Thyme, Thymus vulgaris
Common (Garden) Thyme, Thymus vulgaris
Creeping Thyme, Thymus serpyllum
English Thyme, Thymus vulgaris ‘English’
German Thyme, Thymus vulgaris ‘German’
Lemon Thyme, Thymus citriodorus
Lime Thyme, Thymus x citriodus
There is very little difference between Common Garden Thyme and German and/or English thymes. A slightly different size or shape to the leaf is the main difference but they all taste the same.
Thyme is a very drought-resistant plant once established and ideal for xeriscaping. It does nicely in a rock garden or in a border, growing about 12 to 18 inches tall.
Space Thyme plants about 18 to 24 inches apart, if growing in the ground.
Thyme is hardy in Zones 4a to 8b, although some of the different varieties may perform better or worse in your zone.
Our worst enemy in SW Florida is our heavy summer rainfall and high humidity.
This herb will attract butterflies, hummingbirds and honey bees if allowed to bloom. As with most herbs, nipping off the flower heads before they form fully will maintain the best flavor in the leaves.
Harvest in mid-summer, just before blooming.
Thyme grows very slowly so it will take a while for the new growth to reach a harvestable size in SW Florida. In cooler climates, don’t harvest the new growth, but leave it on the plant. It aids in winter hardiness.
Thyme prefers full sun. If growing indoors, it will need supplemental light but will grow satisfactorily under standard flourescent lamps.
Thyme leaves, dried or fresh, are used to flavor such things as clam chowder and other fish soups, also other soups, stews, sauces and most meat dishes. Generally speaking, if you taste-test your dish before serving and feel that’s is “missing something”… it’s thyme. Add a pinch, stir it in and taste again. If it’s “almost there”, add another pinch. Personally, I use it in almost everything except dessert! I simply love Thyme.