Thyme (Thymus spp.)

Thyme Plant Features

As edible as it is beautiful, thyme plays a starring role in both the kitchen and the herb garden. Growing just 2 to 6 inches tall, thyme also works well in the landscape as a fragrant ground cover tucked between stepping stones or pavers. Thyme is super easy to grow in most any sunny situation and thrives equally in containers as it does in the ground. As a bonus, thyme develops pretty pink, purple, or white flowers in mid summer that are as attractive to butterflies as they are to you. Thyme also comes in a variety of fragrances including lemon, lime, coconut, orange, and lavender. Some varieties also bear variegated foliage. Hardy from zones 4-9.

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Thyme Growing Instructions

Thyme loves sunshine. That's why it's best to plant it where it will receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sun a day. Thyme requires well-drained soil and will not prosper in wet or muddy locations. If you grow thyme in containers use a commercial potting soil mix. In the northern part of its range, cover the plants with pine boughs or some other lightweight mulch to protect the plants over the winter. You can harvest the leaves at any time to use fresh, dried, or frozen.
  • Water

    Medium water needs

  • Light

    Indoors: High light

    Outside: Sun

  • Colors




  • Special Features

    Attracts butterflies

    Colorful foliage

    Deer/rabbit resistant

    Fragrant flowers/foliage


Complement your Thyme

Talk about a fragrant pairing! Basil and Thyme are amazing together.

Rosemary and Thyme are good partners in the herb garden or a container.

Our favorite varieties

Red Thyme

Red Thyme

Thymus coccineus

Often called red creeping thyme, this plant makes a terrific groundcover in sunny locations. Growing 2 to 3 inches tall, it's a vigorous plant is prized for its glossy green leaves that are topped with nectar-rich deep pink flowers in the summer. It’s a favorite plant of butterflies and bees. This variety has no culinary use.

Pink Chintz Thyme

Pink Chintz Thyme

Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz'

The fragrant, blue-green leaves of ‘Pink Chintz’ thyme make this ground hugger a top pick as a groundcovers or in containers. Although it has no culinary use, ‘Pink Chintz’ gives off a mint like fragrance when brushed or walked on. The plants are smothered in salmon-pink flowers from early to midsummer. It’s also highly attractive to butterflies and bees.

Silver Edge Thyme

Silver Edge Thyme

Thymus vulgaris 'Argenteus'

As colorful as it is flavorful, silver edge thyme has bright green leaves with white margins and a lemony flavor that pairs well with chicken and fish recipes. It grows 8 to 12 inches tall and works well in perennial borders.

Woolly Thyme

Woolly Thyme

Thymus pseudolanuginosus

It’s almost impossible to resist petting the cute, fuzzy, gray green leaves of woolly thyme. Growing just 2 to 3 inches all, it forms a thick mat that’s tough enough to handle light foot traffic when tucked between stepping-stones. It also works great in containers. Pale pink flowers that attract butterflies cover the plant in midsummer.