thyme plant

Thyme Plant: Growing, Caring, and Harvesting

Thyme Plant – Who doesn’t like a beautiful, green garden? We all like it. The thing is, gardening tends to take a lot of time and not all of us have the time for it.

Fortunately, there are plenty of plants suitable for simple gardening. One of them is the thyme.

What Is Thyme Plant?

Thyme Plant
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Let’s get to know about thyme first. Thymus vulgaris, more popularly known as thyme, is a low-growing, highly aromatic herb that originated from the Mediterranean.

Thyme has many uses, from adding flavor to cooking, antiseptic, preservative to perfume. What makes thyme such a great plant is that it doesn’t demand much, especially once it is established.

Thyme grows best when placed in full sun with well-drained soil with a pH of 7. The growing habits of this creeping herb are different from one variety to another.

That said, all of them are best if they are left alone to grow. The more you interfere with the thyme, the less hardy the plant will be.

Most Commonly Planted Varieties of Thyme Plant

thyme plant
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There are over 100 thyme varieties. Each has its unique characteristics. If this is your first time planting thyme, you might get confused about which one you should grow in your house.

There is no need to worry. We will give you a starting point. Here are 4 of the most common thyme varieties.

  • Creeping thyme

This variety of thyme is often used as a ground cover as it grows so low, no more than 2 to 3 inches tall. It grows white, lavender, magenta, or pink colors.

  • Caraway thyme

Another low growing variety. It has the scent of caraway and grows pale pink flowers.

  • Woolly thyme

Although it is thyme, it doesn’t have any scent. It grows in a cascade, making it perfect as an ornament.

  • Golden lemon thyme

True to its name, this thyme has a lemon scent. It grows variegated leaves with minty quality.

How to Grow Thyme Plant

thyme plant
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Growing thyme is very easy. Once it is established, the more you leave it alone, the better.

There are three ways you can grow thyme: from seed, from cuttings, and by layering. Alternatively, you can also purchase young thyme plants as they are widely available.

How to Grow Thyme Plant from Seed

Between the three, growing thyme from seed is the most difficult and time-consuming. The reason is that thyme is a slow-growing plant.

However, once it has grown, you can propagate your thyme and multiply it as many as you want.

Another thing to keep in mind is that thyme cross-pollinates, meaning it is likely to grow different from seed.

You can choose either to plant thyme in a pot or a planting bed. Either way is fine.

Just be sure to place your thyme where it is sunny as the plant loves sun and heat and protect it from cold.

If you plant it indoors, place it nearby a sunny window.

Prepare a container in which you will grow thyme. Put soil in the container.

  1. Scatter the seed over the soil. Do this gently
  2. Water the soil thoroughly. Once you have done, cover the container with plastic wrap
  3. Move the container to a warm spot
  4. In 1 to 12 weeks, the seed should germinate
  5. Once the seedlings reach 4 inches tall, you can plant it wherever you want

How to Grow Thyme Plant from Cutting

Out of the three, growing thyme from cutting is the easiest. It takes slightly longer than by layering but doable with young plants.

The following is growing thyme from cutting:

  1. Cut a tip of a stem, about 3 inches in length, and clip it
  2. Prepare the exposed part of the stem and apply rooting hormone on it
  3. Then, plant the stem either in vermiculite or sterile sand
  4. In approximately 6 weeks, roots should emerge
  5. Once the roots have emerged, take the plant and transfer it in a pot, preferably a small one
  6. Allow the root ball to form
  7. Once it does, transfer the plant directly to the garden or a large pot

How to Grow Thyme Plant with layering

Growing thyme with layering is the least time-consuming. The only downside is that it requires an already established thyme to do as it requires a long stem to start from. Here are the steps:

  1. First, find a long stem from the plant
  2. Prepare a U-shaped stake or wire and secure the stem along with soil with it. Leave about 4 inches or 10 cm of the tip free
  3. Check the pinned portion. If it doesn’t touch the soil directly, make sure it does
  4. Roots should form along the secured stem in about a month
  5. Cut the rooted part from the main plant and transfer wherever you want

What you should remember when growing thyme is that this plant grows best if exposed to full sun and planted on well-drained soil.

Also, since it is a creeping plant, you need to find the right spot so it can grow. Once the thyme is established, leave it alone as much as possible.

As for the spacing, make sure you prepare plenty of space for the thyme. Each plant should be apart about 12 to 24 inches, depending on its variety.

Some varieties need more space than others. All varieties, however, are a vigorous grower. If you grow thyme in the garden, you can grow it together with other plants like cabbages, tomatoes, or strawberries.

Caring Thyme Plant

After the thyme has finished flowering, trim it. Trimming it after flowering will promote new growth, resulting in more leaves that you can harvest.

Tidying up the plant is also important as it will become woody over time and need to be replaced after 3 years. As for watering, water only when the soil is completely dry.

Harvesting Thyme Plant

So, how do you harvest thyme? Harvesting is easy. The fresh leaves of thyme can be picked all-year-round.

That being said, the best time to harvest thyme is when it is at its most productive period: before it flowers. Harvesting in early summer is a good idea as well.

Closing

Now you know how to grow thyme. The easiest way is by cutting That said, growing it from seed or by layering is not a bad option, either.

If you love to make your house greener yet don’t have much time for a full-fledged garden, growing thyme is surely a good idea.

Read also: how to grow bamboo

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