Position: full sun
Soil: well-drained soil
Flowering period: June to August
Hardiness: fully hardy
Thymes are small plants and are grown for their aromatic leaves. There are many different varieties of thyme. Thymus vulgaris (common thyme) is one of the best known of all thyme varieties and for good reason. It is an undemanding plant, easy to grow in a pot.
The aromatic foliage is often used for adding flavour to the soup, meat, vegetables, especially tomatoes.
For lemon-scented leaves try Thymus citriodorus or Thymus ‘Lemon Variegated’.
Creeping thyme is ideal for edging paths and suitable for cracks in paving. Thymus serpyllum (creeping thyme) is a dwarf, evergreen shrub, producing masses of soft pink flowers in summer above dark green leaves. It grows to about 5cm tall.
Thymus serpyllum ‘Snowdrift’
‘Snowdrift’ is white-flowering, whereas ‘Silver Posie’ bears purple flowers with grey-green, white-margined leaves.
Pruning Thyme Flowers on Thymus vulgaris
Pruning thyme in a pot. Cut back after flowering to keep the plant compact and to promote plenty of new growth. Shorten stems by 5-7cm, pruning above a set of green leaves. Don’t cut back into leafless woody stems.
Pruning creeping thyme. Lightly trim after flowering to keep it in nice shape.
Don’t pick single leaves. Choose whole stems. Cut back the soft top growth by 5-7cm. Use a sharp knife or secateurs.
Thymus vulgaris Thymus vulgaris in open ground
Thyme plant is fully hardy, but don’t like their roots in wet soil, especially in winter. So needs good drainage. If your soil is heavy, add horticultural grit to the soil before planting to improve drainage.