Growing Thyme (Thymus) How to Grow Thyme Plants
Grow Thyme Plants
Thymus species and varieties
There are a large number of varieties of evergreen thyme plants available. Most are grown for ornamental purposes but, as with the culinary varieties of Thymus vulgaris, the aromatic flavour in their leaves varies in intensity; some are very good indeed, and others less so.
If you are already growing thyme of some variety – possibly the ornamental thyme, try it for flavour! The herb is excellent for pork dishes, casseroles, and in stuffings for savory dishes. Thyme plants vary greatly in leaf and form. The leaves may be anything from small and spear-shaped to round, and from light yellow-green in colour to dark bluish green or green with yellow or white variegations. Some varieties of Thymus citriodorus have a flavour like lemon, orange, or other . They vary in form from mats to bushy plants up to 300 mm (12 in) high.
As with many other herbs, thyme varieties are best raised from bought pot-grown plants. These should be potted on as for tarragon, but using smaller pots at each stage; alternatively, they may be planted out. They grow in most well-drained soils, preferably slightly alkaline. The prostrate varieties root as they form mats and can be propagated by detaching small rooted pieces and planting them elsewhere or potting them up. The upright-growing varieties can also be increased by division or by using the self-sown seedlings. Most varieties will also root readily from cuttings, about 30 mm (1-1/4 in) long, treated as for rosemary. The bushy upright varieties should be trimmed after flowering.
Harvest the leaves as required.
COMMON, GARDEN, OR FRENCH THYME Bushy
LEMON THYME: Several forms, including ‘Silver Queen’ with silver variegated leaves; bushy to prostrate
CARAWAY THYME: Prostrate
GOLDEN THYME: Mat-forming, mild-flavoured
Site: Sunny, sheltered
Plant: Immediately after purchase
Harvest: As required