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Thyme is a perennial herb that can grow very old if pruned regularly. This prevents the woody plant from becoming bare and ensures that young twigs and leaves grow back.

In a nutshell

  • Cut back twice a year
  • first cutting time in March / April, but not in frost or rain
  • second time of pruning after summer flowering
  • never cut into the wood, only cut off green branches
  • Cut back only on dry days with mild weather

The best time

In the kitchen you need the fresh, green herb. Therefore, the thyme must be prevented from becoming woody, which is done by pruning it twice a year. The first, heavier cut is made in early spring - preferably in March or April - the second after the summer flowering. With regard to the right time, you should also heed these cutting rules:

  • Spring cut if possible before the new shoots
  • do not cut back when there is frost or impending late frost
  • Bring potted thyme indoors at night after pruning
  • Cut back potted thyme grown indoors as early as February
  • continuously harvested/pruned thymus does not need pruning in summer

Tip: Only cut back thyme in dry, mild weather: rain or dew in the early morning often infect freshly cut plants with fungal diseases, which is why it is better to postpone this activity in damp weather.

frequently asked Questions

How do I properly cut thyme?

The popular spice is a subshrub that becomes lignified over time. To ensure that fresh shoots always grow back, cut the plant back by about two thirds with sharp and clean pruning shears. Do not cut into the old wood, but only the green shoots, leaving about two to three centimeters. The herb then sprout vigorously.

When can I harvest thyme herb?

In principle, the evergreen herb can be harvested all year round, even in winter. It is particularly aromatic if you harvest the leaves shortly before flowering and then dry or freeze them. You can also use flowering thyme, but it no longer tastes as strong.

Is thyme hardy?

Not all of the around 200 different thymes are hardy. You can plant species such as Thymus vulgaris, Thymus serpyllum (Bulkin thyme), Thymus odoratissimus (sweet thyme), Thymus longicaulis (cascade thyme) in the garden bed without worrying.

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