Thyme Herb Plant – Thymus Vulgaris
A low-growing hardy perennial, thyme is a fragrant herb with small, fragrant leaves and thin, woody stems. The culinary varieties are evergreen.
The Thyme plant has an erect or ascending growth habit and possesses many woody, branching stems. The leaves of the thyme plant are linear or elliptical and are arranged alternately on the stems. They are densely covered in minute hair and have numerous red-brown oil glands on the surface which take the appearance of small dots. The leaves can be green or variegated.
- Thyme thrives in full sun and loves the heat. If you are growing in a pot indoors, plant near a sunny window.
- Soil needs to drain well so there aren’t “wet feet.” In the garden, plant with other drought-tolerant perennials.
- In early spring, you may fertilize with organic matter, like compost, but not much soil amendment is necessary.
- It’s hard to grow thyme from seeds because of slow, uneven germination. It’s easier to buy the plants from a garden centre. Over time, you can propagate from your own cuttings.
- For a head start, plant the cuttings indoors 6 to 10 weeks before the last spring.
- Plant cuttings or young thyme plants any time after the ground temperature reaches 70°F. This is usually 2 to 3 weeks before the last spring in well-drained soil about 9 inches apart.
- Space young plants 12 to 24 inches apart.
- The plants should grow 6 to 12 inches in height.
- If you are growing thyme in containers, plant with rosemary which also likes sunny conditions and has similar watering needs.
1. Water deeply only when the soil is completely dry.
2. Prune the plants back in the spring and summer to contain the growth.
3. If you have cold winters, remember to lightly mulch around the plants after the ground freezes.
4. Three to four-year-old plants need to be divided or replaced because older plants are woody and the leaves are less flavorful.