The plant creeping thyme is mostly known for its pleasant smell and cooking uses, but creeping thyme also makes great ground cover. The species known as Thymus genus is a large plant or herb that can be grown in moderate temperatures. They can grow upright but tend to spread out to cover the ground like a blanket, making them perfect for rock gardens or mulch replacements.
"These herb plants grow best in a soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH. It is a must that the soil is well-drained. And far from craving fertilizer, creeping thyme seems to crave poor soils, as do most herb plants. Grow them in full sun if possible, although they will tolerate a bit of shade," The Spruce advises. Wild thyme is an easy grower and is even deer resistant, making it perfect for hardiness zones that suffer from deer problems.
Creeping thyme plants should always be growing, so if you spot woody stems, it's a good time to replace the plants rather than prune them. Green foliage, green leaves, and constant growth indicate a healthy thyme plant. If your soil is too moist, the plants can rot too. You can tend to their water needs, but don't make the soil too moist. They are drought-tolerant, so if you live in a humid area, add sand, gravel, or pavers around the plants to prevent contact with moist soil.
They're also low maintenance as they don't require the need to be fed. If needed, you can fix up the soil with a delayed-release fertilizer.
Since they are sun-loving, late spring and early summer are great seasons to fit these new plants into your landscaping. That should give them plenty of bloom time for new growth.
According to The Spruce, there are six different types of creeping thyme seeds. They all have different USDA zones as well.
- English thyme (Thymus vulgaris): Purple flowers that are 6 to 12 inches tall and wide
- Spicy orange creeping thyme (Thymus 'Spicy Orange'): Pink flowers that are 2 to 4 inches tall
- White creeping thyme (Thymus paocos 'Albiflorus'): White flowers that are 1 to 2 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide
- Red creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum 'Coccineus'): Pink flowers that are 3 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide
- Wooly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus): Pale pink flowers that are 3 inches tall and 3 to 12 inches wide
- Archer's Gold thyme (Thymus citriodorus 'Archers Gold'): Pink flowers that are 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide
Creeping thyme ground cover is also a grass alternative. If you go this route, don't forget to add in stepping stones for foot traffic. Contact with humans can be damaging to these ground cover plants. Make sure these Mediterranean beauties have plenty of room to grow undisturbed.