Updated: July 2, 2023


Lemon thyme (Thymus citriodorus) is a popular herb known for its aromatic leaves and citrusy flavor. It is commonly used in culinary dishes, teas, and even in potpourri. However, like any other plant, lemon thyme can sometimes struggle and start to wither away. If you notice your lemon thyme plant looking weak or dying, don’t worry! There are several steps you can take to revive it and bring it back to its former glory. In this article, we will discuss some essential tips on how to save a dying lemon thyme plant.

Identify the Problem

Before you can effectively save your lemon thyme plant, it’s crucial to identify the underlying problem causing its decline. Here are some common issues that may be affecting your plant:

  1. Overwatering: Lemon thyme prefers well-drained soil and can suffer if overwatered. Excessive moisture can lead to root rot and make the plant more susceptible to diseases.
  2. Underwatering: On the other hand, not providing enough water can cause the plant to dry out and wilt.
  3. Lack of sunlight: Lemon thyme requires at least six hours of direct sunlight each day to thrive. Insufficient sunlight can weaken the plant and inhibit its growth.
  4. Nutrient deficiency: Like all plants, lemon thyme needs a balanced supply of nutrients to stay healthy. A deficiency in essential minerals can cause the plant’s overall decline.
  5. Pests or diseases: Lemon thyme can be susceptible to pests such as aphids or diseases like powdery mildew, which can weaken the plant and eventually lead to its demise.

Reviving a Dying Lemon Thyme Plant

Now that we have identified some potential problems, let’s discuss the steps you can take to save your dying lemon thyme plant:

1. Adjust Watering Routine

First, assess the moisture level of the soil. If it feels excessively wet, it’s likely that overwatering is the issue. In this case, allow the soil to dry out before watering again. Ensure that the pot has proper drainage holes to prevent water from pooling at the bottom.

On the other hand, if the soil feels dry and crumbly, your lemon thyme plant may be suffering from underwatering. Give it a good soak, allowing the water to penetrate through the roots. Then, establish a regular watering routine to ensure consistent moisture levels without overdoing it.

2. Provide Adequate Sunlight

Lemon thyme requires direct sunlight for optimal growth. If your plant is not receiving enough sunlight, consider relocating it to a sunnier spot, such as a south-facing window or a sunny outdoor area. Alternatively, you can use artificial grow lights to supplement the natural light source.

3. Check Nutrient Levels

A lack of nutrients can contribute to a dying lemon thyme plant. Apply a balanced organic fertilizer to replenish essential minerals and promote growth. Look for fertilizers specifically formulated for herbs and follow the package instructions for application rates.

4. Inspect for Pests and Diseases

Pests and diseases can weaken a lemon thyme plant and potentially kill it if left untreated. Regularly inspect the plant for any signs of infestation or disease. Common pests that affect lemon thyme include aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. If you notice any pests, remove them manually or use organic insecticidal soap as a treatment.

For diseases like powdery mildew, which causes white powdery spots on leaves, use an organic fungicide specifically designed for herbs. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product label carefully.

5. Prune and Trim

To stimulate new growth and rejuvenate a dying lemon thyme plant, prune back any dead or wilted branches. Use clean pruning shears to make sharp, angled cuts just above a healthy leaf node. This will encourage the plant to redirect its energy towards new growth.

6. Repot if Necessary

If your lemon thyme plant is in a container and showing signs of decline, it may benefit from being repotted. Choose a slightly larger pot with good drainage and fresh, well-draining potting soil. Gently remove the plant from its current container, loosen the roots, and place it in the new pot. Fill in the gaps with the potting soil, firming it gently around the base of the plant.


With proper care and attention, you can save a dying lemon thyme plant and restore it to its former vitality. Remember to identify the underlying problem, adjust watering routines, provide adequate sunlight, check nutrient levels, inspect for pests and diseases, prune as needed, and repot if necessary. By following these steps, you can revive your lemon thyme plant and continue enjoying its aromatic leaves and delightful flavor in your culinary creations.