Hi, I'm in zone 5a and bought a lemon thyme plant earlier this year. I put it in a bigger pot and it seemed to do pretty well for a couple of months. A few stems actually produced flowers, which I wasn't expecting as I'd heard it does not produce seed. Quite a few of the leaves have turned to a slightly bronze color too. I know it cannot survive the Winter here and was planning on bringing it in before our first frost, but now I'm wondering if it is supposed to go dormant or will just die off anyway. Any advice would be welcome. I'd like to keep it alive if possible.
Can anyone advise me on the care and feeding of lemon thyme?
you can grow it more or less the same as ordinary thyme BUT, you have to be careful with too rich soil or overfeeding it, because it will be lovely to look, very lush but no taste!
Find a good well draining soil with a sunny position, sheltered from strong wind and add a bit of compost and a tiny bit of fertilizer, do not allow it to to dry out in summer or the centre of the plant will die back. The roots are very fine and needs to have moisture to continue growing and you have to keep the area well weeded so there is not competition for the plant to thrive.
I looked up lemon thyme in the Plant Files and noticed that one person has had success with it in Massachusetts. You might check it out and see if that person ( in the zip code reports) has weather like yours. Here in the high mountains of New Mexico, it grows like a weed and I think of our climate as being a 5a climate. Is there any way you could divide your plant and put half inside and half outside? It might very well grow for you outside in the winter -- but I would make sure it has excellent drainage -- maybe on a slope? Just a thought.
I'd try it outside (maybe half as Parajitomt said), with good drainage and near a "heat sink" of some sort -- a big rock, a walkway, a foundation wall...
Thanks everyone. I might try to divide it and plant some outside although the nursery where I bought it told me that it definitely would not survive our winter weather. Other great features of my yard are very little sunlight and heavy clay soil, so I'll probably be dooming the poor thing.
I was mostly wondering if the change in color of some of the leaves meant that it was starting to prepare for dormancy or not. Guess I'll stick the pot under some grow lights and keep watering it until it either grows or dies.
Try making a miniature raised bed surrounded by bricks or rocks for it -- a "pocket garden," as I've been calling them. See http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/2574/
I haven't had much luck overwintering more tender thymes inside... :-( But hopefully yours will be fine under lights until spring! (I haven't yet tried under lights, just sunny window.)
I think it needs quite a bit of light. I don't know about your Grow Lights, but mine don't really provide enough light for a sun-loving plant like thyme. Do you have any bright sunny spots outdoors? Maybe on the south side? Can ou add compost to lighten your soil? Those are the actions I would take.