Comparing Creeping Lemon Thymes
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Heather Marshall
Posted on: May 15, 2002

I have three questions about the thymes in your catalogue.

1 - I have both wild thyme and ‘Doone Valley’ in my garden now, but not ordinary creeping lemon thyme. I find the ‘Doone Valley’ woodier than the wild thyme; I mow that wild thyme, but fortunately have the ‘Doone Valley’ where it does not require such trimming. Could you please tell me if your creeping lemon thyme, which the catalogue says is "similar to wild thyme" is more like wild thyme or ‘Doone Valley’, which you say is simply a form of creeping lemon thyme. Would it respond to mowing (twice a year) in the same way as wild thyme?

Creeping lemon thyme is more like wild thyme. It is not exactly the same because it has slightly larger leaves, and may not grow quite as tall. I am not sure how the woodiness compares because we grow it in containers at Richters under cover and thymes tend not to get as woody in these conditions; but my expectation is that the woodiness should be similar to wild thyme. And yes, it will respond to mowing just like wild thyme.

2 - How much shade could ‘Silver Needle’ thyme tolerate? As it is less dense than other ground-hugging thymes I have seen, I wonder if in less than full sun it would become straggly or patchy.

Most silver or variegated plants are less tolerant of shade than their green cousins – that’s a general observation that seems to be true most of the time. I expect that it will be true of ‘Silver Needle’ too.

3 - Could you please give me the heights of the following selections:

Heights can vary depending on local conditions, but here are ranges from our "Richters Herb Growing Infobase" in the "Richters InfoCentre" section of our wesbite:

Lime thyme

5-10 cm (2-4 inches)

‘Orange Balsam’ thyme

15-20 cm (6-8 inches)

‘Orange Spice’ thyme

5-7 cm (2-3 inches)

Caraway thyme

5-7 cm (2-3 inches)

Nutmeg thyme

2-10 cm (1-4 inches)

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