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How to Grow Creeping Thyme — Thymus

Creeping thyne thymus

Creeping thyme, Thymus, is an aromatic, creeping, mat-forming evergreen with tiny, ¼ inch (6mm) leaves. Small ½ inch (12mm) rose-purple flowers bloom in clusters atop 4-inch (210cm) stems in summer.

Get to Know Creeping Thyme

  • Plant type: Perennial summer-flowering groundcover
  • Growing Zones and range: 5-9
  • Hardiness: Tender
  • Height and width: 4”- 8” tall, 8”- 12” wide
  • Foliage: Very small ¼ inch leaves elongated heart-shaped
  • Flowers: Pink and white
  • Bloom time: Spring and summer
  • Uses: Groundcover, rock garden, drought-tolerant, attracts bees
  • Botanical name: Thymus spp.
  • Common name: Creeping Thyme

Where to Plant Creeping Thyme

  • Plant creeping thyme in full sun; planting in part shade is best in hot climates.
  • Grow creeping thyme in light, loose, well-drained alkaline soil.
  • Creeping thyme grows well in hot, dry, alkaline soil.
Creeping thyme, Thymus
Creeping thyme, Thymus

When to Plant Creeping Thyme

  • Set creeping thyme in the garden in spring or fall.

Planting and Spacing Creeping Thyme

  • Space creeping thyme 8 to 12 inches apart.

How to Water and Feed Creeping Thyme

  • Creeping thyme needs moderate moisture; keep the soil evenly moist. Established plants are drought tolerant.
  • Creeping thyme does not need fertilizer.

Creeping Thyme Care

  • Cut plants back to an inch or two in they become too tall or messy.

Creeping Thyme Propagation

  • Sow seed in containers in spring.
  • Divide in spring or take a cutting to root in late spring.

Creeping Thyme Varieties to Grow

  • Some varieties have silver or gold variegated leaves
  • Thymus x citriodorus, lemon-scented thyme, lemon-scented mid-green leaves; pale lavender flowers in summer.
  • Thymus serphyllum, mother of thyme, trailing stems; purple flowers; several cultivars include ‘Elfin’ which forms dense mounds.
  • Thymus vulgaris, common thyme, cushion-forming, gray-green leaves; purple to white flowers in summer.
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