Should Thyme Be Cut Or Plucked?

Should Thyme Be Cut Or Plucked?

Thyme refines meat, fish and many other dishes of our cuisine. However, for long-lasting pleasure from the plant, harvesting should be done correctly. But should you cut thyme or rather pluck?

To the point

  • If the leaves are plucked directly from the shoot, it may die due to the numerous injuries
  • If you cut off shoots, the plant is stimulated to lateral shoots at the interface
  • After washing the cut shoots, the leaves can be easily plucked off

Cut or pluck?


The question of how to properly harvest the thyme is answered quite simply: from the growing plant to the seasoning ready for consumption, you should use both approaches – but each at the right time:

  • Cut off shoots with sharp scissors at the base or in the lower third.
  • Wash shoots under cold water
  • Pluck the leaves from the shoots
  • Cut or chop individual thyme leaves with a sharp knife


Note: You can take the leaves directly from the growing shoot. However, new leaves will not grow back here.

If you cut whole shoots from the thyme, new shoots will sprout from the side at this point. This method is gentle on the plant and supports rejuvenation comparable to maintenance pruning.

Frequently asked questions

Can I eat the stems of thyme?

In principle, all parts of the plant are edible. However, the stems quickly become woody and are therefore no longer tasty. Therefore, use only the highly oily leaves as aromatic flavoring agents.

How is thyme used?

Whether fresh or dried, the plant needs heat and, if necessary, some moisture to release the essential oils from the leaves. In this way, the flavor unfolds optimally and is transferred to the seasoned dishes.

Are all thyme varieties edible?

All of the thyme varieties available to us as spice plants are basically edible. Depending on the age and condition of the leaves, you should possibly add them to the food as a whole branch and remove them after cooking.

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