Propagating thyme is a great way to get more of this wonderful herb for your garden. There are several different methods you can use, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will provide detailed steps on how to propagate thyme using cuttings, layering, division, and seed propagation. Let’s get started!
Growing Thyme from Cuttings
Cuttings are one of the easiest and most popular ways to propagate thyme. To do this, simply take a cutting from a healthy thyme plant that is about four to six inches long.
The best time to take thyme cuttings is in the spring or summer. This is when the plant is actively growing and will be able to put out new roots more easily. However, you can also take cuttings in the fall if necessary. Just be sure to bring them indoors so they don’t freeze.
Cut just below a leaf node (the point on the stem where leaves are attached) and remove the bottom leaves so that you are left with two or three at the top.
Dip the cutting in rooting hormone and plant it in a pot filled with well-draining soil. Water lightly and place the pot in a warm, sunny spot. Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and your thyme cutting should root within four to six weeks.
Using rooting hormone is an optional step. It helps encourage roots to grow, which can make transplanting much easier and more successful. However, always check its label as it should say how long you need to wait before consuming the plant.
If you decide not to use growth hormone, you should place cuttings in water instead of planting them into a potting mix. Fill a jar or glass with water and place the cuttings in it, making sure that the leaf nodes are submerged. Change the water every few days to keep it fresh, and roots should develop within two to four weeks. Once they have developed a good root system, you can plant them in pots filled with soil.
Propagating Thyme by Layering
Layering is another easy propagation method that can be done with many different types of plants, not just thyme. So here’s what you need to do:
- Find a low-growing stem on your thyme plant and remove all its leaves, leaving only a few on its tip.
- Bend it down to the ground.
- Use a small stake or rock to hold it in place if necessary.
- Make a shallow cut in the stem about an inch from the tip, being careful not to cut all the way through.
- Cover the area with soil, water well, and wait a few weeks for roots to form.
- Once they have, you can cut the stem away from the main plant and pot it up.
Propagating Thyme by Division
Thyme can also be propagated by division, although this is best done every three to four years to keep the plant healthy. To do this, dig up the entire thyme plant and carefully divide it into smaller sections, making sure that each section has a good root system. Replant the divisions in well-draining soil and water well.
Growing Thyme from Seeds
Finally, you can also grow thyme from seed, although this is the most difficult method and does not always result in a plant that is true to the parent. To do this, start thyme seeds indoors about eight weeks before the last frost date in your area. Sow the seeds on the surface of a moistened potting mix and cover them with a thin layer of soil.
Cover the pot with a plastic wrap and place it in a warm, sunny spot. Keep the soil moist. It will take about one to 12 weeks for the seeds to germinate. Once the seedlings are three to four inches high, you can transplant them outdoors. Just make sure that all danger of frost has passed. With a little patience and care, you should soon have thyme plants of your own to enjoy!
So there you have it—everything you need to know about propagating thyme. With a little bit of effort, you can easily increase the size of your thyme patch in your herb garden and enjoy this delicious herb all year round.
Have you tried propagating thyme before? What tips do you have to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Is thyme easy to propagate?
Yes, thyme is one of the easiest herbs to propagate. There are several ways that you can propagate thyme: from cuttings, by division, by layering, or from seeds.
How long does thyme take to propagate?
It can take thyme anywhere from a few weeks to several months to propagate, depending on the method you are using.
Does thyme root in water?
You can propagate thyme in water, but it’s best to start with fresh cuttings for the highest success rate. To do this, take stem cuttings that are around four inches long and remove the lower leaves. Place them in a glass of water. Change out the water every few days to keep it fresh, and in a few weeks, you should see roots growing.
Once the roots are around an inch long, you can transplant your thyme cuttings into soil. Choose a pot that has drainage holes and fill it with a light potting mix. Gently remove the thyme cutting from the water and plant it in the pot.
Does thyme need full sun?
Thyme does best in full sun, but it can also tolerate partial shade. If you live in an area with hot summers, it’s best to plant thyme in an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade.
Can I plant thyme from the supermarket?
Yes, you can plant thyme from the supermarket. All you need to do is look for healthy, younger stems. Avoid woody plants since they won’t root easily. Check out our detailed guide on how to propagate thyme from cuttings for all the steps you need to take.