Clemson Extension School and Community Garden Program

It’s Thyme to Grow An Herb Garden

Thyme growing in a strawberry jar.

Thyme is a low-growing, perennial herb from the Mediterranean with small, oval leaves that produce a strong aroma when crushed.  Thyme features clusters of lilac flowers that attract bees and butterflies. While used for cooking primarily, it also works well as an edging or groundcover because of its low height, mounding nature, and attractive flowers.

Tuck thyme into container gardens where it will drip gracefully over the edge or plant it in the ground. Like most herbs, thyme prefers well-drained soil and full sun.  While thyme is a low growing herb, some species of thyme will reach up to one foot in height. This extra height allows for more air circulation and makes it generally more tolerant of humid southern climates.
There are several varieties available commercially, but for cooking, choose common thyme (Thymus vulgaris) or lemon thyme, which has lemon-scented leaves and a zesty flavor.

Thymus x citriodorus ‘Aureus’ has gold, lemon-scented foliage, and variegated leaves. Its upright form makes it ideal for landscaping.

Thymus  × citriodorus ‘Argenteus’, also known as silver thyme, has white variegated leaves and lilac flowers.

Thyme can be started from seed or purchased as transplants. Add thyme leaves to chicken, fish, or soup. Chop leaves and mix with softened butter to make your own herb butter. We enjoy a pat of thyme butter on top of a grilled steak!
Megan Shearer
Megan Shearer, Program Assistant, School & Community Gardening, Clemson Extension

One thought on “It’s Thyme to Grow An Herb Garden

  1. All information included above is beneficial to gardeners of South Carolina. There is a type of Thyme I have researched that comes in different colors. I have not planted Thyme in any of my gardens yet. After reading this blog I think I will try growing this plant in a container fist and transplant after it is established. I wanted to keep this plant short but I see it is best to let it grow taller in our climate zone. Thanks for sharing this small article snippet with the public.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *