How one can Plant, Develop, and Look after English Thyme

The identify English thyme may be considerably deceptive. This herb is definitely native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean. This herb rapidly unfold throughout Europe to the Americas, and now may be discovered worldwide. It’s fashionable in Mediterranean, French, Center Jap, and Italian cuisines. 

This drought-tolerant perennial will come again yr after yr with correct care. It may be grown in containers, straight within the floor, or indoors year-round. It may possibly reliably be grown in USDA rising zones 5 by 9 and is a little more cold-hardy than different Mediterranean herbs like rosemary.  


Close-up shot of English thyme plants growing in a flowerbed in a sunny garden. English thyme is a compact, aromatic herb distinguished by its slender, woody stems, tiny oval-shaped leaves, and delicate clusters of flowers. The small, oval leaves are a vibrant shade of green. Atop the stems, clusters of tiny, tubular flowers bloom in shades of soft lavender.


Thymus vulgaris ‘English’

Native Space

Southern Europe to Western Mediterranean area

Watering Necessities

Low, drought-tolerant

Pests & Illnesses

Aphids, spider mites, root rot

Soil Kind

Properly-drained, impartial pH

What Is It?

Close-up of a flowering plant Thymus vulgaris "English". It presents a charming sight with its dense clusters of delicate, tubular flowers atop slender, woody stems adorned with small, aromatic leaves. The flowers, which range in color from shades of white to lavender, emerge from compact foliage.
Thyme, cherished for its taste and historical past, enriches backyard beds.

English thyme is a hardy perennial herb grown in lots of gardens for its culinary makes use of. Though it has medicinal and decorative qualities as properly. Historic Sumerian and Egyptian cultures used thyme to embalm the useless. The traditional Romans used it to taste cheeses and alcohol and burned it to keep at bay harmful animals. The Romans’ affinity for thyme is regarded as answerable for its unfold throughout Europe.

The important oil derived from a selected species of thyme has been proven to have antibacterial properties as properly. Nonetheless, it’s mostly used as a culinary herb and prized for its taste with each woody and floral notes. There are a number of cultivars of thyme, comparable to lemon and orange, which add an additional kick of citrusy taste to this savory herb. 

Native Space

Close-up of a growing thyme plant in a sunny meadow. The English Thymus vulgaris is a compact and aromatic herb characterized by its dense clusters of tiny, tubular flowers of delicate purple atop woody stems adorned with small, oval-shaped leaves. These leaves are a vibrant shade of green.
Thriving in sunny, well-drained soils, thyme endures even chilly.

English thyme is native to Southern Europe and the Western Mediterranean area. This space is coastal with sandy soils and experiences sizzling, dry summers and funky, moist winters.

For that reason, thyme does finest in areas that obtain full solar, have well-drained soil, and expertise sizzling summers. It’s also exceptionally cold-tolerant and may survive deep freezes. In its native space, it may be discovered rising wild in mountain highlands.  


Close-up of a flowering Thyme plant in the garden. Its woody stems bear small, oval leaves located opposite each other along the stems, densely covering them with a lush green hue. It produces clusters of tiny, tubular lavender to pink flowers that arise from the leaf axils.
With slender stems and ample leaves, English thyme attracts pollinators.

English thyme has small gray-green leaves that develop alongside skinny, upright stems. This perennial herb can attain a peak of as much as one foot tall. Though the leaves are usually small, the leaves of English thyme are bigger than these of most different species, which ends up in simpler harvesting from the stems and a better total yield.

With out common harvesting, English thyme will flower and produce both tiny white or pale purple blooms which are liked by bees and different useful bugs like hoverflies and parasitic wasps. 


English thyme may be propagated by seed, cuttings, or division. If you have already got established crops, you may even save your personal seeds! Merely let your thyme flower, and the flowers will produce seeds. Propagating by cuttings is a little more technical. Propagating by division is finest for mature crops which are outgrowing their present house. 


Close-up of thyme sprouts in soil. Thyme plant sprouts have thin, slightly hairy white stems and pairs of tiny oval cotyledons in a bright green hue.
Beginning thyme seeds indoors ensures optimum rising circumstances.

Thyme is simple to begin from seed and may be began both indoors or exterior. It’s necessary, nevertheless, to get the timing proper. When beginning seeds inside, you should definitely begin them six to eight weeks earlier than your common final frost date.

Beginning seeds indoors is really helpful for thyme since it may take wherever from 10-15 days for seeds to germinate and some weeks to succeed in a transplantable dimension. Beginning them indoors ensures their preferrred rising circumstances are being met, and also you’ll have a better success charge with germination. In any other case, you’ll have to wait till one to 2 weeks after your common final frost date to sow seeds outdoor.

These seeds are tiny and can have to be surface-sown since they require mild to germinate. Scatter them evenly throughout the floor of the soil and gently press them into the soil along with your hand. Subsequent, you’ll need to mist them with a twig bottle, conserving the soil floor evenly moist till they germinate. Utilizing a warmth mat and humidity dome to create a constantly heat and moist atmosphere can even assist pace germination. As soon as the seeds are sprouted it’s best to take away the humidity dome and warmth mat. 


Close-up of a black plastic tray with thyme cuttings. Thyme vulgaris cuttings consist of slender, woody stems adorned with small leaves. The leaves are ovate, arranged oppositely along the stems, and feature a vibrant green hue.
Propagate English thyme by rooting cuttings from established crops.

English thyme may also be propagated by taking cuttings from current crops. You are able to do this by taking cuttings from your personal established crops or by asking a buddy or fellow gardener for cuttings from their crops. You should definitely take a chopping that’s not less than 4 to 6 inches in size. Reduce slightly below a leaf node with sharp pruning shears. Take away the leaves from the underside two inches of your chopping. 

Your chopping can now be rooted in water, or positioned straight into potting soil. Hold is properly watered and roots ought to start to develop inside a couple of weeks. As soon as your chopping begins to place out new progress, it is a good signal that it has turn out to be established. At this level, you may transplant it into an even bigger container, or the bottom in your backyard. 


Close-up of a flower bed with a densely growing Thyme vulgaris plant. Thyme is a perennial herb renowned for its compact and bushy growth habit. Its woody stems bear small, elliptical leaves arranged oppositely along their length. The soil is covered with straw mulch.
Divide thyme crops fastidiously for profitable propagation.

To propagate by division, use a spade to dig up your thyme. Then use a pointy knife like a hori hori to divide your thyme bush into smaller, particular person crops. Be sure that to dig up as a lot of the basis ball as doable to restrict shock to the crops as you separate them. Lastly, you may transplant every plant into a brand new rising location.  


English thyme is drought-tolerant and low-maintenance as soon as established. The trick is to organize the planting web site and take a couple of precautions whereas transplanting to make sure the long-term survival of your perennial herb. 


Close-up of a young thyme plant growing in a large clay pot under sunlight in the garden. The plant produces thin, flexible stems of a reddish hue, covered with small oval green leaves.
Progressively expose seedlings to outside circumstances for profitable transplanting.

To organize your seedlings for transplant, you’ll want to put them by a interval of hardening off. Hardening off seedlings includes gradual and incremental publicity to outside temperatures for a few week earlier than planting them into the bottom. This adjustment part prepares the seedlings for a life within the outside parts after spending their early days within the temperature-controlled indoors.

On the primary day of hardening off, place your seedlings exterior in dappled daylight for an hour after which carry them again inside. Improve this time by an hour each day, slowly shifting them into extra direct daylight. On the ultimate day, your crops needs to be spending not less than eight hours outdoor in direct daylight.

This course of can take every week to 2 weeks. Wait to start the hardening-off course of till your final frost date has handed and in a single day low temperatures are not less than 50 levels Fahrenheit (10 levels Celsius). Ultimately, of their mature state, they are going to be capable to survive a frost, however the tender younger seedlings may be broken or killed by a sudden frost. 


Close-up of woman's hands in white gloves transplanting a thyme plant into the soil in the garden. The plant has a bushy growth habit, consisting of vertical thin stems covered with small oval green leaves. There is a garden hoe lying in the flowerbed nearby.
Plant thyme seedlings in sunny, well-draining soil.

As soon as your seedlings have been hardened off, you might be able to transplant them outdoor. Thyme seedlings needs to be planted not less than 10 inches aside to account for his or her mature dimension. Select a planting web site with full solar and well-draining soil. Dig a gap not less than twice the width of its unique pot and the identical depth.

English thyme prefers well-drained soils. You probably have heavy clay soil, you then’ll need to amend it with natural matter or compost to assist improve drainage. You are able to do this wherever from every week earlier than transplanting to proper earlier than you plant the thyme in its new house. 

Though your thyme will finally be drought-tolerant, you’ll need to water newly planted seedlings not less than as soon as every week till they’re established. Of their second yr of progress, you may water them as soon as each two weeks, or chances are you’ll not must water them in any respect for those who obtain sufficient common rainfall. 

How one can Develop

Thyme is a comparatively maintenance-free and drought-tolerant plant as soon as established. Offering it with its preferrred rising circumstances will guarantee a wholesome perennial herb that may come again for a few years. 


Close-up of a flowering English thyme plant in a flowerbed in a sunny garden. Thymus vulgaris is a perennial herb renowned for its aromatic foliage and petite, tubular flowers. Its wiry stems bear small, elliptical leaves arranged in pairs along the stem. Atop these stems, clusters of tiny, five-petaled flowers bloom in shades of lilac.
Plant English thyme in full solar for optimum progress.

English thyme prefers full solar circumstances. You should definitely plant your thyme in an space that receives not less than six to eight hours of direct daylight every day. This herb is properly tailored to the new, dry summers of the Mediterranean area.

It may possibly deal with sizzling and dry summers very properly. It’s going to probably have rising points from receiving too little solar, moderately than an excessive amount of. 


Close-up of watering a freshly transplanted thyme plant from a green watering can. The thyme plant produces thin, flexible stems covered with small, oval leaves that are bright green in color.
As soon as established, thyme is drought-tolerant, needing occasional watering.

This herb is drought-tolerant as soon as established. Nevertheless, newly transplanted herbs would require common water for the primary few weeks. As soon as your plant exhibits indicators of recent progress, it is a good indicator that it has turn out to be established. After that, it may survive and even thrive, with water each 10-15 days.

It’s going to usually obtain sufficient rainfall to outlive with out supplemental water. Nevertheless, in extended durations of drought, you should definitely present water not less than as soon as every week. 


Close-up of a thyme plant in a sunny garden. The thyme plant is a low-growing herb with small, fragrant leaves densely packed on woody stems. Its leaves are oval-shaped, gray-green in color, and have a slightly fuzzy texture.
For optimum progress, guarantee well-drained soil or container combine.

As talked about above, this perennial herb prefers well-drained and even sandy soils. This may be achieved by amending soil with natural matter or compost to assist improve drainage.

When rising in containers, make it possible for your pot has a drainage gap on the backside to stop standing water. When rising in containers, it’s finest to make use of a potting soil combine. These mixes are made particularly for containers to carry onto moisture with out staying overly soggy or waterlogged. 

Temperature and Humidity

Close-up shot of growing English thyme in a sunny garden. Thymus vulgaris features slender, woody stems small bearing, oval-shaped leaves arranged oppositely along the stems. The stems are reddish in color. The leaves are oval and green.
Optimum progress happens between 70-85°F, avoiding extra humidity.

English thyme prefers temperatures between 70-85 levels Fahrenheit (21-29°C) through the rising season, and when temperatures are on this vary, it should placed on most of its progress. Though, it may nonetheless actively develop in periods the place temperatures vary between 45-95 levels Fahrenheit (7-35°C). 

The perfect humidity vary is between 40%-60% humidity, with this plant leaning in the direction of the drier facet. An excessive amount of humidity and heat could cause fungal points and decay. For those who stay in a heat and humid atmosphere then you should definitely present your crops with loads of air circulation by giving sufficient house between crops. It’s additionally necessary to keep away from watering from above. Constant moisture on the leaves, together with an total humid atmosphere, can result in different points like powdery mildew. 


Close-up of Bumble Bees collecting pollen from a blooming Thyme in the garden. The plant grows in a black pot along with rosemary. English Thyme features small, oval leaves arranged in opposite pairs along woody stems. Its petite, tubular flowers bloom in clusters atop slender stalks, showcasing hues of lavender to pink.
Fertilizing thyme is pointless for optimum progress.

Offering fertilizer to your English thyme is elective moderately than optimum. An excessive amount of fertilizer could cause sudden vigorous progress of foliage, which might dilute the general taste of the leaves.

This herb will take off by itself as soon as its preferrred temperature vary and light-weight necessities are met through the rising season. For that reason, a high dressing of compost in early spring is ample to fertilize these crops. 


Close-up of a gardener's hand trimming thyme stems using black scissors indoors. Thyme plant growing in a white pot on a white windowsill. The plant has thin stems, wooden at the base and thin flexible towards the tips. The stems are covered with small oval leaves of a dark green color.
Common harvesting maintains thyme’s bushy progress.

Common harvesting will be sure that your thyme plant grows wholesome and stays bushy and full moderately than rising tall and lanky. On the finish of the rising season, you may forgo pruning and permit your plant to flower, which is able to can help you gather seeds. The plant will flower, and the flowers will die again and produce seed pods permitting you to gather the seeds.

Keep away from heavy pruning within the fall because the plant prepares to retailer vitality for winter dormancy. It’s additionally finest to keep away from pruning down into the previous woody progress and solely prune again the brand new wooden. 


Harvested thyme stems in a wicker basket, top view. Thyme stems are slender, bearing small, opposite pairs of oval leaves. Atop the stems, clusters of tiny tubular flowers bloom in shades of lavender.
Harvest recent thyme for incomparable taste in your dishes.

Now that you know the way to plant and develop your herb to maturity, it’s time to study how you can harvest it! In any case, that’s the principle motive that this plant is present in so many gardens all over the world. The style of recent thyme is scrumptious and incomparable to the dried thyme that you simply discover on grocery retailer cabinets. Merely snip whenever you need to use some, taking no multiple third of the plant at a time.

Makes use of

Close-up of a bowl full of thyme healing herbs, sachet bag full of thymus medicinal herbs and several flowering thyme stems on a wooden table. Glass tea kettle of thyme healthy herbal tea on the background.
Improve dishes with versatile English thyme’s savory essence and aroma.

This herb is prized for its taste and culinary makes use of. It may be used as a savory tea or to season meats and cheeses. It’s a vital part of the French bouquet garni, a bundle of herbs, together with thyme, bay leaf, and parsley, that’s simmered in soups and stews.

The oil may also be used as a perfume in soaps and physique oils. The flowers are additionally edible and can be utilized as a garnish in salads or utilized in baking. Lemon-thyme scones are an particularly scrumptious candy and savory deal with! 

Widespread Issues

English thyme is a low-maintenance and trouble-free herb. Nevertheless, when circumstances are lower than preferrred, points can crop up. Under we’ll focus on how you can handle and rectify these frequent issues. 

Leggy Progress

Close-up shot of a growing thyme bush in a flowerbed. The Thyme plant is a compact herbaceous perennial characterized by its woody stems, small aromatic leaves, and delicate flowers. The stems are slender and woody at the base, branching out into a dense, bushy form. The leaves are tiny, elongated, and linear, with a gray-green hue. Clusters of white, small, tubular flowers bloom atop the stems.
Adjusting daylight publicity can treatment leggy plant progress.

Leggy progress is an indication that your crops are not receiving sufficient daylight. If that is so, then you will want to maneuver your plant to an space that receives not less than six to eight hours of direct daylight per day. That is simple sufficient in case your crops are in containers. In case your crops are within the floor, nevertheless, you will want to dig them up and replant them. 

Yellow Leaves

The Ligurian leafhopper Eupteryx on damaged leaves of thyme. The small, oval leaves are covered with a white-gray coating and orange dots. The Ligurian leafhopper, Eupteryx, is a small insect characterized by its elongated body and intricate coloration. This leafhopper features translucent wings with delicate veins.
Look ahead to overwatering indicators.

For those who see yellow leaves, that is an indication of overwatering. As talked about above, these Mediterranean herbs are fairly drought-tolerant as soon as established. For that reason, it’s higher to under-water them moderately than over-water them.

You probably have been watering your plant commonly and also you discover yellowing leaves, it is a signal to chop again. Really feel the soil across the base of the plant and don’t water once more till it has fully dried out.  


Close-up of a stem affected by a swarm of aphids. Aphids are diminutive insects with soft bodies ranging in color from pale green to yellow. Their pear-shaped bodies feature long, slender antennae and two distinctive cornicles, protruding from the abdomen.
Fight aphids with a robust blast from the hose.

Aphids are a typical soft-bodied insect pest that may afflict varied crops, together with English thyme. A robust blast from the hose can knock them off of the plant, and when caught early sufficient, this methodology is efficient. Nevertheless, if an excessive outbreak happens, a mix of neem oil and water can take away aphids. In case your thyme is actively flowering, you should definitely keep away from spraying the flowers to restrict publicity to pollinating bugs and focus these sprays on the foliage. 

Spider mites are the commonest difficulty for herbs which are grown indoors. They like a heat, dry atmosphere with low humidity, which is similar atmosphere that English thyme prefers. The primary indicators of mites might be tiny holes within the leaves or small yellowish spots on the foliage. It’s possible you’ll even discover tiny net clusters on the leaves as properly.

If spider mites have already appeared, however there may be little to no harm to the plant, they’ll probably be manually eliminated with a forceful spray of water. If the infestation is extra severe, then insecticidal cleaning soap or natural pesticides containing pyrethrins may be efficient at eliminating them. You may as well transfer your crops outdoor and let the pure predators do their work on the infestation, they are going to have a feast! 


Close-up of a young thyme seedling with root ball on the table. English thyme seedlings emerge as delicate, slender stems crowned with tiny, oval-shaped leaves that boast a vibrant shade of green.
Stop root rot by avoiding overwatering and guaranteeing well-drained soil.

Overwatering causes a number of issues for this perennial herb and likewise contributes to the event of root rot. The signs of root rot will seem as a gentle mushy stem, wilting, and naturally, rotten roots. Such a rot is more durable to get better from however may be remedied if there are nonetheless recent, white roots that haven’t but turned to mush.

You’ll be able to dig up your herb, in the reduction of the rotted roots, and replant into dry soil. Reduce on watering and solely water if the soil has fully dried out. Bear in mind, thyme is drought-tolerant, so it’s finest to air on the facet of under-watering moderately than over-watering. 

Closing Ideas

English thyme is each a scrumptious and exquisite perennial addition to your herb backyard. With its bushy, compact progress behavior and exquisite delicate flowers, it makes an amazing border plant. With the additional benefit of additionally being helpful within the kitchen. Plus, it’s low-maintenance and drought-tolerant. You gained’t remorse including English thyme to your backyard! 

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