Thyme – Thyme Propagation With Seeds

百里香 Thyme
百里香 Thyme
Thyme, the pronunciation of thyme is really like the word “time”. In American cooking shows, always heard: put “time” to butter. They mean “Thyme”.

As a herb, thyme is truly versatile. Can make herb tea, can be used in cooking, especially goes well with meat. In the chef Gordon Ramsay’s cooking competition shows, the Hell’s Kitchen, the MasterChef, cooking filet mignon can’t without thyme definitely. Besides, thyme handmade soap and thyme essential oil are necessary for the people who likes handmade soap and essential oil.

Step 1: Prepare a big pot that thyme can grow up at least half year

Although thyme is a perennial herb, but it’s afraid of hot. In Taiwan, thyme becomes weak after spring. When summer comes, thyme is hard to survive. Unless transplant it to the middle of a mountain with cold air and partial shade. If it’s a lot of rain or sunlight less then partial shade, the thyme still can’t survive. Spring and autumn are good for scatter seeds to propagate thyme. Prepare a big pot that can let the thyme plant grow up for at least half year. Wait for the plant grows lush, cut some stems to be the cuttings to propagate more plants, then there will be more chances to have the thyme in summer.

I love to propagate thyme with seeds. Because the root of thyme is not strong enough, so I prepare potting mix soil by myself and a big pot that I don’t need to transplant it for half year. I mix those ingredients for potting soil:
  1. 1/4 Commercial potting soil.
  2. 1/4 Peat soil.
  3. 1/4 Coconut coir.
  4. 1/4 Normal soil.
  5. Few vermiculite.
  6. Few stones.
  7. A big pot with at least four holes in the bottom.
Putting stones in the bottom, mix all soil and vermiculite then put to the pot.

Step 2: Make sure the soil is well-drained.

Trying to water the soil, if the excess water drainage out of the pot too slow, it’s not well-drained. Please mix more coconut coir, vermiculite and stones to the soil.

Repeat watering the soil and adjust the soil, until it can drainage excess water quickly.

Step 3: Scatter thyme seeds above the soil

Thyme seed is tiny, smaller than ant. Please mix the seeds with a handful potting soil first, then scatter the mix above the pot. The seeds will be sown evenly.

Step 4: Water the soil and place to partial shade area.

After scattering the thyme seeds and watering the soil thoroughly, then place the pot in a partial shade area.

How to take care of thyme

  1. Sunlight: Full sun or partial shade in spring, autumn and winter, Partial shade in summer.
  2. Drainage: Prepare a well-drained soil in pot that can drainage excess water immediately while watering.
  3. Watering: When the surface of soil is a little dried, water the plant thoroughly until the soil full of water.
    • Hot day: Watering once a day. At least once per 2 days.
    • Wet day: Stop watering for 2 days.
    • Few soil of pot: Increase watering frequency.
    • A lot soil of pot: Reduce watering frequency.
    • If the plants are placed in the area that the rain can’t pouring down, spray water on the leaves occasionally.
  1. Fertilize: When finish milk or soy milk (sugar-free), use the milk bottle washing water to water the plants. Rice washing water is a good choice too. Watching the leaves, if they turn to a little bit yellow, maybe overwatered or drainage system is not good.
  2. Prune: Pinch off the terminal buds occasionally will let the lateral buds grow lush. Without this step, the terminal bud will grow tall, but the plant will not become luxuriant.
  3. Do cutting propagation per month: Thyme is afraid of hot, if you want to use fresh thyme in cooking every season, I recommend propagating thyme per month. But I can’t promise you that your thyme plant can survive through summer.
百里香 Thyme
百里香 Thyme
The seeds germinated after a week. They will grow up and cover the pot, so please don’t scatter too much seeds in a pot.
百里香 Thyme
百里香 Thyme
Because of the commercial potting soil, the plantlets grow well without fertilizer. I don’t need to use any commercial fertilizer, just put the plant in a place that the rain can drop on it. The rainwater contains nitrogen to fertilize plants.
百里香 Thyme
百里香 Thyme
Pinching off the terminal bud occasionally to force the lateral buds grow up. If miss this step, thyme stem will grow long but not lush.
百里香 Thyme
百里香 Thyme
Beside the thyme, I also plant some Broad-Leaved Thyme (Thymus pulegioides). let you check the different appearance between thyme and broad-leaved thyme. (Above picture) The red pot is broad-leaved thyme, blue pot is thyme. The size of the leaf, the thickness of the leaf, the color of the leaf are all different.

Although you can’t smell the smell, but the aroma of them are also different. The aroma of broad-leaved thyme is less sweet than the other one, it’s my personal feeling. Compare thyme and broad-leaved thyme, I like thyme more.

This year (2021), I wanted to put some thyme leaves in handmade soap, so I scattered a lot of seeds around my field in spring, they really germinated! Outdoor! But they can’t control weeds. In September, those thyme plantlets have been replaced by weeds.