My thyme plant has small black spots

Asked July 14, 2018, 5:13 PM EDT

Hello, I have a small garden out back and while everything is mostly growing well I noticed my thyme plant has some small black spots on some of the leaves and a little yellow too. Most of the leaves look healthy and green so it feels a waste to toss which is why I was wondering, would these thyme stems be safe to eat? Or safe to dry to eat later? Thanks!

Minnesota thyme plant health thyme problem

3 Responses

The photos aren't sharp enough for us to get a clear view of the black spots. However, the leaves also show light colored spots or stippling that suggest insect damage. Tiny insects called fleahoppers sometimes create such damage. Here is an example:

If fleahoppers or another kind of insect caused the stippling, the black spots might be frass deposited by the insect. However, that's just a guess because we can't see the spots clearly or determine whether the spots can be rubbed off or are part of the leaf structure itself.

In any case, the thyme should be safe to consume if it is washed and the affected leaves are removed.

Thank for the info! Ya my pics weren't the best but I tried taking them again and will post here. I other than this the thyme seems healthy and continues to grow. It's a pain in the butt to remove all the leaves but I did hehe. The black spots do not rub off, I tried at first and should have mentioned that. Can you tell by looking at these pictures if it is a fungus and what kind it might be? If we did eat some of it is it harmful? Thank you again!

The latest photos are very good. However, we haven't been able to find information about little black spots on thyme leaves. Laboratory analysis might be needed to identify the cause with certainty.

We can't say without a doubt that the leaf spots won't be harmful to your health but it's highly unlikely. The following bulletin discusses this subject.