This will be the last post in the Plants in my Apartment series for a while as I have now profiled all the plants that have grown or are growing in my apartment. Any new posts in the series will occur when I acquire new plants.
Thyme is another popular herb from the Mediterranean region where it has been cultivated for a long time. Thyme was associated with bravery, strength, and protection from the time of the Romans, who believed that it could protect from poison, to the Middle Ages, where it was a common treatment for the plague. Though its antiseptic properties were not known at the time, it continued to be used to treat infections through the Victorian area. Today Thyme is a common ingredient in European cooking, and is added to breads, soups, stews, and roasts. It is often paired with lemon in cakes, salads, and on fish.
Size: Thyme typically grows to be 6 – 15 in (15 – 38 cm) tall and 18 – 24 in (45 – 60 cm) wide, although this can vary among varieties.
Water Requirements: Water thyme regularly allowing soil to dry between waterings.
Soil Requirements: Soil used to grow thyme should be well drained with a neutral (7.0) pH.
Light Requirements: Thyme does best in full sun.
Temperature Requirements: The temperature requirements vary among the different species of thymes. It typically does best in USDA zone 4 or warmer.
Nutrient Requirements: Thyme requires low levels of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.
Pruning: Regular light pruning will keep thyme the happiest.
Pests: Spider mites and root rot can both plague thyme.
Companion Planting: Thyme makes a good companion for cabbage, eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes, and strawberries.
Growing Indoors: Thyme is an excellent plant to grow in containers. It needs a pot that is at least 6 in (15 cm) deep and can be root pruned if it becomes pot bound.
Harvesting and Use: Harvest leaves as needed throughout the year. Thyme can be dried, refrigerated, or frozen and is used to season meats, stews, vegetables, and sauces.
Bonnie Plants: Growing Thyme – General growing and some more detailed pruning information.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac: Thyme – General growing information in an easy to read format.
The Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide by Stephen Albert – If you haven’t gotten this book by now you really should. It has intelligently laid out growing information for the common vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
History Channel’s A Brief History of Thyme – Discusses the history and myths surrounding thyme.