Tips and Techniques for Successfully Growing, Caring for, and Planting Creeping Thyme


Growing creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum) is an excellent way to add low-growing, heat-tolerant plants to your garden. The aromatic foliage of creeping thyme releases a delightful fragrance when brushed against or stepped on, making it a favorite in culinary applications. It is a hardy perennial that is already favored by gardeners in USDA zones 4-9.

Propagating creeping thyme is easy, as it readily roots from cuttings or by simply dividing the plant. This ground-hugging herb features small, edible leaves that add a burst of flavor to various dishes. The bright red flowers of creeping thyme create a vibrant display in the garden and attract beneficial pollinators.

Caring for creeping thyme is relatively low maintenance. It prefers well-draining soil and full sun exposure. Spacing plants about 6 to 12 inches apart allows them to fill in more quickly and prevents overcrowding. Creeping thyme is drought-tolerant once established but will benefit from occasional watering during dry spells.

Pruning creeping thyme is a great way to encourage fuller growth and prevent it from becoming woody. Spend a little time each year trimming back the plant to maintain its shape and promote healthy foliage. Creeping thyme is also a great ground cover for sunny locations, providing an attractive alternative to grass or bare ground.

Whether you’re a beginner in gardening or an experienced enthusiast, creeping thyme is a wonderful addition to any garden. Its low-growing, ground-hugging foliage adds a touch of beauty and charm. So, why not give it a try in your garden and enjoy its many attributes?

Red Creeping Thyme

Red creeping thyme (thymus praecox coccineus), a popular ground cover, is a low-growing perennial herb that belongs to the mint family. This vibrant plant features tiny, aromatic leaves that release a pleasant scent when crushed.

When it comes to caring for and planting red creeping thyme, there are a few key tips to keep in mind:

  • Growing Basics: Red creeping thyme is a versatile plant that thrives in sunny locations and is tolerant of various soil conditions. It is hardy in USDA zones 4-9.
  • Spacing: When planting red creeping thyme, space the plants about 6-12 inches apart to allow for spreading.
  • Watering: Red creeping thyme is drought-tolerant and requires minimal watering. Water the plants deeply and then allow the soil to dry out before watering again.
  • Fertilizer: Red creeping thyme generally does not require fertilizer. However, if you find that the plants need a boost, use a slow-release fertilizer in early spring.
  • Pruning: Deadhead the flowers after they bloom to encourage continuous growth and maintain an attractive appearance.
  • Propagation: Red creeping thyme can be propagated by dividing the plants in early spring or by taking stem cuttings.

In addition to its use as a ground cover, red creeping thyme has many attractive attributes that make it a common landscaping choice. Its vibrant red flowers provide a burst of color and are attractive to pollinators like bees and butterflies. Furthermore, red creeping thyme is known for its pleasant aroma, which can make your garden a fragrant oasis.

Red creeping thyme is also an alternative to traditional grass lawns. Its low-growing foliage requires less maintenance, and it is more drought-tolerant than grass. Additionally, because red creeping thyme is an edible herb, you can add it to your cooking or use it as a substitute for other thyme varieties.

Whether you are an experienced gardener or a beginner, red creeping thyme is an excellent choice for adding color and texture to your landscape. Its spreading growth habit allows it to quickly fill in empty spaces, and it is a hardy plant that can withstand harsh winter conditions.

Consider adding red creeping thyme to your garden or landscape this summer, and enjoy its vibrant blooms and attractive foliage.

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If you’re looking to add creeping thyme to your landscape, now is the perfect time to do so. Not only is this drought-tolerant and heat-loving plant easy to grow, but it also offers a variety of features and attributes that make it a popular choice among gardeners. With its creeping growth habit, thymus serpyllum, commonly known as creeping thyme, can be used as a ground cover, and its aromatic foliage and flowers make it a valuable addition to any garden or patio.

When it comes to planting creeping thyme, the best method is usually to start with plugs or plants. This allows for quicker establishment and less competition from weeds. Creeping thyme can be planted directly in the ground or in containers, making it a versatile option for any landscape. Whether you choose to use it in borders, rock gardens, or as a substitute for a lawn, the possibilities are endless.

Once planted, caring for creeping thyme is relatively simple. In terms of watering, this plant is drought-tolerant and generally requires little to no additional irrigation once established. Pruning is also minimal, with the main task being to trim back any dead or damaged growth in early spring. This helps promote new foliage and flowers and keeps the plant looking tidy.

Creeping thyme is a tough plant that can withstand various conditions. It prefers full sun exposure but can tolerate partial shade. This makes it a great choice for areas that receive ample sunlight but also have some shade throughout the day. Additionally, creeping thyme is adaptable to different soil types, as long as they are well-draining. Avoid overly moist or waterlogged areas to prevent root rot.

To fertilize creeping thyme, a common practice is to apply a slow-release fertilizer in early spring. This provides the nutrients needed for healthy growth and vibrant flowers throughout the growing season. Alternatively, organic fertilizers can also be used. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application rates.

Another stand-out feature of creeping thyme is its ability to attract beneficial insects, such as bees and butterflies, making it a valuable addition to any pollinator garden. It also has some culinary uses, with its leaves adding a subtle thyme flavor to dishes. However, it is important to note that the thymol, a compound found in thyme, can vary in concentration, so it may not have the same intensity as common culinary thyme. Nonetheless, it can still be used as a seasoning in various dishes.

So, if you’re searching for a drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plant with attractive foliage and flowers, then creeping thyme is an excellent choice. Take advantage of our special offer and get a free pair of gardening gloves when you spend 7500 or more. Enjoy the benefits of this versatile herb in your garden today!


Creeping thyme, also known by its botanical name Thymus serpyllum, is a popular and versatile herb that gardeners love to plant in a variety of locations. This drought-tolerant plant is an excellent alternative to traditional lawn grass, as it requires less water and maintenance. Creeping thyme is known for its low-growing habit, with a height of about 2 to 3 inches and a spread of up to 18 inches.

The foliage of creeping thyme is made up of tiny, aromatic leaves that are often used in cooking. The flowers of this herb can be white, pink, or purple, adding a pop of color to any garden. It gets its name “creeping” from its spreading growth habit, as it sends out woody stems that root and form new plants along the way.

When planting creeping thyme, it’s important to choose a sunny location with well-draining soil. The soil should be amended with organic matter, such as compost, to improve fertility and water retention. Creeping thyme is not a heavy feeder, so it only requires a light application of fertilizer once a year.

Watering is a common concern for gardeners when it comes to growing creeping thyme. While it is drought-tolerant once established, it’s important to provide regular watering during the first summer after planting to help the roots get established. After that, watering can be reduced to only during prolonged dry periods.

Caring for creeping thyme is relatively easy. It is a low-maintenance plant that requires minimal pruning. Deadheading the flowers after they fade can help prolong the blooming period. Creeping thyme is generally disease-resistant, but pests such as aphids and spider mites can occasionally become a problem. In such cases, using organic pest control methods or wearing gloves when handling the plant can help prevent damage.

Creeping thyme is also a great overwintering plant. Its small, woody roots make it well-suited to survive cold winter temperatures. However, in colder climates, adding a layer of mulch around the base of the plants can provide additional protection.

Overall, creeping thyme is a popular herb for gardeners due to its attractive foliage, colorful flowers, and low-maintenance requirements. Whether used as a ground cover, lawn substitute, or edging plant, it adds beauty and fragrance to any garden.

Key Features of Creeping Thyme:

Type Perennial herb
Height 2-3 inches
Spread Up to 18 inches
Sun Requirements Sunny locations
Watering Drought-tolerant, but regular watering during the first summer
Soil Amendments Add organic matter for improved fertility and water retention
Common Pests Aphids, spider mites
Overwintering Cold-hardy, mulching for extra protection in colder climates
Uses Ground cover, lawn substitute, edging plant

In summary, creeping thyme is a versatile and attractive herb that can be used for various gardening purposes. Its low-growing habit, drought-tolerant nature, and aromatic leaves make it a popular choice among gardeners. Whether you’re looking for a substitute for lawn grass or simply want to add some color and fragrance to your garden, creeping thyme is a fantastic plant to consider!


When it comes to shipping, creeping thyme is a great choice for gardeners. This type of thyme is easy to care for and has many desirable attributes that make it a popular plant for shipping.

Creeping thyme is a low-growing and ground-hugging plant that usually reaches a height of around half an inch. It has small, ornamental foliage and tiny flowers that bloom in the summer. The flowers can be red, pink, or purple, and they add a splash of color to any landscape.

Growing creeping thyme is easy. It can be planted in a variety of soil types and thrives in full sun. This type of thyme is drought-tolerant and does not require much water once it is established. It is also heat tolerant and can withstand hot summer temperatures.

When it comes to planting and spacing, creeping thyme should be planted around 6-12 inches apart. This will allow enough room for the plant to spread and create a dense and attractive ground cover. Deadheading the flowers will encourage more blooms and keep the plant looking tidy.

Caring for creeping thyme is relatively low maintenance. It does not require much fertilizer, and a general-purpose type can be used once or twice a year. It is also resistant to many common diseases and pests, making it a care-free addition to any garden.

Creeping thyme is a great alternative to grass in areas where it is difficult to grow or maintain a lawn. It can be used to create pathways, fill in gaps between stepping stones, or act as a living carpet that withstands moderate foot traffic. Its spreading growth habit also makes it a popular choice for erosion control on slopes.

When it comes to shipping, creeping thyme can be easily packed and sent to customers. Its small size and foliage make it ideal for shipping without much risk of damage. The plant can be shipped bare-root or in pots, depending on the preference of the customer.

Overall, creeping thyme is a versatile and beautiful plant that is perfect for shipping to gardeners around the world. Its drought-tolerant nature, easy care requirements, and ornamental features make it a popular choice for both beginners and experienced gardeners.

Botanical Name Thymus
Common Names Creeping Thyme, Mother of Thyme, Wild Thyme
Type Perennial
Description Low-growing and ground-hugging plant with ornamental foliage and small flowers. Can reach a height of around half an inch.
Height/Spread Around 0.5 inch tall, spreads to form a dense ground cover.
Spacing 6-12 inches apart
Requirements Full sun, well-draining soil
Attributes Drought-tolerant, heat-tolerant, resistant to many diseases and pests
Uses Ground cover, erosion control, ornamental

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.