What is a thyme plant?
The scientific name of Thyme is Thymus vulgaris, which is an aromatic evergreen Mediterranean herb in the mint family Lamiaceae. This plant grows well in the spring season with well-drained soil. So, the flower of thyme plant is tiny pink, lavender or white ones. The leaf color of thyme varies from dark green to golden yellow. There are different varieties of thyme plant, 350 in total, having many scents and flavors. They have their own growing habits. Generally, thyme plants are low growing, and it grows about 6 inches to 10 inches in height. Some of the main species of Thyme plants are Thymus citriodorus, Thymus herba-barona, Thymus praecox, Thymus pseudolanuginosus, Thymus serpyllum, and Thymus vulgaris. The best time to pick up the thyme plant is in the early summer. As thyme plant dries well, the best method to preserve it is by drying it in full sun.
Scientific Classification of Thyme plant
Types of Thyme plant
It is true that are over 300 varieties of the thyme plant. Most of the varieties prefer well-drained soil and full sun. There are two main types of thyme: ornamental and culinary. Common varieties of culinary thyme are English or French thyme, Lemon thyme, and Caraway thyme. Some of the varieties are as follows:
Thymus vulgaris is also known as garden thyme or common thyme. It has a purple flower that grows into a spreading carpet. This variety serves well in soups, stews, and fish and meat dishes.
Thymus citriodorus ‘Archers Gold’ is a mat-forming and low-growing thyme. It has yellow-green leaves with a lemon scent. This variety is useful for making fish and chicken dishes.
Thymus citriodorus ‘Variegata’ is a variegated variety having attractive pink flowers.
Thymus nitidus ‘Peter Davis’ is a low-growing and mat-forming thyme. In late summer, it bears aromatic grey-green leaves and pink flowers.
Thymus ‘Caborn Wine and Roses’
This variety of thymus plant is newly cultivated in the UK. It is a low growing type that spreads to 40cm. It has pink flowers, and the leaves are more significant than other creeping thymes.
Thymus pulegioides ‘Bertram Anderson’
Thymus pulegioides ‘Bertram Anderson’ is an attractive variety of thymus plant that forms neat and spreading mounds of golden leaves. The leaves of this variety have a mild flavor.
Thymus ‘Silver Queen’
Thymus ‘Silver Queen’ is bushy and compact. This variety can be grown in cracks in patios or as the edging to a path. It has a dark green variegated leaf that bears a cluster of tiny pink flowers in summer.
How to grow thyme plant?
Thyme is just another herb that brings fresh flavors in the kitchen. Thyme plant loves full sun, and it does not want constant watering. Thyme plants can be grown in gravel gardens, in lawns, or the pavings. You can also grow it indoors or in containers. You can grow thyme plants from the seeds, or just buying young thymes from nurseries and planting it in well-drained soil with the sunny condition. If you are planning to grow it in a pot indoor, then put it near a sunny window.
How to care for thyme plant?
Some of the tips that you need to follow while planting thyme plants are:-
- Thyme plant prefers dry soil, so you need to avoid planting it in wet and heavy soils.
- The soil should have an optimal pH between 6.0 to 8.0
- A moderate amount of fertilizers should be given to it.
- Thyme plants should be grown with plenty of sunlight.
- The leaves should be tied up to prevent the plant from becoming woody.
- You need to space the thyme plant while growing it as it is a vigorous grower. So, plant anywhere from 12 inches to 24 inches apart.
Uses of the thyme plant
Thyme is an herb, and its flowers, leaves, and oils are all useful. It can also be used alone or in combination with other herbs. Some of the uses of thyme plants are
- Some research has also shown that applying essential oils from thyme and rosemary along with lavender oil in the scalp improves hair growth.
- Consuming thyme by mouth alone or with the combination of other herbs can be used for reducing cough and common colds.
- Thyme oil is used as a germ killer in mouthwashes.
- Most importantly, thyme acts as a flavoring agent.
- During manufacturing, the oil of red thyme is used in soaps, perfumes, cosmetics, and toothpaste.
- Thyme plant has some chemicals which help in bacterial and fungal infections, along with minor irritations.
Possible side effects of the thyme
- If one is allergic to oregano or other spices, then they might also be allergic to thyme.
- Thyme is safe to have in average food amounts but not in larger quantities.
- It might slow blood clotting, so you need to stop using thyme two weeks before surgery.
- In some people, consumption of thyme can also cause headache, dizziness, or digestive system upset.
- Thyme oil is safe to be applied on the skin, but some might feel slight irritation while using it.
Where can I find Thyme Plant for sale?
You can buy thyme plants in a supermarket near you. You can also find them for sale on your local nurseries.