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The Plant Guide

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English wild thyme

Thymus praecox subsp. britannicus

TY-mus PRAY-cox subspecies brih-TAN-ih-kus

This thyme grows to 6 inches tall, with fuzzy stems and tiny, rounded, fuzzy blue-green leaves. In summer, it produces clusters of very small white to lilac-pink flowers. Plants spread to about 9 inches wide. The leaves are aromatic but the strength of their scent varies according to the plant’s site and the time of year.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsPatios, walks, rock gardens, stone walls, and pond borders all benefit from the creeping, mounding, and cascading habit of thyme. This species spills gracefully over stone walls and can be grown between pavers where occasional foot traffic releases its distinct aroma. 

CareProvide well-drained and average, neutral to alkaline soil in full sun. In early spring, shear to about one-half inch and, later, lightly trim back after flowering. This species needs good air circulation in regions with high humidity.

PropagationDivide in spring or fall, or sow seed in spring. Thymes are slow to germinate and hybridize regularly.

ProblemsGray mold, root rot.

  • Genus : Thymus
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Plant Width : 6 to 12 inches
  • Uses : Containers, Ground Covers
  • Tolerance : Deer Tolerant, Frost Tolerant
  • Moisture : Dry to Medium
  • Bloom Time : Early Summer, Late Summer, Summer
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Foliage, Showy Foliage
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Plant Type : Herbs
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Flower Color : Pink, White
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Plant Height : Under 6 inches

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