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How to Grow Thyme from Seed – Step by Step

Thyme, whose scientific name is Thymus vulgaris, is a perennial aromatic plant native to Europe whose cultivation and use is widespread due to its many culinary, medicinal, and ornamental properties. It is a very common condiment in Mediterranean cuisine, and its pleasant, intense, and characteristic odor makes it highly appreciated in interiors, gardens, and orchards of all kinds. Learn all about how to grow thyme from seed in this article.

When to Plant Thyme

The best time to plant thyme is in spring. Depending on the local climate, we will go in early spring if we are in warm areas or late spring if the climate is cold. The interesting thing is to make sure that the seeds are insufficiently warm soil as soon as possible. If you opt to plant thyme cuttings, the best time is also spring.

How to Grow Thyme from Seed

Thyme can be planted directly in the ground but we recommend planting it in seedlings, you will be more successful with this method. If you want to know how to grow thyme from seed continue to read these steps.

1- Moisten the soil and place it in the seedbed.

thyme seeds
Thyme seeds.

2- Place 2 to 5 seeds per seedbed space.

how to grow thyme from seed step 1

3- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil, then wet with a spay.

4- Your seeds will germinate in about 7-16 days.

how to grow thyme from seed step 2

When the seedlings are 8 to 10 cm you can repot them into a larger pot or directly into the ground.

Thyme Care – Practical Guide

These are the basic care that thyme needs:

Light: This plant needs a good amount of direct light per day. Place it in a sunny area of your garden or orchard, and if you have it indoors, put it next to a window where it receives at least 6 hours of light daily.

Watering: as we have already said, thyme is very adapted to drought and does not tolerate excessive humidity. With fortnightly watering in the warm months and months in the cold ones, it will be enough in most climates.

Soil and substrate: it does not need to be very rich, but it is important that it is not acidic and is light.

Fertilization: an addition of organic fertilizer during the growing season will be sufficient.

thyme herb garden

How to Grow Thyme from Seed – Harvesting

It is done manually, depending on the region, one or even two cuts can be carried out. Two different seasons can be chosen, depending on the destination of the plant. If it is to obtain essential oils, it will be done before flowering, from May to November.

When it is carried out in flowering time, the plants are cut a few centimeters from the ground, to allow regrowth and the possibility of making a second cut in early autumn; sometimes it is likely to make two harvests in the year, one in mid/late spring, and another in late summer-early autumn, but it is not always possible, it varies from the care and places where our plants are located.

Harvesting should be done on dry days and when the dew has lifted.

The harvested product is left to dry in a ventilated and shaded place so that they retain their natural color. In this way, drying is fast. It is important to make a good cleaning of the product, separating the leaves from the stems.

The harvested product, fresh or after air-drying, is distilled with steam. It can also be dried in the sun and, after separating the stems from the leaves, the leaves are distilled to obtain a higher quality essence. Learn more about how to harvest thyme without killing the plant.

thyme and basil potted
Thyme and basil in the garden.

About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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