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Creeping Thyme

Thymus serpyllum

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Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) at Riverbend Nurseries

Creeping Thyme in bloom

Creeping Thyme in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  2 inches

Flower Height:  3 inches

Spacing:  10 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  2

Other Names:  Mother Of Thyme, Wild Thyme

Description:

A prostrate, woody based variety primarily grown as ornamental groundcover; lilac-pink flowers appear on short stalks in summer; a very low maintenance plant, excellent for the rock garden

Ornamental Features

Creeping Thyme is smothered in stunning spikes of lilac purple flowers with pink overtones rising above the foliage from early to mid summer. Its attractive tiny fragrant oval leaves remain bluish-green in color throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Creeping Thyme is a dense herbaceous evergreen perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Creeping Thyme is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover

Planting & Growing

Creeping Thyme will grow to be only 2 inches tall at maturity extending to 3 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 12 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 10 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in sandy soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider covering it with a thick layer of mulch in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Rock  Edging  Garden  Groundcover 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features