Thymus elfin creeping thyme

Please read the information below BEFORE you place your order!

We have now entered seasonal shipping. All customers outside of California, Florida and Hawaii will need to waive the warranty to get plants before their last frost.

Winter shipping: Once your area begins freezing, or your area is in a delivery route that is freezing, you have two options. You may waive your warranty by typing “WAIVE WARRANTY” in the comment box (located on the address page of the order form), or you may wait until after your last frost date in spring and order then. If you wish to know when we begin guaranteed shipping to your area, please email us your zip code.

We ship with a guarantee year-round to California, Florida and Hawaii.

  • Back orders: We do not take back orders for plug trays. Items ordered are sent at the next available shipping date.
  • Plant cost: Each tray holds 128 plugs. Each plug is between .75 and 1.00. (Prices are subject to change) We only charge you for 120 to accommodate any problems we can’t see.
  • Availability: We make new plug trays throughout the year. Inventory is updated every week in the spring (usually on Thursday) and twice monthly throughout the rest of the year. Use the notification link (located under or next to each plant) to be automatically notified when plug trays become available. If the plant you would like a plug tray of is not listed at all, please email us.
  • Ordering potted plants: You are currently in your PLUG TRAY SHOPPING CART. If you have also ordered pots at Mountain Valley Growers, you may visit your POTTED PLANT SHOPPING CART. We use separate carts for potted plants and plug trays because they are packed differently to insure safe arrival of your plants.
  • Our warranty: Please for warranty information.
  • More information link: This link located under every plant on the ordering pages will take you to a page of information specific to that plant. These pages are housed on Mountain Valley Growers. It will be necessary to return to to order plug trays.

Grow your own Thyme Plugs

by Sandy Swegel

One of the more intrigue new seeds we are carrying is Creeping Thyme. We all love the romantic look of a stone path with thyme filling in the crevices between the stone. Thyme lawns have also become popular as a low-water way to have a patch of green. You can’t play soccer on your thyme lawn, but you can walk across it. The best part is that in most gardens, the thyme grows so thickly that only a few weeds pop through.

It can be quite a challenge to start a thyme lawn or patio though. The plants you purchase generally are in large pots and it’s not easy to shake off the dirt and try to smoosh the plant between the pavers. It’s also pretty expensive to cover a long walkway.

You can definitely try direct seeding and sprinkling the thyme seeds in the areas you want the groundcover to grow. This works well in England or in coastal areas. This hasn’t worked well for me because Colorado is arid and it takes daily watering to get the seeds to germinate. Naturally then, lots of weed seeds germinate before the thyme comes up. There is an easy solution for people who like to grow from seed. Grow your own thyme plant and thyme plugs.

Plug trays are the size of a normal planting flat but each flat has cells for 128 plants. Sometimes garden centers sell plug trays or you can find them on the internet. I got some that my garden center was throwing out….they use them to plant into the larger pots they sell. You can also use those little six packs annuals come in. Fill your plug tray with seed germinating mix and put one or two seeds into each cell. Grow under lights or outdoors if it’s warm enough. In just weeks after germinating you end up with an entire tray of perfect little well-rooted plants that easily fit into the spaces in your patio. If you’re planting a lawn, you can place the plugs on a grid 4-8 inches apart and they’ll grow to a mat this year. Each packet of thyme seeds has 600 seeds in it so you could a LOT of thyme plugs for a couple bucks!

Growing your own thyme plugs is easy. The hardest part is being sure to weed the area you are planting really well. But it’s the last time you’ll have to do such a big weeding there….once the thyme grows in, it blocks most weeds. Yippee. No weeding on your patio. Or if you’re planting a lawn…no more mowing.

What Is Elfin Thyme: Information On Elfin Creeping Thyme Plant

Elfin creeping thyme plant is as cherubic as its name implies, with small glossy, green aromatic leaves and teeny weensy purple or pink blossoms. Keep reading for information on elfin thyme care.

What is Elfin Thyme?

This nugget of information does not completely answer the question of, “What is elfin thyme?” Elfin creeping thyme plant (Thymus serpyllum) is a low growing (1-2 inches tall) herbaceous perennial sub shrub with a dense mounding habit. In cold climates, this little herb is deciduous, while in milder regions, the plant will retain its foliage year round.

Flowers are borne upon the fragrant green to grayish blue foliage in summer and are extremely attractive to bees. Native to Europe, this little creeping variety of thyme is not only drought and heat tolerant, but deer and rabbit resistant, making it a lovely option for a natural garden landscape.

How Do I Plant Elfin Thyme?

The slightly fuzzy or haired foliage of a growing elfin thyme works well among stepping stones, trailing through a rock garden and even as a forgiving substitute for grassy lawns. These little guys are adaptable to foot traffic, even fairly heavy foot traffic, and continue to spread while being tromped on, filling the air with their heavenly scent.

Growing elfin thyme is hardy to USDA hardiness zone 4 and should be planted in full sun and well draining soil, although it will also adapt to shadier areas. Shaded areas of growing elfin thyme will tend to clump more while sun exposure encourages the thyme to become more of a ground cover, spreading to a width of about 4 to 8 inches. When growing elfin thyme, the plants require at least five hours of sun per day and should be spaced 6 inches apart.

Elfin Thyme Care

The care of elfin thyme isn’t complicated. These hardy and forgiving herbs adapt to a variety of climatic and environmental conditions, even able to survive cold winter weather and sustained frost.

Needing no fertilization or frequent watering and with an ability to withstand both hot, dry conditions or chilly weather, elfin creeping thyme plant is often a prized selection for xeriscaping, a landscaping plan that requires no irrigation.

Although the leaves are flavorful and aromatic, the tiny 1/8 to 3/8 inch leaves are rather a pain to pick, so most people use other varieties of common thyme for their culinary herb uses and allow elfin thyme to play the role of an ornamental.

Creeping Thyme Seeds Thymus serpyllum

Creeping Thyme Planting Instructions

Creeping Thyme is a popular and adaptive dwarf groundcover that is popular for landscape designs. Used often as borders on flower beds and in between pavers on walkways, this is a groundcover that can handle moderate foot traffic.

Creeping Thyme is a perennial herb which will over-winter well in zones 4-9.

Direct Sow seeds outdoors when temperatures are consistently in the high 60s or above. Division of established plantings can be done in March and April. Fall plantings should be avoided to protect against freeze damage.

Average germination time should be approximately 21-28 days and seeds should be kept consistently moist until germination is strong.

When planting, seeds should not be covered with soil, but rather pressed into the soil. Good seed to soil contact is necessary for ideal germination rates.

Creeping Thyme prefers well drained soil with a neutral pH (between 6.5 and 7.5) in an area where it receives good sun, but can also tolerate partial shade.

Creeping thyme is a slow grower and will take more than one season to reach its full potential. Once seeds are germinating well, water to a depth of 6 inches when the top few inches of soil dries out.

A light mulching may be helpful to retain moisture in warmer and drier climates, but if seeds are planted in between pavers or in shadier areas mulching is usually not necessary.

A light dose of delayed release fertilizer can be useful if you are planting in poorer soil, but good soil preparation (mixing in a 2-3 inch layer of manure, compost or other organic material prior to planting) should negate the need for fertilizer.

Creeping Thyme will not thrive in excessively clay or sandy soils.

Creeping Thyme will grow between 2-3 inches high and each established plant can spread to approximately 1 foot wide.

After several years the center of plants will become woody and start to die back. Dead parts can be carefully cut back and healthy outer parts of the plant can be replanted.

Creeping Thyme is not generally susceptible to disease or insects but can provide a barrier for veggies and ornamental plantings.

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