9 Tips for Growing Thyme in Pots or Containers

I couldn’t reside with out thyme. Have you ever tried it with roasted carrots and honey? Unbelievably scrumptious.

Thyme is a Mediterranean herb that enhances so many kinds of delicacies, however it’s additionally simply plain fairly. If you would like the entire advantages of this scrumptious herb however wrestle with house or tough soil, this text is for you.

Thyme doesn’t want a lot for repairs, so it’s a terrific possibility for novices. Bees additionally belove the blooms! Fortunately for these in small areas, its shallow roots make it a terrific candidate for container rising. Want some tips about rising your individual? Let’s get began!

First, Decide the Proper Container

All kinds of thyme keep fairly compact, however they will unfold a bit (positively an excellent factor on this case). Relying on the variability, thyme will develop between 3-12 inches tall and 12-15 inches broad over time. Hold these issues in thoughts when selecting a container:


Thyme has shallow roots and could be grown in a 6-inch deep, 12-inch diameter container.

Thyme is a gradual grower with shallow roots. You solely want a container 6 inches deep and 12 inches in diameter to develop one good plant. When you’d wish to develop a number of varieties, plant them in a wider pot or raised mattress and house them 12 inches aside. They’ll slowly develop collectively for a stunning thyme smorgasbord. 


Close-up of inverted terracotta pots. The pots are large, rounded, elongated, expanding towards the top. Each pot has a drainage hole at the bottom.
Thyme prefers well-draining soil and could be grown in containers with drainage holes.

Thyme naturally grows in gritty, rocky soils and wishes good drainage. In case your container doesn’t have drainage holes, you may drill them your self. Terracotta pots are good, letting roots breathe, however any container letting water stream by way of will work properly. Thyme can also be wonderful in raised beds with oregano, rosemary, lavender, and sage. All of them like the identical free-draining situations, so amend with horticultural sand or perlite if the raised mattress is stuffed with heavy soil.

I’ve been rising my thyme in a raised mattress for just a few years. When you’re on the lookout for a bigger mattress, take a look at Birdies Steel Raised Backyard Beds. In contrast to wooden beds which might rot over time, these are fabricated from long-lasting galvanized metal.

In case you have a smaller house to work with, do that Spherical Quick Steel Mattress. It appears good, might match a number of vegetation for a compact herb backyard, and doesn’t want any particular instruments to place collectively.

Plant on the Proper Time

Close-up of a man's hands transplanting a Thyme plant into a large clay pot in a sunny garden against a blurred background. The plant has vertical thin stems covered with small oval leaves of bright green color, arranged oppositely along the stems.
Plant thyme in spring after frost, give it heat earlier than new frost hits.

You may plant thyme begins in your backyard in early spring after the hazard of frost has handed. It’s chilly hardy all the way down to zone 4 however it likes to get established within the backyard earlier than publicity to chilly temps.

You may plant all the best way as much as early fall, supplied you give your thyme no less than a month of heat earlier than a brand new frost hits. Its perfect temps vary from 68-86℉. In case you have an sudden chilly snap simply after planting, cowl it with frost fabric or mulch the highest with leaves.

Thyme will keep evergreen in gentle climates. It should go dormant in areas with chilly winters and pop again up in spring. When you’d like to reap all of it 12 months, maintain it in a conveyable pot and convey it indoors close to a sunny window.

Select the Proper Web site

Close-up of a growing Thyme in a pot on a sunny windowsill. Thyme is a herbaceous plant with small thin stems and tiny elongated leaves. The stems become woody at the base and become more flexible towards the tips. The leaves are small, oval, narrow, green. The pot is wrapped in craft paper.
Plant thyme in full solar for 6-8 hours per day for optimum progress.

When planting something, it’s smart to maintain its native habitat in thoughts. Thyme originates within the Mediterranean, which has a sizzling and dry local weather. Translating this to your backyard means placing your thyme in full solar for no less than 6-8 hours per day.

When you solely have half shade, thyme will tolerate it however responds with slower progress. Go forward and plant it anyway- you’ll seemingly nonetheless get lots to reap and revel in.

Give it Good Soil

Close-up of young Thyme sprouts in black small pots in the garden. In the foreground is a woman's hand with golden rings on her fingers. Thyme sprouts are small, upright, short, thin stems covered with tiny oval, narrow, linear green leaves.
Thyme is adaptable to numerous soil varieties however prefers sandy soil with good drainage.

Thyme isn’t finicky about soil. In reality, many gardeners plant decorative varieties in dry areas between rocks the place it spreads superbly.

Go for sandy soil over heavy clay, as this aids in drainage. A superb potting combine amended with a layer of compost and a little bit of horticultural sand or gravel will do properly.

Select The Proper Selection

Top-of-the-line elements about thyme is its numerous fragrant and taste profiles. Some are earthy, others scent like citrus, and a few are grown for his or her colourful flowers. It is available in two principal varieties, decorative and culinary, although all are edible.

Listed below are just a few totally different varieties I like to recommend making an attempt in your backyard this season:

English Thyme

Close-up of an English Thyme plant in a purple pot against a blurry background. The plant consists of vertical thin pale green stems covered with small oval dark green leaves.
Widespread Thyme is a flavorful selection beloved for its strong style and enticing flowers, perfect for savory dishes.

A yummy, earthy-tasting selection, additionally referred to as Widespread Thyme. It will get about 12 inches tall and broad, with gentle pink to lavender flowers adored by pollinators. It has a strong taste well-liked in cooked dishes, particularly used with meats and roasted veggies. 

German Thyme

Close-up of a German Thyme plant in white plastic pots. It is a small perennial plant with woody stems and small fragrant leaves. The stems are thin, branching, forming a bushy growth. The small, oval leaves are closely spaced along the stems and are green in color.
German Thyme is a flexible and winter-hardy selection, good for including delicate taste.

That is the variability I take advantage of most in my backyard. It’s barely much less potent than English thyme, making it extra of a flexible background taste than the star.

This selection can also be very winter-hardy, withstanding temps all the way down to -30℉. It has small pink flowers and is nice as a garnish and in salads.

Lemon Thyme

Close-up of a growing Lemon Thyme in a black plastic pot at a garden center. The plant forms thin stems densely covered with small oval green leaves with creamy white edges. A yellow sign that says "Lemon Thyme" in a pot.
Lemon thyme has a pleasant citrusy mint taste and aroma, with chartreuse foliage and pink flowers.

I might inhale this scent for hours! Lemon thyme has a refreshing citrusy mint taste and a dreamy aroma when crushed. It has chartreuse foliage and pink flowers. Whereas nice for cooking and making tea, it’s additionally well-liked as a decorative.

Creeping Thyme

Close-up of a blooming Creeping Thyme in a large black pot, in a sunny garden. It is a low growing perennial plant that forms a dense carpet of stems and leaves. Creeping thyme leaves are small, oval in shape, arranged oppositely along the stems. Creeping thyme produces clusters of small flowers on short stems. The flowers are lavender in color and have a tubular shape with four or five petals.
This sort of thyme contains decorative varieties with stunning flowers.

Creeping Thyme includes a number of decorative varieties (you may eat them too!) that look attractive flowing over the perimeters of pots. Try Purple Creeping Thyme for fairly darkish pink flowers, Wooly Thyme for mushy, gray-green leaves and pale rose blooms, or Elfin, with a pleasant mounding behavior and lightweight purple flowers.

Seed vs. Nursery-Grown Vegetation

Close-up of Thyme plants in black nursery pots, in the garden, against a blurred background. The plant has vertical thin stems covered with small oval green leaves with a slightly purple underside.
Begin thyme from seed indoors 8 weeks earlier than the final frost, then transplant the seedlings.

Thyme could be grown from seed, however reaching maturity takes 6-12 months. When you do need to develop it from seed, begin it indoors no less than 8 weeks earlier than your final frost.

Sprinkle seeds on the floor (goal for about 3 each 10 inches or so), and barely cowl with soil. Seeds germinate in 12-15 days and could be thinned as soon as they’re an inch tall.

Harden your seedlings off as soon as the hazard of frost has handed, then transplant them into the backyard.

Most gardeners decide to buy a nursery begin, which might later be propagated by way of cuttings. This fashion, you may harvest it instantly. Put together the soil and plant your bought thyme about 12 inches from different herbs so it has room to unfold.

Water the Proper Quantity

Close-up of a woman spraying a Thyme plant from a green plastic bottle with a white sprayer. Thyme is a perennial plant with woody stems covered with small green oval leaves. The plant grows in a terracotta pot. On the white table is an empty terracotta pot, a spool of string, cut Thyme sprigs, and another Thyme plant.
Thyme is drought tolerant and appropriate for arid climates.

Thyme is drought tolerant as soon as established and a terrific alternative for arid climates and water-wise gardens. Examine small transplants typically and water them at any time when the soil is dry.

Mature vegetation wish to dry out fully between waterings. When the climate is sizzling, you could have to water it as soon as per week. Within the cooler temperatures of spring and fall, it seemingly received’t should be watered greater than twice a month.

If you water, give it a radical soak to achieve the roots. Keep in mind that small pots will dry out extra rapidly and should be checked extra typically as days get hotter.

Overwatering is extra of a hazard than underwatering. Soggy soil results in rotted roots and brown leaves. Keep away from this by doing a soil examine. Stick your finger in knuckle-deep. If it’s dry at that depth, give it a drink! When you really feel moisture, examine once more in a few days.

Fertilize (or Don’t)

Close-up of stems with leaves of a Thyme plant in a clay pot. The plant has thin, woody stems covered with small, oval, green, fragrant leaves.
Thyme thrives in poor soil and doesn’t require fertilization.

Thyme is a rugged plant that doesn’t want fertilization (in actual fact, it prefers poor situations over wealthy soil). A prime dressing of compost in early spring will give all of it the mandatory vitamins. 

When you’d wish to pamper your thyme, you may give it a liquid seaweed feed as soon as a month in the course of the summer time.

Patrol For Pests

Thyme is usually unbothered by pests when grown within the backyard. They don’t like its minty odor. Nonetheless, listed here are some critters you may encounter and what to do about them:


Close-up of a swarm of Aphids on a green leaf. Aphid is a soft-bodied insect that feeds on plant sap. Aphid has a pear-shaped green body.
These widespread backyard pests assault new progress, inflicting stunted and distorted leaves.

Aphids wish to colonize tender new progress, sucking out sugary sap. This ends in stunted progress and distorted leaves. You’ll often see these small, soft-bodied bugs in spring. They will vary in colour from inexperienced, grey, or pink.

I don’t like to make use of any form of pesticides in my edible backyard. I discover that aphids could be defeated with a powerful, direct spray from the hose.

You may also stop pests by way of companion planting. Parasitic wasps, lacewings, birds, and ladybugs like to munch on aphids. Appeal to these helpful predators by planting thyme close to rosemary and umbel-flowered vegetation within the carrot household, like dill, fennel, and cilantro.  

Spider Mites

Close-up of Spider Mites on a pale green leaf. The leaf is covered in thin layers of cobwebs on which there are tiny white mites.
Tiny spider mites may cause curled leaves and produce tremendous white webbing.

Spider mites are so tiny (lower than 1 mm) that you simply’re unlikely to identify them. When you see curled or distorted leaves, examine for tremendous white webbing- a key indicator that they’ve made a house in your thyme.

Deal with spider mites the identical as you’ll aphids, with a powerful spray from the hose and a biodiverse backyard that draws their predators.

Take away badly affected elements of the plant. If this doesn’t work, you may deal with your thyme with neem oil within the night, however achieve this solely after you’ve exhausted different efforts. Horticultural oils like neem impression bees and different pollinators.

Harvest Recurrently

Pruning and collecting Thyme growing in a pot. Close-up of female hands cutting stems with leaves of a Thyme plant using black kitchen scissors, indoors on a white wooden table. The Thyme plant is a herbaceous perennial plant with small thin stems and tiny oval dark green leaves. The plant pot is wrapped in craft paper. The table also has a rope cat, Pestle and Mortar, and other potted herbs.
Common harvesting of thyme eliminates the necessity for pruning.

When you harvest your thyme usually, there’s no want for pruning to maintain it in nice form!  Simply snip off a stem proper above a leaf node, leaving no less than 5 inches of progress behind (for shorter vegetation, take not more than a 3rd of its top). Decide essentially the most tender new progress and keep away from any woody or thick stems.

In case your thyme is a child plant, harvest sparingly till the following season when it may possibly rebound extra simply.

The focus of oil and taste is strongest proper earlier than it flowers, however I discover that thyme is tasty all season. After you’ve snipped your stems, strive pulling them by way of the tines of a fork to separate the leaves for cooking. In addition they look fairly as-is to make use of as a garnish or in salads. 

Hold slicing just a few sprigs right here and there, and your thyme will keep bushy and compact. Proper earlier than your final frost, be happy to chop the entire plant down by half for a giant harvest you could dry to make use of all through winter.

Keep in mind at all times to make use of clear, sharp shears and sanitize them between vegetation to forestall the unfold of illnesses.

Closing Ideas

Thyme is right for container rising. With shallow roots, cold-hardiness, and drought tolerance, it’s low upkeep and simple to maintain completely happy in a small house.

Keep in mind this plant’s most popular sizzling, sunny, and freely draining situations for a profitable harvest. Snip and revel in typically (or lean in for slightly aromatherapy). You’ll quickly search for new methods to include this scrumptious herb into your repertoire!

Leave a Reply

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings