One of the most wonderful and versatile perennial herb is Thyme. Thyme leaves are used in salad dressing and in a lot of dishes. This wonderful herb can be grown successfully indoors or outdoors needing only basic attention to thrive. Thyme plant is slow to germinate from seed. This plant upright woody stems can grow between six and twelve inches tall in a single season, providing you with a lot of delicious herbs to enjoy fresh or to dry for use all year round. If they are to grown as in an indoor plant, they can be planted at any time whether from seeds, potted nursery starts, or divisions of existing plants. The botanical name is Thymus vulgaris, the common names are Thyme, common thyme, garden thyme. The plant is an herbaceous perennial plant.
Can You Grow Thyme Plant Indoors?
Growing thyme plant is very easy. One of the biggest challenges you’ll face when growing thyme indoors is ensuring the thyme plant receives consistently bright light. Apart from this, the care instructions for thyme plant are pretty straightforward (average soil, average watering, and average temperatures, etc), making it a great indoor herb for a beginner gardener to start with.
How to Grow Thyme Plant Indoors
Sunlight requirement: Thyme plant is a well-known sun lover plant, the plant actually preferred to be planted or placed in a spot that has access to full light nearly all day long. A bright windowsill that gets around about eight hours of sun a day is ideal, although if your home is rather shaded or you’re looking to keep your thyme plant thriving through the darker winter months, a snug spot under some florescent grow lights will also work as well.
Temperature and humidity requirement: Thyme plant will thrive best in a hot and arid climate that mimics its Mediterranean roots. Try as much as you can to maintain the temperatures in your home between sixty and eighty degrees Fahrenheit, keep humidity to a minimum. (That simply means keeping your thyme plant out of rooms that tend to be more humid, like bathrooms or kitchens.)
Water requirement: Once they are established, the plants are drought-resistant and they often prefer to be under-watered rather than over-watered. Make sure you wait until the soil is completely dry and then saturate the thyme plant, allowing it to dry out again completely before giving it another watering. Also keep in mind that the thyme will flower but unlike other herbs, this is not really a sign of overwatering or “bolting”— the thyme plant will continue to thrive beyond blooming as long as you trim it back to promote new growth.
Fertilizer requirement: Actually this plant prefers soil that lacks nutrients, so frequent fertilizing of the plant is not necessary. This also means that the thyme plant is best planted in a pot or container by itself, as mixing the plant with other herbs will likely make the soil too rich for it to thrive very well.
But if want to give your thyme a boost, you can feed it with a diluted liquid fertilizer early on its growing season. You can choose an organic fertilizer if you hope to cook with or eat your thyme. Make sure you pay a close attention to the packaging of your chosen fertilizer to ensure you add just enough to help and not to hurt your thyme plants.
Maintenance and Pruning: Like any other outdoor plants, indoor thyme plants can be easily harvested at any time once they are established. Just simply cut off the stems any time you need the thyme for cooking.
Potted thyme plants can become woody after 3 or 4 years, at this time you can remove, separate, and then replant the smaller pieces in separate pots with fresh potting mix.
The Container and Size: Thyme plant does not actually need much room to grow, so a container size that is about four inches in diameter can be enough for young plants. Terracotta pots or Clay might work best for this plant. Just make sure the container you want to use has good drainage.
Potting soil and drainage: One of the most important elements when trying to grow thyme successfully is soil. Make sure you select a soil mixture that is very dry and well-draining, as the plant is particularly susceptible to root rot and overwatering. Sandy mixtures are very okay. If you also prefer to use potting soil you have laying around, you can cut it with a bit of gritty sand or gravel to ensure water moves through the soil quickly. A pot with ample drainage is also vital, and those made of clay or terracotta can be beneficial in wicking away extra moisture from the soil. When it comes to the pH of the soil, the plant isn’t picky. Thyme plant can thrive in a wide range of pH values ranging from 6.0 to 8.0.
Potting and Repotting: If your thyme plant begins to show woody stems more than tender leaves and shoots you need to repot the thyme plant. You have to carefully remove it from the container and then separate the pieces of the root. Carefully choose the smaller pieces to transplant into the new pots. Choose a small pot that is about four inches in diameter. Repot the thyme plants with the proper mixture of potting soil.
Moving Thyme Plant Outdoors for the Summer
Thyme plant thrives in the sunlight and they also make an excellent outdoor plant. You can easily move the pot outside when the temperature is consistently pleasant at sixty degrees Fahrenheit or above. Make sure you set it in a sunny spot. Thyme plants that are grown in containers can become tall, so you need to place it in an area where high winds won’t knock it over.
When to Bring Thyme Plant Back Inside
The plant actually loves weather that mimics that of the Mediterranean, so you need to bring it inside when the temperature drops enough to bring a bit of a chill. The thyme plant should come inside to a sunny windowsill when the temperatures drop to around sixty degrees Fahrenheit.