When and How to Harvest Thyme – Ways to Store It Right

Harvesting thyme is an essential part of maintaining a healthy and productive herb garden. Thyme is a versatile herb that can be used in many dishes, from soups and stews to marinades and rubs.

Knowing when and how to harvest thyme is crucial to ensure that you get the most flavor and aroma from your plants.

When to Harvest Thyme

Thyme is a popular herb that is used in cooking, medicine, and aromatherapy. Knowing when to harvest thyme is important to ensure that you get the best flavor and aroma from the herb. Here are some tips on when to harvest thyme:


The best time to harvest thyme is in the morning after the dew has dried but before the sun gets too hot. This is when the essential oils are most concentrated in the leaves.

Growth Stage

Thyme can be harvested at any stage of growth, but it is best to wait until the plant has reached at least 6 inches in height. This ensures that there is enough foliage to harvest without damaging the plant.


When thyme is ready to be harvested, the leaves will be a vibrant green color and the plant will be full and bushy. The leaves should be plump and firm to the touch.


To harvest thyme, simply cut the stems about 2 inches above the ground. You can use scissors or pruning shears to make a clean cut. Avoid pulling the stems, as this can damage the plant.

Harvesting Thyme

When it comes to harvesting thyme, timing is key. It’s important to wait until the plant is mature enough to produce a good yield, but not too late that the plant loses its essential oils. The best time to harvest thyme is in the morning, after the dew has evaporated but before the sun gets too hot.

To harvest thyme, you can either cut the entire plant or just the stems. If you’re cutting the entire plant, use a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears to cut the stem at the base. If you’re just cutting the stems, make sure to leave at least two inches of growth on the plant.

Once you’ve harvested your thyme, you can use it fresh or dry it for later use. To dry thyme, tie the stems together and hang them upside down in a warm, dry place with good air circulation. After a few weeks, the thyme should be dry and ready to use.

Storing Thyme

Once you have harvested your thyme, you will want to store it properly to ensure it stays fresh and flavorful. Here are some tips on how to store thyme:

Drying Thyme

Drying thyme is a great way to preserve it for later use. Simply tie a bunch of thyme sprigs together and hang them upside down in a warm, dry place. Once the thyme is completely dry, remove the leaves from the stems and store them in an airtight container.

Freezing Thyme

Another option for storing thyme is to freeze it. Simply remove the leaves from the stems and place them in a freezer-safe container or bag. Thyme can be frozen either whole or chopped. Frozen thyme can be used directly from the freezer in most recipes.

Storing Fresh Thyme

If you have fresh thyme that you want to store, place the stems in a glass of water and cover them with a plastic bag. Store the thyme in the refrigerator and change the water every few days to keep it fresh.

No matter which method you choose, be sure to label your thyme with the date it was harvested or stored. Properly stored thyme can last for several months, allowing you to enjoy its flavor long after the growing season has ended.

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Ana Harned

With over a decade of experience in gardening and horticulture, Ana Harned is a passionate botanist dedicated to promoting sustainable gardening practices. She holds a degree in botany and currently serves as the editor for Backyard Gardeners Network. Ana's love for gardening extends beyond her personal garden, as she enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with others about the joys and benefits of cultivating plants.

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