant live?

Although thyme is a perennial, it may last only three or four years before it naturally begins to turn brown in the center. As thyme grows, the base of the stems turns brown and woody.

What do you do with thyme in the winter?

Add a two- to three-inch layer of mulch to help protect plants through winter. Don't apply mulch before the onset of cold temperatures as it can cause the soil to heat up and actually make plants less winter hardy. Instead, apply mulch during an extended period of cold temperatures.

How do you look after Thyme in the winter?

Remove fallen leaves that settle on thyme plants in autumn to prevent rotting. Protect plants in pots from excessive winter wet by placing in a rain shadow or a dry, light position and raise onto pot feet to allow the compost to drain freely.

Can Rosemary be left outside in winter?

If you live in USDA plant hardiness zones 7 or below, rosemary will only survive if you bring it indoors before the arrival of freezing temperatures. On the other hand, if your growing zone is at least zone 8, you can grow rosemary outdoors year round with protection during the chilly months.

What do I do with my herb garden in the winter?

Keep Herbs Alive and Well in Winter With These 5 Tactics
  1. Protect herbs from the cold by placing them in a cold frame or cloche.
  2. Add a thick layer of coarse mulch over herbs.
  3. Pot up herbs and move them into a frost-free greenhouse or sun porch.
  4. Grow herbs in front of a sunny window.
  5. Extend the life of fresh herbs by putting them in water.

How do you keep rosemary from getting woody?

A pot bound rosemary plant will produce less and less new growth and get quite woody. Re-pot the plant into a larger pot, if you can. If not, remove the plant from the container and carefully prune the roots back and bit and add a fresh layer of soil.

How do you cut herbs to encourage growth?

Cut parsley and chive stems close to the base, about an inch from the soil. New growth should appear in about a week. Prune new growth from perennial herbs like rosemary, sage and tarragon every week during the summer. Pinch off the top 2 inches of all new shoots to encourage a fuller plant with strong root growth.