Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Variegated Lemon Thyme
Thymus citriodorus 'Variegata'

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Thymus (TY-muss) (Info)
Species: citriodorus (sit-ree-oh-DOR-us) (Info)
Cultivar: Variegata

One vendor has this plant for sale.

16 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Unknown - Tell us

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Pale Pink

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)
8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From softwood cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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By PurplePansies
Thumbnail #1 of Thymus citriodorus by PurplePansies

By PurplePansies
Thumbnail #2 of Thymus citriodorus by PurplePansies

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Thumbnail #3 of Thymus citriodorus by carpathiangirl

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Thumbnail #4 of Thymus citriodorus by dicentra63

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Thumbnail #5 of Thymus citriodorus by RosinaBloom


5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive TheLoveofFlowers On Jun 14, 2012, TheLoveofFlowers from Saint Paul, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

It's got a nice flavor. Great for mixing in salads and using with fish.

I've kept it alive in our zone 4 environment in a container for 2 years (so far) overwintering it in an unheated garage. The harsh 2010-2012 winter nearly killed it. (killed all the thyme that was outside in containers), but the sheltered plant came up from the roots. The mild 2011-2012 winter was easier. (It was very close to a 5b/ 6a zone winter)

Though not as vigorous as my lime thyme, I am going to try experimenting with planting it into the ground in some areas to see how well it can survive a zone 4 garden.

It also can be cut by the stem, rooted and grown as a houseplant directly under fluorescent light. I kept one cutting over winter that way and got a small plant to put in the garden.

Positive janecarol2 On Jun 5, 2008, janecarol2 from Fort Jennings, OH wrote:

Very pretty plant, I love all kinds of tyme cause their so easy to grow. My varigated lemon thyme does not smell of lemon, just smells like common thyme.

Positive koipondgardener On May 23, 2008, koipondgardener from Quincy, WA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I bought this plant last season for its fragrance and because of the vivid variegated leaves. It lasted through my zone 7a winter without problems. It has made itself into a nice little 12" wide tuft now and is thriving. I would recomend it to anyone.

Also serpentine layering works well, mine did it by itself this spring.

Positive renatelynne On Jul 25, 2006, renatelynne from Boerne new zone 30, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Lovely smell. Grows well without much water and in common to rocky soil

Neutral flowercrazy39 On Aug 24, 2005, flowercrazy39 from Manchester, NH wrote:

I do still love this plant, but it died over a very cold winter. I may possibly get another one.

Positive PurplePansies On Jul 1, 2005, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

This thyme is edged in gold to sometimes cream. It smells strongly of lemon. Lemon thyme is good in (especially for the throat) tea. And is used in cooking. Especially good in fish and chicken. Use to marinate or add to sauces or bake with. It is also fo course lovely.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama
Gadsden, Alabama
Calistoga, California
Garberville, California
Miami, Florida
Mcdonough, Georgia
Granite City, Illinois
Lake In The Hills, Illinois
Iowa City, Iowa
Cumberland, Maryland
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Manchester, New Hampshire
Bayville, New Jersey
Akron, Ohio
Fort Jennings, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Conway, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Belton, Texas
Boerne, Texas
Midland, Texas
Springtown, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Midlothian, Virginia
Colville, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Quincy, Washington
Great Cacapon, West Virginia

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