Growing Thyme

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender May 16, 2012 Posted Tags: , , Comment 2 Comments

Thyme is an other Mediterranean herb which is very common in english gardens. Thyme has very attractive foliage, and long-lasting, pretty flowers. Easy to grow and as other Mediterranean herbs is drought tolerant. This perennial grows up to 35 cm tall. Thymol gives the plants their unique flavour and it is antiseptic and an active ingredient in mouthwash. Thyme is widely used to flavour many meat and root vegetable dishes. Very easy to dry herb, and if you grow a few plants in your garden you can even pinch them a bit during the winter.

Growing Thyme by dividing

Growing thyme is best by dividing existing plants. The plant has to be at least 3 years old. Just dig up your plant and divide the roots and pot them into a pot or just plant them straight where they are to grow. However if you don’t have a thyme plant in your garden you can grow thyme from seeds too. Make sure you cut the plants only sparingly the first year.

Growing Thyme from Seeds

Thyme seeds are very tiny, just sprinkle them on the surface of ordinary potting compost in small pots or trays and push the seeds down with your hand into the compost and sprinkle or preferably sieve a bit of compost on the top. The best time is to sow the is from late March through the spring. Water the pots or trays from the bottom, for this you will need a saucer or use very fine rose on your watering can to make sure you do not disturb the fine germinating thyme seeds. Keep the seeds in a warm place at a temperature of 20 Celsius and above for best results.  After the seeds germinated, which can take up to 2 weeks, keep them in the house or the greenhouse. You can buy our thyme seeds here.

When the seedlings about 10 cm tall harden them off by putting them outside during the day and putting them back inside for the cold nights. This will ensure that the plants will not get a shock when you plant them outside to their final position. Or if you planting them outside in the summer you do not need to harden them off. Many people buy the pot plants from the supermarket and then plant them in their garden. This is a great way to reuse your herb plants as thyme is a perennial and will grow happily outside.

The plants are really not that fussy, can grow well in poor soils on a sunny location. As thyme is quite small the best is to plant them on the border of your herb or flower garden. The bees love the thyme flowers.
After 3 – 4 years the plants can get woody and produce less useful leaves, this is the time when you need to dig up the plant and divide them into  3 – 4 smaller plants. For best results pot the dividends into a medium-sized pot and plant them back into the garden after about a month.

Do you have any experience growing thyme in your garden or allotment, or just in your house in pots? Share your ideas below…

2 Responses to “Growing Thyme”

  • Mario:

    I had a thyme plant in pots for a few years and then it started to suffer, so planted in the garden and there it started to grow again, I like the herbs in pots inside because they are easily reached when cooking. I didn’t know you can divide them, should have done it and keep half of the plant in the pot; thanks for the tips.


    Can you supply English thyme as it over winters better

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