Vegetables and Fruit forum: Pruning Thyme to death

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Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
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eclayne
Aug 22, 2011 8:40 PM CST

Plants Admin

I planted quite a few different thyme 3 years ago, all in the same bed. The larger culinary thyme were getting quite large and some hadn't been "harvested" last year. In any case I cut them back to about 3-4" this spring and while they're still hanging on they have little new growth. Can anyone tell me some general guidelines for growing the larger thyme like vulgaris.
Evan
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
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sheryl
Aug 27, 2011 6:59 PM CST
I'm afraid I'm no help - I put my first thyme in this year ... I'm not even sure which kind, lol.
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Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Aug 28, 2011 6:50 PM CST
The rule of thumb that I've heard for herbs in general is to cut stems back by no more than 1/4 to 1/3 of their length. That said, I've cut new growth back a lot further than that on oregano, and my thymes often die back nearly to the ground in winter and sprout out new growth in spring. If it got hot right after you cut them back, that might have stressed them and set them back.

A lot of my plants are barely "hanging on" after this hot summer, but I think (hope!) most will come back stronger than ever next spring.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
Aug 28, 2011 7:58 PM CST

Plants Admin

Thanks Jill. My Greek Oregano gets wacked back to the ground every spring. The Lavender (angustifolia) and Garden Sage I cut back to 7-8" every spring and they do great. I wasn't sure if the same thing was appropriate for the Thymes. Oh the mints gets cut back to the ground as well, but I don't think anything can kill mint.
Evan
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Aug 29, 2011 1:36 PM CST
This may have just been a rough summer for your thymes, regardless of how they were pruned... I've got a lot of plants out there that don't look so hot, but I'm crossing my fingers for new growth next spring!
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Aug 29, 2011 2:07 PM CST
Same here, Jill. Which reminds me, I need to go water a couple of pots of herbs. Glare
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
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sheryl
Aug 29, 2011 6:35 PM CST
Again, right? Whistling
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
Aug 29, 2011 7:21 PM CST

Plants Admin

Thanks, hope everything starts perking up for you all.
Evan
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Aug 30, 2011 2:46 AM CST
sheryl said:Again, right? Whistling


Right.

Me too, Evan. Glare
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Dahlianut
Calgary, AB Zone 3a
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dahlianut
Sep 13, 2011 3:57 PM CST
I'm sure it must be heat causing the decline of the thymus after pruning as CritterJill says. I shovel prune mine in the spring and they aren't affected. They stay evergreen all year here so I think they are hardier in my climate and can take my 'tough' luv.

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