The common name for Thymus,a genus of aromatic herbs or shrubby plants of the Mint Family, long cultivated and valued as both ornamentals and sweet herbs. They have small lavender or pink flowers and are planted in the rock garden and the border for ornament, or in the herb garden, to be used for seasoning. They grow easily and are easily increased from cuttings or seed.
To achieve optimum results, plant the seed indoors in early spring. Thyme is very hardy and will grow under most conditions. It prefers full sun and a soil that is light and sandy, or loamy. Thyme requires minimal fertilization unless the soil quality is of extremely poor quality, or when grown via the hydroponic method.
Thyme propagates easily from tip cuttings or crown division. Since it grows slowly, especially early in it’s life, weed-control is essential. Mulching with straw is helpful.
Thyme is harvested in mid-summer, just prior to flowering. Secondary growth will occur for the balance of the year, and this growth should be left to grow, or winter hardiness will be sacrificed.
Outdoors, containers, hydroponics.
Thyme plants grow to a height of 12 to 18 inches (30 – 45cm).
Thyme plants should be spaced 18 to 24 inches (45 – 60cm) apart.
Preferred pH Range
Thyme will grow in a pH range between 6.5 (neutral) and 8.5 (alkaline) with a preferred pH range between 6.5 and 7.0.
Sow thyme seed indoors in sunny location or under plant grow lights six weeks before last frost. Thyme propagates well through stem cuttings.
Seed Germination Period
8 to 20 days.
Seeds Per Gram (Approximate)
3,300 to 4,000.
Light, well-draining, poor to fertile.
Alternative Growing Media
Soilless potting mixes, perlite, vermiculite, rockwool, coco peat, Oasis foam.
Time From Seed to Saleable Plant
Sow in plugs 12 to 14 weeks before sale. Seeds to finished plugs, 6 to 8 weeks; plugs to saleable plants, 4 to 6 weeks.
Sun & Lighting Requirements
Thyme grown outdoors prefers full sun.
4a to 8b.
Average water needs. Water on a regular schedule, do not overwater.
Potential Pests & Diseases
Whitefly, spider mites. Minimal disease issues.
Drought resistant and ideal for xeriscaping. Suitable for containers and indoor cultivation. Attracts butterflies, birds, or bees.