Thymus Vulgaris: You’ll Be Growing Thyme in No Time!


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H.CardenasHeidi Cardenas is a freelance writer and gardener in Lake County, Illinois, with a background in human resources and business administration. She has written about home and garden topics for various online venues, helps you get your green on at  HC Greenery and enjoys The Herb Companion’s valuable resources. 

Thyme is a small herb with big impact. It only gets about 12 inches tall, with some varieties only a few inches high, and works well as a border plant for herb, vegetable and flower gardens. Thyme is an easy-to-grow herb that is attractive in the garden and useful in the home. You’ll be happy if you take time to grow thyme in your garden this year.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), or garden thyme, is a domesticated variety of wild thyme, a member of the mint family. It’s a Mediterranean plant that grows in the mountains and rocky foothills. Thyme is a perennial herb with stiff twiggy branches and a woody root system. Its name has roots in ancient Greece, meaning “to fumigate” because it has strong insect repellent properties. It was burnt as incense and was used to rid homes and temples of pests. The ancient Greeks associated thyme with bravery and energy. Thyme is very attractive to bees and improves the quality of honey when planted near hive.

Thyme plants are low-growing, bushy plants with a mound shape. They have many small, fragrant, grayish green oval leaves on stiff stems and clusters of light purple flowers. The plants don’t grow higher than 12 inches, and complement rock gardens and garden walkways. Their light-colored foliage and flowers complement white flowers in the flower or herb garden.

Thymus Vulgaris 4-13-2012



Growing Habits

Thyme is easy to grow from seeds or from divisions of older plants. As a Mediterranean plant, it grows best in light, well-drained soil in full sun. It does not do well in wet areas. It is a companion plant for lavender, and prefers the same growing conditions.



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