Over-wintering Thyme in Alberta, Canada
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Char Ayotte
Posted on: April 17, 2007

Every spring when the snow melts, the thyme in my garden is green, healthy and ready for picking. It is amazing how healthy it is after a cold Alberta winter. But this doesn’t last into the spring. The thyme plant dries out and then grows again in later spring/early summer. How can I care for my thyme, once the snow has melted, so that it stays green and healthy?

I think that the snow protected the thyme and prevented a too rapid temperature fluctuation. Once it is gone, the rapid freezing and thawing kills the leaves and even some of the stems and it then has to re-grow once the temperature stays consistently above freezing. Try covering the plant with a pot during the nights and on days when the temperature is forecast to stay too close to freezing. If it is going to be very cold, put some plastic over the pot as well. Mulching the plant with loose hay in the fall to stop the snow from melting too fast from around it may help as well. Do not remove the mulch until your last frost date.

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