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It is possible that the term “creeping thyme plant” is used to designate one of numerous woody-stemmed perennial plants of the Thymus genus that make excellent ground coverings for sunny locations. They are in the mint family and have a nice aroma, but not all varieties are cultivated as herbs. Most varieties may be used in cooking, though not all varieties are. It is very akin to the well-known edible plant, chives, in appearance.
In temperate areas, the majority of thyme plants are perennial. While some creeping kinds are erect and shrub-like in appearance, others are low-growing and have a vine-like habit. In addition to the delicate texture of their leaves as they spread out to gently cover the ground, they produce blooms in a variety of hues, depending on the kind of plant being produced.
Thyme seeds should be planted in the spring. Although it grows slowly to moderately in its initial year of growth, after it has established itself, it will spread more quickly in succeeding years. Flowers develop on mature plants in the late spring and early summer, generally in clusters.
Creeping Thyme Plant Care Guidance
Creeping thyme plants thrive in soils with pH values ranging from neutral to slightly alkaline, and this plant needs well-drained conditions to thrive. As is true of most herb species, creeping thyme seems to prefer weak soils. Ideally, they should be grown in full sun, but they will tolerate moderate shade as well.
Over time, creeping thyme plants may develop a woody structure. If woody stems begin to take over, you may want to remove and replace the plants, or you may wish to severely cut the plants down to stimulate new growth.
Despite the fact that creeping thyme is a sturdy plant that doesn’t have many difficulties, it is subject to root rot when grown in moist, soggy soil, as do many other plants.
Creeping thyme is native to the Mediterranean region of southern Europe. It is a sun-loving plant, and the majority of thyme types need full light in order to flourish.
Thyme’s success on the soil surface is critical to its drainage. Ensuring the soil drains adequately is important since it does not appreciate damp feet. It prefers soil that is loose, sandy, or rocky, and it will grow in loam provided the soil drains properly. It does not do well in moist clay, as you would expect.
When utilizing fast-draining soils, one disadvantage is that the plant might quickly get dehydrated if you aren’t paying attention. Avoid allowing the plant to get dry, particularly if it is a young plant.
Plants grown in the ground or kept at a constant, non-sweltering temperature should only require watering every 10 days on average; however, potted plants grown outside in scorching heat will require watering once a day on average.
It’s important that the roots remain wet, but they shouldn’t be resting in water for extended periods. Thyme is a drought-tolerant plant that may be relied on once it has established itself.
Temperature and humidity
Trim your thyme as required to keep it looking bushy and thick in the garden. In dry areas, you may do this at any time of day. Thyme plants, as a general rule, do not thrive in high humidity. If you live in a humid climate and your plant is losing leaves or the foliage appears tough due to the humidity, prune the damaged stems and improve air circulation.
Additionally, sprinkle sand or gravel around the plant’s base to keep it from coming into contact with wet soil. Plants that have been damaged should recover if the weather becomes colder and drier.
Creeping thyme that is grown in well-prepared soil should not need fertilization. If your soil is deficient in nutrients, you may make up for it by applying a slow-release fertilizer once at the beginning of the growth season.
How to Start a Creeping Thyme Plant from Seed
If you start thyme from seed inside in a small growing tray before the last frost, you will get a better result if you use a high-quality seed starting soil and do it before the last frost. Plant seeds on the surface of the soil and cover them with a thin layer of earth to protect them.
Light is required for the germination of these seeds. Maintain an equal moisture level in the water by placing it in a warm, light location between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
A spray bottle may be used to hydrate the top layer of soil. The seeds should germinate in 14 to 21 days if they are kept moist. If you want to put your seedlings in the ground after the fear of frost has passed, you may transfer them into a new container after they have grown to 3 to 4 inches in height.
Creeping Thyme Planting and Repotting Tips
When transplanting thyme, make sure to give it plenty of room to grow by planting only one plant per container.Containers that are several feet long may be planted approximately one foot apart if they are several feet long. The finest containers are porous, such as clay or terra cotta, but any container will suffice as long as it has enough drainage holes to keep water out of the container.
When the plant’s root ball becomes too large for the container, it should be removed and divided. Put the smaller division back into its original pot with new soil, and you’ll be done in minutes. The division may be placed in a similar container with fresh soil, allowing for new growth to take root.
In colder climates, thyme is semi-evergreen, which means it will stay generally green and retain its leaves throughout the winter, but it will lose part of its leaves and some of its branches will die. After the cold season has arrived, applying a 2-to 3-inch layer of mulch to plants in lower USDA zones such as 5 and beneath is the most effective method of protecting them.
It should be used on a day when the temperature has reached its freezing point. Keeping the soil temperature stable allows the plant to better withstand the ups and downs of the temperature spectrum, which may be detrimental to a plant’s well-being.