Variegated Lemon Thyme 'Variegata'

Thymus citriodorus

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


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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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Gardeners' Notes:


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 ... read more


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.


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.


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


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.


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.