“Bertram Anderson” (Thymus pulegioides) has leaves with a lemony fragrance that are light green in summer and turn deep-yellow with red tips in fall and winter. .

How to Grow and Care for Creeping Thyme

Family Lamiaceae Plant Type Herbaceous, perennial Mature Size 2-6 in.wide Sun Exposure Full Soil Type Well-drained, sandy Soil pH Neutral, alkaline Bloom Time Summer Flower Color Pink, white, purple Hardiness Zones 2–9 (USDA) Native Area Europe.Creeping thyme plants grow best in well-draining soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH.Creeping thyme is a hardy plant that doesn't have many problems, although it can be susceptible to root rot in wet, soggy soil.Creeping thyme is native to the Mediterranean regions of southern Europe, and is therefore a sun-loving plant that needs full sun (at least six hours daily) to thrive.If you live in a humid area and your plant is losing leaves, or if the foliage is looking rough, trim off the affected stems and improve air circulation.Also, add sand or gravel around the plant's base to prevent contact with moist soil.If the soil is poor, you can compensate by providing a delayed-release fertilizer once at the beginning of each growing season.However, several types of creeping thyme are low to the ground and spread efficiently.(Thymus 'Spicy Orange') has pink flowers and grows 2 to 4 inches tall; it is hardy in zones 5 to 9.Repeated pruning is the most burdensome garden task if you want to grow creeping thyme successfully.Prune back creeping thyme stems in the early spring to prepare the plant for the growing season ahead.Dividing thyme and taking stem cuttings gives your older plant a new lease on life, encouraging new growth.The best time to divide or take cuttings is in the late spring or early summer.Keep the water evenly moist in a warm, bright spot about 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.Once the seedlings have 3 to 4 inches of growth, you can transplant them into a new container or plant them in the ground once the threat of frost has passed.If you are transplanting thyme, give them room to spread by planting just one specimen per pot.Once the plant grows too big for the container, remove the root ball and divide it.You can replant the smaller division back into the container it was in, giving it fresh potting mix.The best way to protect plants in colder USDA zones is by giving them a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch after the cold weather has set in.In hot, dry summer conditions, spider mites can be a problem with creeping thyme plants.Creeping thyme is susceptible to root rot in wet, dense soils.Thyme doesn't usually need enriched soil, but it may be the boost the plant needs to encourage flower production.It simply requires some attention at the end of the fall season after the first frost or in early spring.A thyme plant that gets too much water has poorly draining soil, not enough drainage holes, or is exposed to too much humidity can get yellowing or browning leaves.Also, excess nitrogen in the soil can cause a thyme plant to grow leggy, wilt, or get yellowing leaves.Thyme lives about four or five years at most, so if your plant starts to turn brown and looks like it's drying out and dying, it may be reaching the end of its life.Other causes can be severe frost, a lack of sun, or a fungal disease like root rot.If a harsh winter left stems looking dead, cut them back in the early spring, and the plant may rebound on its own. .

Creeping or Cooking: Find a Place for Thyme

David Salman, Chief Horticulturist at High Country Gardens has spent over 26 years in pursuit of better plants for eco-friendly landscapes.Native to the Old World of Europe and the Mediterranean, this herb has had a close association with mankind since the times of the ancient Egyptians and the Romans.The creeping Thyme are a great group of ornamental groundcovers enjoyed for their wonderfully textural mat-like stems and foliage and the showy flowers that bloom in colors of white, pink, rose and rose-red.The key to a great Thyme patch is to provide the plants with a full sun location in well drained, preferably “lean” (low nutrient and humus content) or sandy soils.Ideally, Thyme like warm to hot days and cool nights as many of the species grow in the foothill and mountains of their native lands.Prolonged muggy heat and hot nights is not to their liking so they aren’t generally suitable for the Deep South and Gulf Coast.In moister Eastern climates the gravel keeps the stems dry and clean from splashing dirt and prevents rotting during wet winter and early spring weather. .

15 of the Best Flowering Ground Covers

Perennial bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) is a member of the mint family that readily naturalizes in Zones 3 to 10, growing best in average to moist soil, with full sun to partial shade.Topping out at six inches, it derives its name from spikes of tiny bugle-shaped blossoms that range in color from blue to white.Blossoms are individual and white in color, and leaves are bright green with toothed edges.You can find 150 Canada anemone native wildflower seeds from Everwilde Farms via Amazon.Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) is a woody, mounding perennial that likes full sun and well-drained soil, and tolerates drought.The blossoms of candytuft consist of sweetly scented clusters of white petals, which are often so profuse that you can’t see the elongated green leaves below.It stands up to light foot traffic and is lovely cascading over slopes and garden walls.Creeping thyme (Thymus praecox) is a wild variety of the herb that is wonderful between stepping stones.Hardy in Zones 4 to 8, this woody perennial likes well-drained dry to average soil and full sun.Varieties vary in height from several inches to about two feet, grow in a clumping or creeping fashion, and form an interconnected network that crowds out weeds and inhibits soil erosion.The shorter varieties are great for those narrow spaces in between paving stones, as well as in rockeries and border gardens, where you want to inhibit weed growth.Blooming is inflorescent in nature, with tall spikes of small white or purple blossoms appearing from May through July.Horned violets are annuals with green, rounded leaves, and scented two-toned blossoms in shades of purple and blue that bloom from April through June.Japanese pachysandra, or spurge, is an evergreen perennial that’s perfect under shrubs where grass doesn’t want to grow.Before long, there was a pretty bed of glossy green whorled (i.e. spiraled) leaves that not only hid the tree roots, but protected them from further lawnmower damage.Nature Hills offers Japanese spurge (P.

terminalis ‘Green Sheen’) in one-gallon pots.Spikes of tiny blossoms in shades of blue, white, or purple appear in August and September.Liriope makes pretty garden borders and is good at inhibiting erosion on slopes.Great for Zones 6 to 8, and able to withstand light foot traffic, this plant may reach 12 inches in height.It has small, hairy “sessile” green leaves that are attached without stalks, making for a low profile.One thing I learned quickly with this plant is that it won’t spread out and naturalize if it has competition from native weeds and wildflowers.Pig squeak is a perennial whose name comes from the squeaky sound the leaves make when you rub them between your fingers.Pig squeak is a clumping plant with shiny, dark green leaves and stalks of pink blossoms that bloom in April and May.Spike speedwell, often called royal candles, is a clumping perennial suitable for Zones 3 to 8.Its narrow green leaves form a base for tall spikes comprised of tiny blossoms in shades of purple, blue, pink, or white.True Leaf Market offers V. spicata ‘Blue Bouquet’ seeds in packages of 100 and 500.Sweet woodruff is a fragrant perennial with star-like white blossoms atop whorled (spiraled) green leaves.Perfect for Zones 4 to 8, sweet woodruff prefers part to full shade and moist, well-drained soil.The blossoms of wishbone are trumpet-shaped in shades of purple, pink, white, and yellow, often with contrasting “throats.” Leaves are light green and oval.Wishbone is desirable for its ability to produce vibrant color all summer, in the shadiest portions of a garden.They’re perfect for irregular terrain, and make an attractive alternative to a sea of green grass.Do you love spring bulbs, but hate the unsightly withering greens that follow blooming?Try growing bulbs right through a patch of speedwell or pachysandra, and their fading post-bloom foliage won’t be as noticeable.And remember that evergreens provide winter interest, while deciduous varieties disappear completely during the cold months.

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Thyme 31 varieties of thyme plants Ground cover thymes, culinary

In addition to our three inch pots, many of our thymes are often available in plug trays. .

How to Grow Creeping Thyme (Thymus praecox)

Thymus praecox A sweet smell of earthy, herby goodness wafts through the air, welcoming you into the garden.Have no fear, Thymus praecox, aka creeping thyme, can handle a little foot traffic, releasing its sweet perfume in return, making it an excellent choice for planting in a walkway or between stepping stones!An exceptional, pollinator-friendly ground cover, T. praecox works well to connect different spaces in a garden, as a border plant, in between stone paths, in a rock wall, or as a lawn substitute.Also known as mother of thyme, T. praecox is one of about 350 species in the Thymus genus — all aromatic herbaceous perennials native to the temperate Mediterranean climate found in parts of Europe, North Africa, and Asia.The essential oil, derived mostly from common thyme, T.

vulgaris, is used in modern-day soapmaking, cosmetic and dental hygiene products, candy, and chewing gum.Creeping thyme, not to be confused with its more culinarily-inclined cousin, T. vulgaris, is edible as well, offering a light herbal option to be used in the kitchen.Most notably in the garden, creeping thyme’s greatest function is to work as an aromatic, pollinator-attracting ground cover.These are excellent companion plants for vegetable gardeners to utilize, and they can serve to smooth out any harsh corners in hardscaping.You can elect to sow seeds or plant starts; both options will lead to lush, green growth in no thyme (ha!Sprinkle seeds on top of the soil or covered lightly to a depth of 1/16 of an inch at most, and maintain consistent moisture for germination.Make sure to give them a good watering after broadcasting seeds so they don’t get whisked away by the wind, or a curious critter.The most important (and most challenging) thing to remember with direct seeding is keep the planting area consistently moist.Grow it in sandy, rocky, or otherwise poor soil in areas that receive six or more hours of sunlight each day.While not the most intuitive of garden advice, it’s actually better to underwater this plant than it is to overwater, as T.

praecox is susceptible to root rot.Three to four years down the road, the original parent part of the plant will grow thin and should be divided as described above to encourage healthy, new growth.Avoid this by thinning out or transplanting divisions to other parts of your garden, so that each plant has ample space to grow.‘Albiflorus’ features snow-white flowers and bright green, aromatic foliage that spreads quickly to form a dense mat.With a mature height of just two to three inches and a spread of one to two feet, it is ideal for planting in between paving stones or in rock gardens.If planted in an area with poor drainage or a section of the garden that is overwatered, T. praecox may be susceptible to root rot.The dense, creeping nature of this species makes it an excellent ground cover and living mulch.In a garden setting, this species looks best planted in a walkway, in between stepping stones or pavers, as creeping thyme is tolerant of moderate foot traffic and releases a pleasant aroma when its leaves are lightly crushed.Finally, as I mentioned previously, though this is not the traditional culinary variety (T. vulgaris), the leaves of T. praecox are still edible and will provide a tasty flavor to any stew, sauce, or salad. .

Thyme, the Fragrant Ground Cover

Photo/Illustration: Jane Grushow On early summer evenings, I follow the bees and butterflies to carpets of white, pink, and lavender thyme flowers that blanket pathways and rocky nooks in my garden.Thymes are diminutive perennial herbs that grow either upright as small, erect shrubs or low as creeping mats.Suitable for any dry, well-drained spot—such as patios, walks, rock gardens, stone walls, or pond borders—they cascade, drape, and mound in soft mats.Ground-hugging ‘Pink Ripple’ thyme spreads among taller plants in the perennial border, showcasing its lovely, lemony scent for passersby.Photo/Illustration: Jane Grushow.Photo/Illustration: Lee Anne White/Positive Images For the past 20 years, I have grown many thymes at my Pennsylvania herb farm, and I add new ones every season.My favorites are the creeping thyme cultivars, which present a wealth of choices for unusual, aromatic ground covers.Perennials such as betony, bee balm, sage, allium, pincushion flower, artemisia, yarrow, and iris make interesting companions.The allium pokes up through the low, glossy mat of thyme and among the fuzzy betony leaves, where its whiplike foliage contrasts nicely.In another part of my border, a creeping thyme flows around some dwarf iris and ‘Moonshine’ yarrow, creating a composition of wildly different foliage textures.A top dressing or mulch of sand or gravel helps to thwart frost-heaving of the plants in winter and diverts water away from the stems and leaves.In areas with high rainfall, planting thymes on rocky slopes helps alleviate drainage problems, but it is also important to select the right cultivar for your conditions.In fact, dry conditions improve plant vigor, and poor soil increases aromatic oil production, making thymes more fragrant.Unless you have a site with excellent air circulation, avoid thymes with woolly or hairy foliage, since they are most susceptible to humidity-induced rot.Take the cuttings in the fall, root them in damp builders’ sand, and the new plants will be ready for the garden the following spring. .

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