Growing Creeping Thyme: A Perennial Mint Family Member With Many Uses

Growing Creeping Thyme

Creeping thyme is a low-growing, perennial herb that is closely related to the well-known edible herb, thyme.

It has many culinary and nonculinary uses and thrives in sunny areas as a groundcover.

Depending on the type, creeping thyme produces blossoms in various hues, including pink, white, and purple. The mature flowers usually start to bloom in the springtime.

Common Name Creeping thyme
Botanical Name Thymus spp.
Family Lamiaceae
Plant Type Herbaceous, perennial
Mature Size 2-6 in. tall, 6-18 in. wide
Sun Exposure Full
Soil Type Well-drained, sandy
Soil pH Neutral, alkaline
Bloom Time Summer
Flower Color Pink, white, purple
Hardiness Zones 2-9 (USDA)
Native Area Europe

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

  • To ensure your creeping thyme plants remain healthy, it’s important to give them the right growing conditions. Here are a few tips:
  • Plant in full sun for best results. Creeping thyme will tolerate some light shade, but it won’t grow as vigorously and is more susceptible to disease.
  • Choose a well-drained spot for planting. These plants don’t like soggy soil, which can cause root rot. If your soil is heavy or clay-like, improve drainage by mixing in some sand or organic matter before planting.
  • Once established, creeping thyme is drought tolerant. But during hot, dry periods you may need to water once a week or so to keep the plants from wilting.
  • Fertilize creeping thyme once year in early spring with a balanced granular fertilizer. Trim back the plant in late winter or early spring to tidy it up and encourage fresh growth.

Lighting and Temperature

Creeping thyme grows best in full sun, but it will tolerate some light shade. Plants grown in full sun will be more compact and have fewer problems with pests and diseases.

This plant is hardy in USDA zones 29, which means it can handle temperatures as low as -20°F (-29°C).


Creeping thyme grows best in sandy, well-drained soil. If your soil is heavy or clay-like, improve drainage by mixing in some sand or organic matter before planting.

Once established, this plant is drought tolerant. But during hot, dry periods you may need to water once a week or so to keep the plants from wilting.


Fertilize creeping thyme once a year in early spring with a balanced granular fertilizer. Trim back the plant in late winter or early spring to tidy it up and encourage fresh growth.


Trim back the plant in late winter or early spring to tidy it up and encourage fresh growth.


Once established, this plant is drought tolerant. But during hot, dry periods you may need to water once a week or so to keep the plants from wilting.


Creeping thyme is a low-growing plant that covers the ground. Depending on the variety, it can grow to be two to six inches tall and six to 18 inches wide.


Creeping thyme produces small flowers in shades of white, pink, and purple. The flowers have a light, pleasant fragrance. Plants typically bloom in summer.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

As the weather gets hotter and drier, many gardeners start to see their plants flourishing. However, hot, dry conditions can also provide the perfect breeding ground for pests like spider mites.

These tiny spiders thrive in warm, dry environments, and they can quickly deplete a plant of its moisture. As a result, spider mites can be a major concern for thyme creepers that are trying to survive in hot, dry summers.

Insecticidal soap is an effective treatment for these pests. By suffocating the spider mites, insecticidal soap can help to keep thyme creepers healthy and free of infestations.

In addition to treating spider mites, insecticidal soap can also be used to control aphids and other indoor plants.

Propagating Creeping Thyme

Thyme is a hearty plant that is known for its ability to self-seed and thrive. One of the best ways to propagated thyme is through division, which can be done in the late spring or early summer.

To divide thyme, simply remove the root ball from the ground with an unsterilized spade or knife. Once the root ball is removed, replant it in a clean pot with well-drained soil.

Be sure to give the plant plenty of space to grow, as it will need at least three inches of space on each side and underneath.

Water the plant well after replanting, and it should begin to thrive in its new home. Another way to propagate thyme is through stem cuttings.

To do this, simply take a cutting from an existing plant and replant it in moist soil. Be sure to keep the cutting moist until it takes root, and then water it regularly as it grows.

Finally, thyme can also be propagated from seed. Start by planting thyme seeds in a sterile potting mix in late winter or early spring. Keep the soil moist but not wet, and wait for the seeds to germinate.

Once they have germinated, transplant them into individual pots and water regularly as they grow. With a little care and patience, you can easily propagate thyme through any of these methods.

Types of Creeping Thyme

There are many different types of thyme, but the most popular is Thymus vulgaris, which is also known as garden thyme or common thyme.

This variety of thyme is native to England and has a wide range of culinary applications. However, if you’re looking for a ground cover that will spread quickly, you may want to consider one of the creeping thymes, such as Thymus ‘Spicy Orange’ or Thymus paocos ‘Albiflorus’.

Both of these varieties are hardy in a wide range of zones and will add color to your garden with their orange and white blooms, respectively.

Or if you’re looking for something a little different, try the pink-flowered red creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum “Coccineus”). Whatever type of thyme you choose, it’s sure to add flavor to your garden!

How do you encourage creeping thyme to spread?

There are a few things you can do to encourage your creeping thyme to spread. First, make sure you’re giving it regular water. This will help the plant to put down deeper roots, which will in turn help it to spread more easily.

Second, if you have a strong-scented variety, such as caraway thyme, try crushing the leaves lightly to release their fragrance. This will attract bees and other pollinators, which will help the plant to reproduce. Finally, make sure you’re giving the plant some room to grow.

Creeping thyme can spread quite rapidly, so give it plenty of space to fill in. With a little bit of care, you can soon have a healthy patch of thyme that will add flavor and fragrance to your home for years to come.

Will creeping thyme spread?

Creeping thyme is an attractive and versatile ground cover that is often used in landscaping. The plant grows to a very low height, spreading by forming a vine-like growth habit.

Creeping thyme is a thorny plant with a fine texture and can spread rapidly all over the landscape. The plant produces flowers in a variety of shades of colors, depending on the specific variety.

While most creeping thyme varieties are considered low-maintenance, they can become invasive if not properly cared for.

For this reason, it is important to check with your local extension office to see if creeping thyme is appropriate for your particular climate and gardening needs before planting. With proper care, however, creeping thyme can be a beautiful and easy-to-care-for addition to any landscape.

What is the longest blooming creeping thyme?

Creeping Thymes are a type of ground cover plant that is related to the herb thyme. While most varieties of creeping thyme do not produce flowers, some do, and they bloom around three or four weeks between mid-spring and mid-summer.

Pink Lemonade is one of the longest blooming varieties, with its beautiful pink flowers appearing throughout the growth season.

When choosing a creeping thyme for your garden, be sure to consider the length of bloom time as well as the plant’s color and fragrance. With so many varieties to choose from, you’re sure to find one that will suit your needs perfectly!

How often does creeping thyme need to be watered?

Creeping Thyme is a low-growing herb that is often used as a ground cover or in rock gardens. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate drought and is resistant to most pests and diseases.

While creeping thyme is relatively easy to care for, it does need to be watered regularly during its first growing season to ensure that the roots become established.

Once established, the plant is quite drought-tolerant and will only need to be watered during extended periods of dry weather.

However, if the leaves start to turn brown or wilt, this is a sign that the plant needs more water. With proper care, creeping thyme will thrive and provide color and interest in the garden for many years to come.

Does thyme come back after winter?

Though often associated with warmth and sunshine, thyme is actually a hardy herb that can withstand harsh conditions. In regions with cold winters, thyme will go dormant, losing its leaves and becoming somewhat dormant.

However, in springtime, the thyme plant will start to regrow, sprouting new leaves and stems. As a result, thyme is often considered a perennial herb, capable of coming back year after year.

Though it may suffer from cold damage during particularly harsh winters, thyme will usually regenerate itself come springtime, making it a reliable source of flavor for cooks in any climate.

Does creeping thyme have flowers?

Creeping thyme is a perennial herb in the mint family that is known for its low-growing, mat-like habit and its small, fragrant flowers. There are many different varieties of creeping thyme, and they can vary in color, from white to pink to purple.

Some varieties even have variegated leaves. While all varieties of creeping thyme have flowers, they are not all equally showy. The white creeping thyme, for example, has small white flowers that are barely noticeable among its green leaves.

In contrast, the red creeping thyme has large, bright pink flowers that are quite eye-catching. Creeping thyme is typically grown as a ground cover or in rock gardens, and it is hardy in zones 2 to 9.

How far will one creeping thyme spread?

Creeping thyme is a low-growing groundcover that is often used in gardens or Herzog walks. This herb is known for its unique growth habit and delightful fragrance.

But how far will one creeping thyme spread? The heights of creeping thyme range between 1 and 4 inches, with spreads of that can reach 24-inches or greater. The plant produces runners (or stolons) that take root at the nodes, forming new plants.

In addition, creeping thyme will also produce seedheads that can be used for propagation. Given the right conditions, one creeping thyme plant has the potential to spread rapidly and cover a large area.

However, it can also be controlled through regular pruning and mowing. Ultimately, the size of a creeping thyme plant will depend on the gardener’s desired look and level of maintenance.

Does creeping thyme come back year after year?

As any seasoned gardener knows, not all plants are created equal. Some, like annuals, only last for a single growing season before they need to be replanted.

Others, like perennials, come back year after year with minimal care. Creeping thyme is one of these hardy perennials.

Native to Europe and Asia, this drought-tolerant plant has long been prized for its ability to withstand harsh conditions and its tendency to come back year after year.

In addition to its low-maintenance requirements, creeping thyme is also known for its beautiful lavender flowers, which bloom in the summertime.

So if you’re looking for a plant that will add color and beauty to your garden with minimal effort, creeping thyme is a good option to consider.

How long does creeping thyme last?

Creeping thyme is a beautiful, low-growing plant that produces purple or pink flowers. It’s a popular choice for gardens, as it’s easy to care for and provides color and interest for several weeks.

Creeping thyme typically blooms for three to four weeks in late spring or early summer. After blooming, the plant goes into a dormant period. When properly cared for, creeping thyme can live for several years.

With its attractive flowers and easy-care nature, it’s no wonder this plant is so popular among gardeners.

How do you care for creeping thyme?

Creeping thyme is a wonderful plant to have in your garden. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s also very easy to care for. Creeping thyme thrives in well-drained soil with moderate to alkaline pH.

It also does best in full sunlight, but can take some shade. As the plant matures, it may become woody; however, this doesn’t affect its ability to produce fragrant leaves that make a great addition to any dish.

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant that will add beauty and flavor to your garden, creeping thyme is the perfect choice.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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