Your Guide To: Thyme

Everything you need to know to care for this versatile potted herb.

Don’t let the dainty little leaves of your thyme plant mislead you. This Mediterranean herb brings an enticing aroma and zesty flavor wherever it goes. Fresh or dried, thyme is a versatile herb that goes in slow-simmered soups and stews, roasted dishes, sauces, rubs, marinades, cocktails, and salad dressings.

Thyme leaves may not draw as much attention as other herbs, but with their earthy, spicy and slightly lemony flavor, they can be the foundation of a variety of dishes. Even their stems are full of flavor. Stew them in stock for an extra kick. Just remember to strain them out before you serve.

How to Keep a Thyme Plant Happy

Thyme is traditionally grown outdoors, but it will thrive inside if it gets enough light. As a low-maintenance plant that is easy to grow, thyme is a great choice for new gardeners.

How Much Lighting Does a Thyme Plant Need?

Thyme is a sun lover. This plant will be happiest and most productive on a sunny windowsill where it can enjoy direct sunlight for six to eight hours. South-facing and west-facing windows are usually great options. If your thyme plant doesn’t seem to be getting enough light, you can add a fluorescent lamp or even a grow light to its environment to help.

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How Do I know When To Water My Thyme Plant?

Thyme likes mostly well-drained soil that feels moist, but not soggy. During peak growth times in spring and summer, you may need to water every day or 2. You’ll know it’s time when the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry. Use your finger to test or take the guesswork (and your finger) out of it, and use a plant moisture indicator from our shop.

To water, use a small container or watering can to pour water out slowly, directly onto the soil, moving in a clockwise motion to evenly water the plant’s roots. Be sure to dump any extra water that drips into the tray at the bottom of your plant so the roots don’t sit in it.

How Do I Use Plant Food for My Thyme Plant?

Plant food is an important part of fostering healthy growth and new leaves as your plant settles into its new digs.

For a kitchen-sized thyme plant in a container that’s 5-7 inches in diameter, insert the correct number of plant food spikes (included with your Greendigs plant purchase) into the soil once every month during spring and summer. In fall and winter your thyme plant will be dormant so you only need to feed it every two months. Yes, even though your plant lives inside, it still experiences the seasons.

What Is a Thyme Plant's Ideal Environment?

Thyme plants do well when they can absorb water from the air. Misting your thyme plant a few times a week is also beneficial.

For the best growth, keep the average room temperature in your home between 65and 75 degrees, and keep your thyme plant out of drafty areas.

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Encourage even more fragrance and flavor with these essential supplies.

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Show Them You Care

(6 Recomended)

Encourage even more fragrance and flavor with these essential supplies.

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How Do I Prune and Maintain My Thyme Plant?

Your Greendigs thyme plant is fairly low-maintenance. It does benefit from the occasional trim. Pruning the top of the plant encourages new growth and a bushier, more compact plant. Keep a pair of pruning shears on hand and this job will be a little easier.

Each time you water your thyme plant, rotate the container a quarter turn. This way you’ll make sure it gets the same amount of light on all sides. Our plant trivet set makes this easy and stylish, too.

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How Do I Harvest My Thyme Plant?

For the freshest, best-tasting results, cut from the top of your plant right when you’re ready to use it. Never harvest more than one-third of your thyme at a time, even if you’re tempted to take more. You can also keep fresh cut thyme in the refrigerator for up to five days if the leaves are wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel inside a tightly sealed plastic bag.

You can set sprigs of thyme on your kitchen counter to let them dry out for a bit, or use a food dehydrator to make it more like what you’d find in a spice jar. The easiest way to remove the leaves may be running your thumb and index finger down the stem to push them off.

How to Address Common Thyme Plant Issues

  • Yellow, brown, or black leaves may mean your thyme plant is overwatered (if you’ve watered it in the last couple days). If this happens, stop watering and make sure you put it in a sunny spot where it can dry quickly.
  • Keep an eye out for whiteflies and mealybugs. If you notice any, they can be removed with neem oil.

What to Do If You Still Have Questions

If your thyme plant doesn’t seem to feel at home in your space, we’re here to help. Chat live with a Greendigs representative on our website or shoot us an email at [email protected].

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