Grow thyme from seed

You can learn to grow thyme in a matter of minutes. Thyme is one of the most commonly used culinary herbs. It’s subtle aroma and flavor adds complexity to many dishes. Thyme is used in cooking to add flavor to vegetables, meat, poultry and fish dishes, soups, and cream sauces. Thyme is often used with tomatoes and dishes with tomato sauce, as well as with eggplant, onions, and green beans. Lemon-scented thyme enhances the flavor of fish, chicken, and veal.

Get to Know Thyme

  • Botanical name and family: Thymus vulgaris or common thyme is the species commonly used as a seasoning, but there are several Thymusspecies—see below. Thyme is a member of the Lamiaceae or mint family.
  • Origin: Mediterranean
  • Type of plant: Thyme is a semi-woody, shrubby perennial.
  • Growing season: Summer
  • Growing zones: Zone 5 to 11
  • Hardiness: Thyme tolerates both heat and cold; it is cold hardy to -20°
  • Plant form and size: Common thyme is shrubby and grows 6 to 12 inches high. It has many-branched stems, some woody.
  • Flowers: Tiny, tubular white, lilac and pink blossoms grow in loose spikes at the end of stems.
  • Bloom time: Summer
  • Leaves: Thyme has small, ¼-inch long, oval, pointed, gray-green leaves on long, wiry, four-sided stems.

How to Plant Thyme

  • Best location: Plant thyme in full sun. Thyme does not grow well in cold or wet soil. In hot summer regions, plant thyme so that it gets light afternoon shade.
  • Soil preparation: Thyme grows best in well-drained slightly sandy soil. Soil too rich in organic matter will produce plants that are large but less fragrant. Thyme prefers a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.7.
  • Seed starting indoors: Sow thyme indoors as early as 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost in spring. Start seed indoors at a soil temperature of 70°F under fluorescent lights. Seeds can take as long as 30 days to germinate.
  • Transplanting to the garden: Transplant thyme seedlings to the garden once the last frost has passed. Thyme can also be grown from cuttings or divisions taken in spring or early summer.
  • Outdoor planting time: Thyme can be sown outdoors as soon the soil can be worked in spring, usually 3 or 4 weeks before the last frost. You can take cuttings or divide older plants in spring.
  • Planting depth: Planting and spacing. Sow thyme seeds ¼ inch deep.
  • Spacing: Thin seedlings to 12 inches apart when they are 2 to 3 inches tall. Space rows 16 to 24 inches apart.
  • How much to plant: Grow 6 plants for cooking; grow 10 to 18 plants for preserving.
  • Companion planting: Thyme is said to benefit all cabbage family plants, eggplant, potatoes, strawberries, and tomatoes. Plant thyme with hyssop, garlic, chives, and rosemary. The fragrance of thyme is said to repel pest insects and mask the smell of plants that attract pest insects.

How to Grow Thyme

  • Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist until plants are well-rooted. Thyme requires little watering once established; once established thyme grows best in soil that is on the dry side.
  • Feeding: Spray foliage with compost tea 2 or 3 times during the growing season. Scratch a teaspoon of cottonseed or bonemeal around the base of each plant at the start of the season.
  • Mulching: Protect plants from freezes with a mulch of chopped leaves, straw, or evergreen branches.
  • Care: Keep planting beds weed-free. To keep thyme from becoming woody, prune plants back by one-third in spring and again after flowering in summer. Divide thyme every three years so that they do not become woody.
  • Container growing: Thyme grows easily in containers. Choose a container with a minimum soil depth of 6 inches. Over-winter containers in a protected place.
  • Winter growing: Bring thyme indoors in winter for winter harvest or start plants indoors for growing through the winter. Protect outdoor plants under a layer of mulch—chopped leaves or straw—in winter.

Troubleshooting Thyme

  • Pests: Aphids, mealybugs, spider mites may attack thyme; knock insect pests off of plants with a strong stream of water or spray pests with insecticidal soap.
  • Diseases: Thyme is susceptible to fungal diseases and root rot. Avoid root rot by keeping plants out of wet areas. Botrytis rot can be treated with a fungicide; avoid planting plants too close together.

How to Harvest Thyme

  • When to harvest: Snip thyme leaves as needed once plants are 6 to 8 inches tall. The flavor of thyme leaves will be most intense before flowers open. For drying, harvest plants when they begin to bloom.
  • How to harvest: Snip leaves with a garden snip or scissors. Trim back the tops of woody branches with a garden pruner. Cut back thyme to about 3 inches high twice during the growing season to encourage vigorous growth.

Thyme in the Kitchen

  • Flavor and aroma: The flavor of thyme is a bit earthy with lemony, peppery, and minty tones. The aroma of thyme can be described as earthy; it subtle, unlike other herbs. Thyme is considered a “background” herb; it is rarely the major seasoning in a dish but it adds complexity.
  • Leaves: Use leaves to accent many dishes. Fresh or dried leaves can be added to salads, sauces, stocks, soups, stews, stuffings, beef, pork, poultry, fish, seafood, sausages, vegetables, honey, cheeses, eggs, rice, grains, bread, beans, dressings, and vinegar.
  • Flowers: Use flowers in salads as a garnish.
  • Culinary companions: Thyme complements garlic, onions, and lemon.

Preserving and Storing Thyme

  • Refrigeration: Refrigerate fresh thyme in a damp paper towel overwrapped in plastic; it will keep for one to two weeks in the vegetable crisper.
  • Drying: Dry leaves separate from stems on a screen or clip stems and hang them upside down to dry in a warm, airy place. Leaves will dry in 2 to 7 days. You can dry leaves in the refrigerator; wash sprigs and place them in the refrigerator on a paper towel-lined tray.
  • Freezing: Freeze leaves in a sealable plastic bag.
  • Storing: Store dry leaves in an airtight container or bag.

Propagating Thyme

  • Seed: Sow thyme seeds indoors at 70°F. Seeds will germinate in about a week.
  • Division: Divide roots of older, established plants from mid-spring to early summer.
  • Cuttings: Cuttings are easy to root; use tip growth cuttings. Dip the ends of 4 to 6 inch cuttings in liquid rooting hormone and plant them in organic potting mix or sand under fluorescent lights. Cuttings will root in about 4 weeks.
  • Layering: New plants can be started by weighing down outer branches and covering them with soil; roots will grow from nodes along the stem. The new plants can be transplanted in the fall or following spring.

Thyme Varieties to Grow

There are more than 400 species of thyme; 60 varieties of thyme can be used for cooking. Here are a few:

  • Thymus camphorates: 6 to 12 inches high; has a strong camphor scent.
  • Thymus caespititius: prostrate, mounding, light green foliage.
  • Lemon thyme( citriodorus): grows to 12 inches high and is shrubby like common thyme but with slightly larger and broader leaves; rich lemon scent.
  • Golden lemon thyme(T. c. ‘Aureau’): a creeping plant with a lemon fragrance.
  • Thymus doerfleri: prostrate grower, woolly gray leaves, lavender flowers.
  • Loevyanus thyme( Thymus glabrescens): low growing, gray leaves, purple flowers.
  • Caraway-scented thyme( Thymus herba-barona): dark green leaves, pink flowers; caraway fragrance.
  • Mother-of-thyme (Thymus praceoxarcticus): is strongly aromatic; it grows 6-inch branches from a stem that hugs the ground.
  • Wooly thyme ( pseudolanuginosus: grows mat-like to 2 or 3 inches high; small gray leaves are woolly; produces small pink flowers.
  • Thymus nitidus: grows to 10 inches tall with white flowers.
  • Thymus nummularius: shiny, dark green leaves, rose-pink flowers.
  • Marschallianus thyme( Thymus pannonicus): prostrate ground cover, rose-lavender flowers.
  • Mother-of-Thyme or creeping thyme( Thymus praecox arcticus): to 6 inches high, blue-gray fuzzy leaves.
  • Creeping white thyme( Thymus p. ‘Albus’): grows to 2 inches high, white flowers.
  • Coconut thyme( Thymus p. ‘Coccineus): glossy, dark blue-green leaves, pink flowers.
  • Woolly thyme( Thymus pseudolanuginosus): grows to 3 inches high, soft, woolly leaves.
  • Common thyme or garden thyme( Thymus vulgaris): 6 to 12 inches high; small gray leaves, white to lilac flowers.
  • Silver thyme(Thymus v. ‘Argenteus’): silver and green foliage, lemon-scented.
  • Thymus vulgaris‘Aureus’: variegated yellow-green foliage.
  • Thymus vulgaris‘Fragrantissimus’: fragrant gray foliage.
  • English thyme( Thymus v. ‘Narrowleaf English’): grows to 8 inches high, narrow, bright green leaves.
  • French thyme( Thymus v. ‘Narrowleaf French’: grows to 12 inches tall, narrow, gray leaves.
  • Orange thyme( Thymus v. ‘OrangeBalsam’): narrow leaves, orange-scented.

Also of interest:

How to Grow Basil

How to Grow Rosemary

How to Grow Sage

How to Grow Oregano

How to Grow Mint

How to Start a Herb Garden

Growing Herbs for Cooking

How to grow thyme

Thyme is famed for its versatility in cooking and healing. It’s also easy to grow and looks attractive all year round. Gardeners have nearly 200 different varieties to choose from. Leaf colour varies from dark green to golden yellow and variegated, and growth habit ranges from ground-hugging to upright. Many thymes also produce a mass of white, pink or lilac-coloured flowers over the summer.

Advertisement Trim thyme after it’s finished flowering to promote new growth.

Growing thyme through the year

Plant thyme with plenty of drainage

Where and how to plant thyme

Young plants are widely available and easier to establish than seedlings.

Originally from the Mediterranean, thyme prefers well-drained soil that’s low in nutrients. Planting it in full sun brings the essential oils to the surface of the leaves and gives it great flavour.

Essentially drought-loving, thyme needs protection from cold winds and wet winters. Plant it in free-draining soil or gravel in spring or autumn. If growing in a container, use a soil-based compost with plenty of grit added, and keep it raised off the ground to provide free drainage.

Trimming thyme

Care

Trim thyme after it’s finished flowering to promote new growth. This will give you more leaves to harvest through the winter. If you don’t tidy them up, plants become woody and will need replacing after three years.

Once established, thyme won’t need watering. If you are growing your plant in a container, give it a weekly feed from March until May with liquid seaweed.

Harvesting thyme leaves

Harvesting thyme

Thyme is an evergreen perennial, so leaves can be picked fresh all year round. The best time, though, to pick the leaves is early summer, when the plant is at its most productive, before flowering or in late summer after flowering.

Thyme storage

Thyme dries well, but the best method for preserving it is to add it to butter, vinegar or oil.

Preparing and using thyme

Together with bay and rosemary, sprigs of thyme are a key ingredient of bouquet garni, which is used to flavour many savoury dishes. The chopped leaves are also used in stuffings for pork and poultry. Lemon-scented thymes go well with fish.

Thyme: problem solving

Thyme rarely suffers from any pests and diseases, although it can be susceptible to rosemary beetle.

Growing thyme in pots or containers

Thyme prefers almost drought conditions and minimal nutrients, so it won’t grow happily alongside other herbs in a mixed container.

Purple thyme flowers

Great thyme varieties to grow

  • ‘Annie Hall’ – an especially attractive hardy evergreen, with pale pink flowers and mid-green leaves
  • ‘Bertram Anderson’ – has golden leaves and pink flowers
  • Thymus herba barona (caraway thyme) – lemon/caraway-scented leaves and pink flowers
  • Thymus cilicius (Cilician thyme) – frost-hardy with pink flowers and vivid green leaves
  • ‘Golden King’ – lemon-scented, variegated leaves and pink flowers
  • ‘Silver Posie’ – hardy, with silver-edged leaves and pale pink flowers

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Find more great thyme varieties to grow

For thousands of years, thyme has been a superstar of the herb garden. As an antidote for poison, a plague preventative, a symbol of bravery in battle and a stalwart companion to the grave, thyme has a far more storied past than you’d think if you were walking past it in the supermarket today.

Thyme’s reputation as a healer and protector goes back thousands of years. In the Roman era, it was widely held that eating thyme either before or during a meal would protect you from poison. For obvious reasons, this made the herb a particular favorite of the emperors. It was even said that a bath in warm water liberally dosed with thyme could stop the effects of poison after it was inadvertently consumed.

Thyme was also associated with courage, bravery and strength in ancient times. Roman soldiers exchanged sprigs of thyme as a sign of respect. Greeks and Romans burned bundles of thyme to purify their temples and homes, and to evoke a spirit of courage in those who inhaled it.

The association with courage and bravery persisted into the Middle Ages. Thyme was a traditional gift offered to men going into battle. Most soldiers would just cram these fragrant charms into their pockets or purses, but some were known to attach thyme to their clothing or armor as a visible badge of honor. When worn into battle, thyme might serve double duty: used as an embalming herb since the time of the Egyptians, it was thought to be a powerful aid to those making their passage into the next life.

When the Black Death struck in the late 1340s, millions of people turned to thyme for relief and protection. Many of the day’s medicinal concoctions—from posies worn about the neck to poultices applied directly to plague-blistered skin—included the herb as a major ingredient. Though there was little science to these remedies, one of the chemical compounds found in thyme is a powerful antiseptic. Known as thymol, it’s still widely used today in mouthwash, hand sanitizer and acne medication.

The Victorians placed their own fanciful spin on the mystical properties of thyme. They considered a patch of wild thyme in the woods to be a clear and incontrovertible sign that fairies had recently danced the night away on that very spot. Generations of little girls camped out near remote little plots of creeping thyme, hoping to catch a glimpse of a tribe of woodland fairies. But the Victorians also had more prosaic uses for thyme. Well before the mechanics of infection were fully understood, 19th-century nurses were bathing bandages in a dilution of thyme in water.

All along, of course, thyme remained one of Europe’s favorite cooking herbs (along with the ever-popular rosemary and sage). Monasteries, which served for hundreds of years as the keepers of medicinal knowledge as well as the art of keeping a good kitchen garden, made frequent use of thyme in their breads, soups and roasts. In the days before refrigeration and food safety laws, including thyme in recipes gave you at least some protection against spoiled meat and foodborne disease.

Now that you’ve heard the tale of thyme, celebrate the herb’s rich history in your own kitchen. The following is adapted from an old Benedictine recipe for mushroom-thyme soup.

MUSHROOM-THYME SOUP

Servings: 4

1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 ouces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
6 cups vegetable stock
Salt
Pepper

Sauté the garlic and shallot in the olive oil over low heat until the shallots are translucent. Add the mushrooms, thyme and sage, and stir together over low heat for about 1 minute. Add the vegetable stock. Bring to a rolling boil and then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Description

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris L. ), known as garden thyme, and T. serpyllum, known as creeping thyme, mother of thyme, wild thyme, and mountain thyme, are two similarly beneficial evergreen shrubs of the Lamiaceae or mint family. The aromatic thyme is a perennial native of southern Europe and the western Mediterranean. Thyme is extensively cultivated, both commercially and in home gardens, as a culinary and medicinal herb. There are hundreds of species of thyme.

Garden thyme grows from a woody, fibrous root to produce thin, erect, stems up to 15 in (38 cm) high. It is most commonly cultivated for its culinary uses. Wild thyme is found growing on heaths, in sheep pastures, and mountainous areas in temperate regions. It was probably introduced to North America by European colonists, and has escaped cultivation. Wild thyme produces long, low-lying, sprawling and creeping stems. This habit inspired the designation serpyllum referring to the serpent-like growth of the species. Thyme has tiny narrow gray-green leaves that grow in opposite pairs on the square woody stems. The edges of the stalkless, and slightly hairy leaves are rolled inward. The blossoms may be white to rose-colored or a blue to purple hue, depending on the species and variety. Flowers are tiny and tubular and grow in terminal clusters up to 6 in (15.2 cm) long. Flowering time is midsummer. Seeds are minuscule and abundant. Thyme thrives in sunny locations on dry stony banks and heaths. The aromatic herb attracts bees that produce a uniquely flavored honey from the herb. It also acts to repel whiteflies.

Thyme has been known since ancient times for its magical, culinary, and medicinal virtues. Tradition held that an infusion of thyme taken as a tea on midsummer’s eve would enable one to see the fairies dancing. Young women wore a corsage of blossoming thyme to signal their availability for romance. The generic name may have been inspired by one of thyme’s traditional attributes. Greek folk herbalists believed that thyme would impart courage (thumus in Greek) to those who used the herb, particularly soldiers. Greek men particularly liked the pungent scent of thyme and would rub the herb on their chests. The Romans believed that adding thyme to bath water would impart energy. They also included thyme in bedding to chase melancholy and to prevent nightmares. The strong scent of thyme was employed as a moth repellent, and burned as fumigating incense. The philosopher-herbalist Pliny the Elder recommended burning the dried herb in the house to “put to flight all venomous creatures.” In the kitchen thyme has been used for centuries to season sauces, soups, stuffing, and soups. Thyme has long been recognized for its antiseptic properties. The Egyptians used the herb in formulas for embalming the dead. The herb was among those burned in sickrooms to help stop the spread of disease. Oil of thyme was used on surgical dressings and in times of war as recently as World War I, to treat battle wounds .

General use

The fresh and dried leaf, and the essential oil extracted from the fresh flowering herb, are medicinally potent. Thyme is one of the most versatile herbs for use in home remedies. It is aromatic, antiseptic, diaphoretic (increases

perspiration), analgesic, antispasmodic, and diuretic. It acts as an emmenagogue (brings on the menstrual discharge), carminative (expels gas ), and stimulant. Thyme’s essential oil contains a crystalline phenol known as thymol, a powerful and proven antibiotic and disinfectant that enhances the immune system and fights infection. The aromatic and medicinal strength of the essential oil varies with the species harvested. The essential oil exerts a swift and effective action against bacteria. With external application, the essential oil is especially good for maintaining the health of the teeth and gums and relieving toothache . An ointment made with the essential oil is used to disinfect cuts and wounds, and is effective against the fungi that cause athletes’ foot. As a massage oil, thyme can relieve rheumatism, gout , and sciatica (pain along the course of a sciatic nerve, especially in the back of the thigh). As an ingredient in a lotion used as a chest rub, thyme will help break up catarrh (inflammation of the mucous membrane) of the upper respiratory tract. A strong decoction of the leaves and flowers, added to the bath water, will stimulate circulation. When used as a hair rinse, combined with a scalp massage, the herb decoction may help to prevent hair loss .

Taken internally as an infusion or syrup, thyme is an effective remedy for ailments of the respiratory, digestive, and genitourinary systems. The herb relaxes the bronchial muscles, helping to quell dry coughs. The warm infusion can relieve migraine headache, colic , and flatulence, promote perspiration, and expel worms . A strong decoction, sweetened with honey, is good for easing the spasms of whooping cough and expelling catarrh. The infused herb can be used as a gargle for sore throat . Taken warm, thyme tea will bring relief for menstrual pain, and relieve diarrhea . Thyme has an antioxidant effect and is a good tonic and digestive tea. The phytochemicals (plant chemicals) in thyme include tannins, bitters , essential oil, terpenes, flavonoids, and saponins.

Preparations

The aerial parts of thyme can be harvested before and during flowering. The leaves should be removed from the woody stems and placed in single layers on a paper-lined tray in a warm airy room out of direct sunlight, or hung to dry in bunches in a shady location. The dried leaf should be stored in dark glass, tightly sealed, and clearly labeled containers. Thyme can also be frozen for later use.

Infusion: Two ounces of fresh thyme leaf (less if dried) are placed in a warmed glass container, and 2.5 cups of fresh nonchlorinated boiling water are added to the herbs. Twice as much herb is used in preparing an infusion for use as a gargle or bath additive. The tea should be covered and infused from 10-30 minutes, depending on the strength desired. After straining, the prepared tea will store for about two days in the refrigerator. Thyme tea may be enjoyed by the cupful as a tonic beverage taken after meals up to three times a day.

Tincture: Four ounces of finely-cut fresh or powdered dry herb are combined with 1 pt of brandy, gin, or vodka in a glass container. There should be enough alcohol to cover the plant parts and have a 50:50 ratio of alcohol to water. The mixture is stored away from light for about two weeks, and needs to be shaken several times each day. The mixture is strained and then stored in a tightly-capped, dark glass bottle. A standard dose is one-half to one teaspoon of the tincture, taken in hot water, up to three times a day.

Essential oil: Commercial extracts of essential oil of thyme are available. These are not to be taken internally. The essential oil must be diluted in water or vegetable oil, such as almond or sunflower oil, before applying to minimize the toxicity. The oil contains thymol, a component in many commercially available antiseptics, mouth-wash, toothpaste, and gargle preparations. It is antibacterial and antifungal.

Precautions

Very small amounts of thyme used in culinary preparations are generally safe. In large amounts, thyme acts as a uterine stimulant. Pregnant women should not use the herb, tincture, or essential oil of thyme.

Excessive use of undiluted essential oil is toxic. If the oil is ingested, it may cause gastrointestinal distress such as diarrhea, nausea , and vomiting . Other adverse toxic effects may include headache, muscular weakness, and dizziness . The oil of thyme may act to slow the heartbeat, depress respiration, and lower body temperature. Applied externally in undiluted form the essential oil may cause skin irritation. The oil should be diluted before use.

Side effects

The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rated thyme as “food safe.” The PDR For Herbal Medicine lists “No health hazards or side effects” when the herb is properly administered in designated therapeutic dosages.

Interactions

None reported as of 2004.

Resources

BOOKS

Duke, James A., Ph.D. The Green Pharmacy. PA: Rodale Press, 1997.

Elias, Jason, and Shelagh Ryan Masline. The A to Z Guide to Healing Herbal Remedies. New York: Lynn Sonberg Book Associates, 1996.

Foster, Steven, and James A. Duke. Peterson Field Guides, Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants. Boston-New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990.

Gibbons, Euell. Stalking The Healthful Herbs, Field Guide Edition. New York: David McKay Company, Inc., 1974

Hutchens, Alma R. A Handbook Of Native American Herbs. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1992.

Kowalchik, Claire, and William H. Hylton. Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs. PA: Rodale Press, 1987

Lust, John. The Herb Book New York: Bantam Books, 1974.

Magic And Medicine of Plants. Pleasantville, NY: the Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. 1986.

McIntyre, Anne. The Medicinal Garden. New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1997.

Meyer, Joseph E. The Herbalist. Glenwood, IL: Clarence Meyer, 1973.

Ody, Penelope. The Complete Medicinal Herbal. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1993.

PDR for Herbal Medicines. NJ: Medical Economics Company, 1998.

Phillips, Roger, and Nicky Foy. The Random House Book of Herbs. New York: Random House, Inc., 1990.

Polunin, Miriam, and Christopher Robbins. The Natural Pharmacy. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992.

Prevention’s 200 Herbal Remedies. Pennsylvania: Rodale Press, Inc., 1997.

Schar, Douglas. The Backyard Medicine Chest, An Herbal Primer. Washington, DC: Elliott & Clark Publishing, 1995.

Thomson, M.D., William A. R. Medicines From The Earth, A Guide to Healing Plants. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1978.

Tyler, Varro E., Ph.D. Herbs of Choice, The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals. NY: The Haworth Press, Inc., 1994

ORGANIZATIONS

Clare Hanrahan

Teresa G. Odle

Tips For Growing Thyme In Your Garden

The thyme herb (Thymus vulgaris) is frequently used for both culinary and decorative uses. The thyme plant is a versatile and lovely plant to grow both in an herb garden and in your garden in general. Growing thyme isn’t hard, and with the correct knowledge, this herb will flourish in your yard.

Growing Thyme Seeds

The thyme plant can be grown from seed, but frequently people choose to avoid growing thyme seeds. Thyme seeds are difficult to germinate and can take a long time to sprout. If you would like to grow thyme from seeds, follow these steps for growing thyme seeds:

  1. Gently scatter seeds over the soil in the container you will be planting thyme seeds.
  2. Next, gently scatter soil over the seeds.
  3. Water thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap.
  4. Place the container in a warm location.
  5. Seeds will germinate in one to 12 weeks.
  6. Once thyme seedlings are 4 inches high, plant them where you will be growing thyme in your garden.

Planting Thyme from Divisions

Normally, a thyme plant is grown from a division. Thyme is easy to divide. In the spring or fall, find a mature thyme plant. Use a spade to gently lift the clump of thyme up from the ground. Tear or cut a smaller clump of thyme from the main plant, making sure there is a root ball intact on the division. Replant the mother plant and plant the division where you would like to grow the thyme herb.

Tips for Growing Thyme

The flavor of the thyme plant benefits from active neglect. Growing thyme in poor soil with little water will actually cause the thyme to grow better. For this reason, thyme herb is an excellent choice for xeriscaping or low water landscapes.

In the late fall, if you live in an area that freezes, you’ll want to mulch the thyme plant. Be sure to remove the mulch in the spring.

Harvesting Thyme Herb

Harvesting thyme is easy. Simply snip off what you need for your recipe. Once a thyme plant is established (about a year), it’s very hard to over-harvest the plant. If you have just planted your thyme, cut back no more than one-third of the plant.

Thyme in the Garden

Our family-run business is a unique garden and gift shop that serves our customers with a passion for sharing horticultural knowledge as well as creating beauty around every nook. A wide range of indoor tropical plants are available along with beautiful array of pottery for planting. The gift shop is a local favorite for birthdays, hostess, house warmings, holidays and all special occasions in between. If a plant or potted arrangement is not in order, you’ll find a variety of gifts and decor to treasure-from fairy garden miniatures to Thymes home and bath fragrances, to candles, notecards, table linens, concrete statuary and more! During the spring and autumn months, we carry perennials, annuals & herbs and specialize in container gardens. We offer potting services in the store, as well as residential and commercial on-site potting. The whole family will enjoy the grounds and shop; complete with a blooming garden and greenhouse. Be sure to visit during the holiday and winter season, to see the shop transformed with seasonal decor and enchanting gifts and lots of green plants to enliven the indoors.

Thyme Plants Stock Photos

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Thymus serpyllum plants for herbal tea. Blossoming thyme in a basket on meadow in the sunny day. Thymus serpyllum Blossoming thyme in basket on meadow in the sunny day. Thymus serpyllum plants for herbal tea. Blossoming thyme in a basket on meadow in the sunny day. Thymus Fresh thyme herb. Fresh organic flavoring thyme plants growing. Nature healthy flavoring thyme cooking. Ingredients for food isolated on white background Thyme and lavender with orange, natural plants. Thyme and lavender purple little flowers with an orange, natural Mediterranean plants Fresh thyme herb. Fresh organic flavoring thyme plants growing. Nature healthy flavoring thyme cooking. Ingredients for food isolated on white background Green fresh aromatic herbs – melissa, mint, thyme, basil, parsley on white background. Banner collage frame from plants. Copyspace Green fresh aromatic herbs – melissa, mint, thyme, basil, parsley on white background. Banner collage frame from plants. Copyspace

January & February*

We are open on Saturday & Sunday for Afternoon Tea at

12 Noon…Reservations Required.

*Additional hours available for groups of 15 or more.

Call for details.

Guests enjoy a complete 7-course tea service exclusively accompanied by an extensive premium loose leaf tea menu developed by our owner, Kathy, a Certified Tea Sommelier. Kathy has carefully selected the over 125+ teas offered and will guide you through the perfect tea choice. Her menu reflects her passion for elegantly presented “comfort” food, carefully prepared and representing the tastes of the season.

Tea of the Month

Seasonal selection of loose leaf teas to accompany menu

1st Course – Soup*

Choice of seasonal soups including our Award Winning French Onion & Roasted Cream of Mushroom

2nd Course – House Salad*

Seasonal salad with homemade dressing

3rd Course -Quiche/Strada

Choice of warm and deliciously prepared seasonal

quiche or strada

4th Course – Scone Selection*

Baked fresh selection of seasonal scones complimented with cream, lemon curd and jam

5th Course – Tea Sandwiches*

An elegantly presented assortment of savories and delicate tea sandwiches which compliment

the seasonal menu

6th Course -Dessert Selection*

A delicately elegant selection of sweets and homemade desserts to compliment the celebration of the season

7th Course – Seasonal Finish

Finally, refresh and reflect on your afternoon tea with a seasonal finish to cleanse your palette

Cost: $39.95 per person

(tax & gratuity additional…event teas priced separately)

Saturdays & Sundays, Noon or 3PM by Reservation Only

*Weekday Teatime & Menu – 1PM

We serve a lighter 5-Course Afternoon Tea, 1PM ONLY Thursdays and Fridays. 48-hour advanced Reservations are Required.

Cost: $29.95 pp

(tax & gratuity additional…event teas priced separately)

How to Grow Thyme from Seed Step by Step

Step 1: Harvest thyme seeds or purchase them

Thyme matures unevenly from plant to plant.

While cutting the ripening tops is one way to obtain seeds, use of cloths, sheets, or paper bags may prove more productive.

Around noon and again in late afternoon, gently shake the plants to encourage the ripe seeds to fall onto the sheets or into the bags.

Collect the seeds and spread them in a warm, airy room to finish drying.

Do keep in mind if the plants are wet or damp the tiny seeds may stick to the leaves and flower heads.

Step 2: Timing is everything

If you’re going to sow your seeds in a seedbed, plant thyme seeds in early spring with the drills 4 to 6 inches apart with 5 or 6 seeds per inch.

Alternatively start them indoor in pots in early spring to give them a head-start.

Step 3: Gently scatter seeds over the soil in the container you will be planting thyme seeds.

Because the seeds are so tiny, thyme seeds should be sown very shallowly or pressed into the soil with a fine layer sprinkled on top.

If planting in volume, mix sand with the seeds to prevent over-planting or aid uniform sprouting.

Some gardeners use as much as 4 parts sand to one part seed. But there’s no golden rule here. Therefore, go with what works for you.

Step 4: Gently scatter soil over the seeds.

If planting in a nursery bed, it’s better to plant seed in a nursery bed where more attention can be paid to the tiny plants.

This will also enable the more valuable garden space to be used for an earlier-maturing crop.

Step 5: Water thoroughly.

To break the thyme seed dormancy, you’ll need to give them a thorough drink. Just make sure that you’re not splashing water on the soil because water may splash away with the soil.

Read: How to Water Potted Plants and Keep them Happy

Step 6: Properly cover with a plastic wrap.

You don’t want the moisture to escape or expose the seeds to dry, windy conditions. Covering them with a plastic wrap will solve the problem for you.

Step 7: Place the container in a warm location.

Warmth is one of the most important aspects for seeds to germinate optimally. Together with the other conditions discussed, choosing a suitable location is key for high germination success rate.

Step 8: The “long” wait!

I’ve already mentioned that thyme seed takes a while to germinate. But if you’ve followed all the steps outlined in this post, the wait will be worthwhile – trust me.

Seeds will germinate in one to 12 weeks.

Once thyme seedlings are 4 inches high, plant them where you will be growing thyme in your garden.

Conclusion

You’ve just read how to grow thyme from seed.

Now, if you’re one of those gardeners who like to take up a new challenge every now and then, don’t be among the 96% and experiment what I’ve discussed in this article.

If you’ve tried before and succeeded I’d like to hear about it.

Just be sure to drop a comment below.

Have I left out any helpful information? I’d like to hear that too

Featured image credit: gardeners.com

Pellas Nature Organic Drops Thyme Olive Oil

In a nutshell: Innovative organic Greek flavoured olive oils made naturally without additives, essential oils or preservatives. This thyme version is brilliant with a beetroot and goats cheese salad.

Let’s get one thing straight from the start. This is not the kind of olive oil that has been lovingly crafted by gnarly handed artisans from a fifth-generation family concern in some charmingly dilapidated mill, miles from anywhere.

Yes, it is lovingly crafted, but by food technicians, working at the top of their game with state-of-the-art equipment and the finest raw materials, using ultra-modern methods to create organic oils that, nonetheless, are infused with the ancient breath of the land by which their olives have been nurtured.

The innovative Pellas ‘one-step’ system extracts the taste and flavour of fresh herbs and fruits directly into Greek extra-virgin olive oil. The result is a range of olive oils that truly reflect the delicacy and subtlety of the flavours being captured, from sage, thyme and rosemary to lemon, basil, garlic and chilli – all of which are organic and locally grown.

These oils aren’t synthetic in any way. There are no additives used, no essential oils, no artificial flavourings – and neither does it taste as if there are. They are the perfect marriage of scientific knowhow and gourmet sensibility and confer the essence of the Mediterranean with each organic drop.

How to use

  • In a dressing, especially one in which the oil would chime with and accentuate the flavour of the salad components. The thyme variety works brilliantly with a simple salad of beetroot, celery and goat’s cheese.
  • The oils are also good drizzled over pasta before serving. Add a slug of the thyme oil to a bowl of creamy mushroom tagliatelle.
  • Use in place of a regular olive oil to finish grilled meat and fish dishes. Try the thyme drizzled over fennel-and-lemon-stuffed, grilled sea bass.
  • They’re also good slathered over slow-cooked dishes to pep up their flavours before serving. The thyme oil brings the aroma of the Provençal maquis to a pot of home-cooked ratatouille.

Details Available in a 250ml bottle.

About Pellas Nature
Edessa is the ancient capital of the Pella region of Greece’s Central Macedonia province. Here, at the gateway to the rugged Pindar Mountains, is where Pellas Nature has invested in a hi-tech laboratory designed with one purpose in mind – to produce the finest-quality organic infused olive oils, which capture the unique character of the land whence they come.

Pellas Nature is inspired by the flavours and aromas of native Greek aromatic plants. A walk around the laboratory is like a stroll along a Greek mountainside in spring, with the competing aromas of thyme, rosemary, oregano and lemon borne on the air. It is these distinctive aromas that their one-step infusion system is designed to capture – and to transmit to your cooking.

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