That’s why, if you wish to get the maximum life span from your plant and if you want it to continue producing leaves you can use to flavor your food, it’s necessary to remove the flowers while they’re still just buds, before they open.Prune your thyme plant during its peak growing season, when it’s putting out new growth the fastest.These leaves are responsible for processing more nutrients during photosynthesis due to their larger surface area, and they should be left intact because they’re so important to the plant’s nutrition. .

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.(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.You can propagate creeping thyme via three methods: division, stem cuttings, and seeds.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.If you have containers that are several feet long (such as window boxes), you can plant them about 1 foot apart.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. .

Planting Thyme

The flowers open in spring and summer, sprinkling the plant with tiny, two-lipped blossoms attractive to bees.Space thyme plants 12 to 24 inches apart in a very sunny area with fertile, well-drained soil with a pH close to 7.0.Before planting in-ground, improve your existing soil by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter.Be sure to choose strong young thyme plants from Bonnie Plants®, the company that has been helping home gardeners succeed for over 100 years.Mulching with limestone gravel or builder's sand improves drainage and helps prevents root rot.Pinching the tips of the stems keeps plants bushy, but stop clipping about a month before the first frost of fall to make sure that new growth is not too tender going into the cool weather.In the North and cold climates, cover with pine boughs after the soil freezes to help protect from winter damage.This clever container design uses a cabbage as the tall “thriller,” marigolds as the “filler,” and creeping thyme as the “spiller” flowing over the edge of a small whiskey barrel pot.Although the flavor is most concentrated just before plants bloom, thyme is so aromatic that the leaves have good flavour all the time.Thyme is also great with any slowly cooked soup, stew, vegetable, meat, or sauce. .

Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Thyme

Thyme is a wonderful herb with a pleasant, pungent, clover flavor.There are both fragrant ornamental types as well as culinary thyme varieties which add a savory note to summer soups, grilled meats, and vegetables.Originally from the Mediterranean area, this herb is drought-friendly so it doesn’t have high watering needs. .

Are Thyme Blossoms Edible?

is an aromatic herb that grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9.Thyme produces flowers abundantly, and the blooming period is long.If you don’t want to eat the flowers, harvest the stem and the leaves before the thyme blooms.It produces tiny pink flowers and has a dense mat of foliage, which emits an orange-spice scent when it’s crushed.When you’re xeriscaping, or growing with minimal water, a creeping thyme lawn offers a beautiful and hardy alternative to plants that might not be edible.Creeping thyme (Thymus praecox) is an attractive and viable lawn cover in many parts of the United States, and it grows in hardiness zones 4 through 9.A creeping thyme lawn can help deter pests, and it can provide an aromatic ground cover all year-round.For best results and optimal germination, sprinkle the seeds along with a thin layer of soil.


Flowering Thyme Information and Facts

The tiny, purple blooms of Flowering thyme offer a balsamic scent and citrusy flavor with hints of mint.Flowering thyme is available in the early spring and late summer months.Thyme is a widely used culinary and aromatic herb, that is also grown for its ornamental and edible purple flowers.The herb also contains tannins, bitter compounds, and organic acids, which together with thymol and carvacrol offer digestive benefits, as well as antibiotic, antibacterial and antioxidant properties.The name “thyme” in its Greek form, meant ‘to fumigate,’ as the herb was often burned as an insect and ‘other venomous creature’ repellent.In ancient Rome, thyme was used to treat melancholy and during Medieval times was thought to instill vigor and courage in the user.The compounds in the oil give the plant antibacterial, fungicidal, and antiseptic qualities that translate well into natural applications for deodorant, mouthwash, soaps and toothpastes.The flowers are often used in potpourri or herb sachets for closets and drawers.Flowering thyme is native to the countries bordering the Mediterranean, Southern France, Italy, and Spain.Spread over Europe by explorers, travelers and armies, thyme was commonly cultivated in England by the mid-16th century.Thyme was spread to the Americas by explorers and is now considered native in the coastal United States and Canada by the USDA. .

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.


How To Use Thyme Flowers

Thyme plants produce beautiful white or purple flowers that are great for attracting bees and other beneficial insects to your garden.Thyme is a popular culinary herb that is used to enhance the flavor of soups, stews and other savory dishes.You can start new thyme plants from seeds or cuttings and they grow best in full sun.Thyme blooms from late spring until summer depending on the variety.The longer you leave the flowers on your plants the stronger they will taste so it’s best to pick them when they’re about three weeks old for the best flavor.Thyme leaves are used in meat, vegetable and savory dishes and you can use the flowers in the same way for a more subtle flavor.Try adding the flowers to roast vegetables, salads, pizzas or use them as a garnish to beautify your meals.Thyme flowers are a great source of pollen, so allowing your thyme plants to bloom means that you’ll attract lots of butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects to your herb garden.Wait until the flowers turn brown and cut them off with a pair of scissors.Label your seeds and store them somewhere cool until you’re ready to plant them in your garden next year. .

Growing Thyme Plants: Ornamental and Edible Herbs

Thyme plants are often used to flavor soups, gravy, meat and vegetable dishes.It also tastes great with fish and in lemon-flavored foods such as flavored ice tea or even cookies.Thyme is a fragrant, low-growing ground cover that produces tiny pink, purple or white flowers, depending on the variety.Unlike some herbs that grow easily from seed, thyme does best when planted from transplants in spring once the danger of frost has passed.Finish pruning at least a month before the first frost or new growth can become severely damaged when cold temperatures hit.It is often seen growing in rock gardens or along a stone or brick border where its fragrant foliage can drape down.When planted along a walkway, thyme releases its aromatic fragrance when you walk on it.Harvest thyme throughout the year in mild climates and in spring and summer in cooler zones. .


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