The Complete Guide for Lemon Thyme (Thymus X Citriodorus) Care

The Lemon Thyme, otherwise known as the Thymus X Citriodorus or Spider Lily ‘Concord Grape’, Spiderwort ‘Concord Grape’, is a rather well known perennial plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this perennial will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, taking care of your Lemon Thyme is not too difficult – as long as you follow our guidelines in this Lemon Thyme Care Guide. Now let’s get started.

In order to take proper care of your Lemon Thyme you’ll need to keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Water: The Lemon Thyme needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.
  • Light: Keep your Thymus X Citriodorus in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Lemon Thyme in soil with moist but well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of loam, chalk, and clay.

And that’s practically it! If you keep these three factors in check, your Lemon Thyme will likely have all it needs for it to survive and even thrive.

Lemon Thyme plant

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Lemon Thyme belongs to the Commelinaceae family, and the genus Tradescantia, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Thymus X Citriodorus.

As with other Tradescantia’s, the Lemon Thyme is a herbaceous plant, which means it will die back to the ground every year. 

Growing Region

You might be wondering why your Lemon Thyme’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environment conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.

With this in mind, the Thymus X Citriodorus will be most used to the heat zones in the 5 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a and the ideal climate zone is between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Lemon Thyme is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.


But, how big does the Lemon Thyme actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…

The Thymus X Citriodorus can grow up to 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) in 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) and 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) in 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm). 

These dimensions make the Lemon Thyme a relatively medium perennial compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 18″ – 24″ (45cm – 60cm) free so the Lemon Thyme can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Lemon Thyme is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat irregular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Thymus X Citriodorus needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

Lemon Thyme care


As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Lemon Thyme in soil with moist but well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

In our experience, the famous ‘thumb’ or ‘finger’ test is what works best for the Lemon Thyme since with it, you will be able to give it the right amount of water, every time – regardless of the environment or placement where you do decide to keep it.

Soil Mix

The Lemon Thyme’s ideal soil potting mix is made out of loam, chalk, and clay.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Lemon Thyme requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this perennial will do well as long as you keep it in shade, or partial sun to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Thymus X Citriodorus in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being a herbaceous plant, the Lemon Thyme will die back to the ground every year. 

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the summer (early, mid).


In particular, this perennial is well known for its fragrant and showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Lemon Thyme produces some beautiful pink, or purple/lavender, pink and white flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Lemon Thyme have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

The Lemon Thyme is well known for being able to attract butterflies, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Lemon Thyme flowers


Now, let’s talk garden and how your Lemon Thyme will look best in it.

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of coastal garden, city and courtyard, and in informal and cottage styles. 

In particular, the Lemon Thyme’s best location within your garden is in patio and containers, beds and borders, and in ponds and streams,.


And we’ve come to an end. Fortunately, that’s everything you need to know about your Lemon Thyme to keep it safe and sound in your garden or home. Enjoy planting!

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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