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How to Grow Thyme

Thyme is a low-growing herb that's a member of the mint family, with small aromatic leaves and purple flowers [source: WVU]. It's grown for its flavor and as a decorative plant. Thyme is also a great plant to use in rock gardens, as a border plant, or as groundcover. Although most people think of thyme as a seasoning, thyme oil is used in lotions, soaps and perfume. Thyme is very easy to grow from seeds, by taking a cutting from another plant or by dividing an existing plant [source: Hoyer]. Here are some tips for growing thyme:

  • Plant your thyme in well-drained soil [source: Herring].
  • Plant your thyme where it will get lots of sun [source: Hoyer]. You can plant thyme in pots with other herbs, which require the same amount of water [source: Hevrdejs]. If you plant your thyme in the ground, be sure to space the plants 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) apart. If you plant more than one row, space the rows 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 centimeters) apart [source: Ontario].
  • Grow thyme indoors, in containers with well-drained soil. If you don't have a sunny spot for growing herbs, you can provide the necessary light by using an artificial light source, such as standard fluorescent lamps or special plant-growing lamps instead [source: Rothenberger].
  • Water your thyme plants once a week [source: Herring]. Thyme needs very little care and does well in dry conditions, without much water or fertilizer [source: Hevrdejs].
  • Harvest your thyme often, especially if you grow it in a pot [source: Hevrdejs]. Thyme is most flavorful just before flowering. It's also advisable to harvest your thyme early in the morning, just after the dew dries [source: Copsey, Lerner].