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Does Thyme Grow Back Every Year? (Explained)

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Last updated on September 23rd, 2022 at 02:21 pm

Herbs are either perennials or annuals. It is essential to know the distinction before growing any plants in your garden. 

The reason is that annual herbs usually need to be replanted after the first year. But perennials like thyme, lavender, chives, mint do not always need to be replanted.

Once they’re planted the first time, they take up permanent space in the garden, and each year, they regrow on their own without being replanted.

So, for most perennial herbs, it is best to plant them in spring. And once you’ve planted them, their life cycle goes on and on.

However, does thyme grow back every year? Thyme, like other plants in its class, grows back every year. Once planted, Thyme often returns year and year. And not just that, Thyme often gets bigger and spreads more each year it returns.

Does Creeping Thyme Grow Back Every Year?

Creeping thyme is a perennial plant. So yes, the creeping thyme grows back every year. It is a very hardy and resilient plant, and once you plant it, it proliferates.

Although the creeping thyme is a very climate-sensitive plant, it is also a perennial herb. As such, it will regrow every year.

However, like most herbs, it struggles to maintain foliage during the winter.

Consequently, you should not prune the creeping thyme just before the winter. Instead, protect it with gravel, sand and cover it up with a lot of mulch. This action will keep the plant alive over the winter. And it will grow back next year.

Does Lemon Thyme Grow Back Every Year?

Although, most plants have to be planted each season. That is, however, not the case with herbs like sage, mint, and lemon thyme.

The lemon thyme prefers warm weather and full sunlight. Thus, although it is an evergreen herb, in winter, it is only semi-evergreen.

The herb can also survive the winter cold and frost. Unlike other herbs, it is very resistant even to temperatures below freezing.

Also, the lemon thyme will shed some of its foliage during the winter, but not all. As such, the herb remains ornamental all year long.

Lemon thyme is also drought-resistant and remains evergreen in several zones. Therefore, even when there is little or no rainfall, the lemon thyme will still survive.

Ideally, lemon thyme prefers warm temperatures and thrives better when grown in temperatures of around 85°F.

But its adaptability to various weather conditions ensures its continued survival. It grows back every year because it is not overly affected by changing weather conditions. And also because it is a hardy perennial.

Will Creeping thyme Survive winter?

For most herbs, winter weather is not ideal for their growth and continued survival. Most common plants and herbs require maximum sunlight to thrive.

As such, when the winter cold and frost sets in, most herbs go dormant, while the less hardy ones die entirely.

All varieties of the creeping thyme flourish in temperatures of between 60-75°F.

Unfortunately, the creeping thyme plant loses its leaves during the winter, and most of the plant’s stems also die.

Although the creeping thyme is so hardy that it can survive low winter temperatures, it can withstand temperatures lower than 25°F. So even in winter, the plant will most likely survive.

But it will not retain all its foliage. It will only regrow when the spring sets in.

However, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure that your thyme plant does not wither away and lose its foliage or stems.

By protecting your herbs over the winter, you will be preventing losses that waterlogging and frost may cause.

Interestingly, it is not necessarily the cold weather that kills plants during the winter, but the wet conditions plants are exposed to.

1. So keep your potted or container-grown creeping thyme or other perennials in the garage, against the wall, or by the side of the house. This will protect the plants from excessive water and keep them dry.

2. Pruning your creeping thyme. Trimming away the deadwood and dead flowers from the plant will protect it against high winds and winter frost.

3. Creeping thyme will do well with some mulch, preferably 2-4 inches thick.  This will serve as protection from the harsh winter cold and also keep the ground from freezing.

4. You can also grow your creeping thyme indoors. However, it requires plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil. Thus you will need to ensure that the plant receives lots of sunlight.

How Much Sun And Water Does Lemon Thyme Need?

Herbs require sunlight and water to grow well. The quantity of sun and water each herb requires, however, is not uniform.

For its part, the lemon thyme prefers to be grown in full sunlight. However,  it also grows in partial shade.

Although it may grow in the partial shade, the lemon thyme will bloom less. However, it blooms fully when grown in full sunlight, preferably filtered through tree leaves.

The lemon thyme plant needs to get at least four hours of direct sunlight a day. 

Nevertheless, like most perennials, lemon thyme flourishes when planted in moist soil. Therefore, it is best to keep the soil moist even after planting until the plant germinates and is well-rooted.

Once the plants are fully established, they do not need so much water. Plants on beds can survive entirely on rainfall.

However, it would help to irrigate potted plants or plants grown in containers once the soil is dry to keep the soil moist.

Most varieties of lemon thyme are drought resistant. Therefore you only need to give a thorough watering when the soil is dried.

After planting, you can water your lemon thyme two to three times a week. However, you may water more frequently when an inch or two of the soil depth is dry.

Once the roots have become established after frequent watering, you can ease it up and water the plant once a week. From there, you can carry on by watering every once in a while.


There are several varieties of the thyme plant. Most of them are perennial herbs with a high tolerance for cold temperatures, frost, and drought.

However, it is preferable to grow your thyme plants in sunny and warm weather conditions. And expose them to at least 4 hours of sunlight a day.

 While the plants may still grow in shaded places, they will not do well as those grown in full sunlight.

Both the creeping thyme and lemon thyme plants are perennials, and they return every year. Unlike other plants, though, they do not entirely die or go dormant during the winter.


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