Thyme Plant Info

Thyme is a wonderful herb that adds flavor, fragrance, and visual appeal to your garden and kitchen. It’s a perennial that belongs to the mint family and comes in a myriad of varieties. The foliage is usually green or gray-green, but you may encounter yellow, red, or silver-colored leaves. 

Thymus vulgaris
Common thyme
Garden thyme
English thyme
French thyme
Lemon thyme
Creeping thyme
Silver thyme
The flowers are usually purple or pink but some varieties have white or yellow blooms

Water

Once established, thyme needs very little water. Hydrate it frequently in spring and summer when it's actively growing and flowering, and less in fall and winter when dormant or semi-dormant. Make sure you allow the soil to dry completely between waterings.

Sunlight

Place the plant in an area that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. If the sun is too intense or the temperature is too high, you can protect the herb by covering it with a light shade cloth to prevent scorching or wilting.

Soil

Thyme prefers well-drained soil that's not too rich or moist. It can grow in sandy or loamy soil, or even in rocky gravel.

Fertilizer

You can apply a balanced fertilizer once or twice a year in spring and summer at half-strength. The plant especially does well when enriched with compost or manure.

Pruning

Prune the plant anytime during the growing season to stimulate vibrant growth, shape the plant, and prevent it from becoming woody and leggy. You can do this by cutting back about one-third of the plant. Also, remove any old or woody stems that do not have any leaves or flowers.

Propagation

Division: This is by far the simplest and most effective way to multiply your herb. Dig up the plant and gently pull it apart into several smaller clumps. Then, replant each clump directly into the garden or pots filled with potting mix. Water the plants well and keep them in a sunny spot until they're established.

Cuttings: Take a few healthy stems (about 3 to 5 inches long) that have not flowered in spring or summer. Remove the lower leaves and insert the cuttings into pots filled with moist potting mix. Keep them in a warm and bright place that receives indirect sun.

By seed: You can sow the seeds in pots filled with moist seed-starting mix in late winter or early spring. The seeds should be barely covered with soil and kept at a temperature of 70°F (21°C). Germination should occur within two to four weeks. Transplant the seedlings outdoors after the last frost when they have at least four true leaves.

Thrives in

Full sun exposure, at least 6 to 8 hours a day.

Toxicity

Generally non-toxic to humans or pets

Pests & Diseases

Some common pests and diseases that can attack thyme are:
Aphids
Spider mites
Root rot

Landscaping Ideas

Creeping thyme lawn
Along pathways or stairs
Borders
Between stones, bricks, or pavers
Container garden
Hanging baskets

Last Updated: August 22, 2023

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Author

Nonkululeko
Nonkululeko
I'm an enthusiastic gardener. I learned the art of growing my own food using sustainable gardening techniques from my father, which I still find effective for healthy plant growth. Gardening has become one of my best hobbies ever since I realized its benefits beyond growing my own food. Through experimenting and connecting with nature, I've found gardening to be a therapeutic and relaxing practice.