How to Grow Thyme From Cuttings
Common thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a perennial herb that grows as tall as 8 inches. Crafters and cooks use it to create potpourri, flavor foods such as fish and eggs, and brew teas. Thyme grows best in soil that's well-drained and slightly moist, and it prefers a sunny location. Once your thyme cuttings have rooted, you can either leave them in the pot or transplant them to a permanent outdoors site such as an herb bed.
Prepare the pot for planting. Mix 1 part peat with 1 part sand to fill the pot. Lightly water the mixture prior to planting the cuttings.
Prepare the cuttings to be planted. Dip a sharp knife into rubbing alcohol to sterilize it. Remove leaves from the lower third of the thyme cutting and trim the piece to a maximum of 6 inches long from its tip.
Poke the cut end of the thyme cutting about one-third to one-half its length deep in the potting mixture. Ensure that sunlight can reach all the cuttings.
Cover the pot with plastic wrap and set the pot in a location that receives indirect light. Water the planting medium regularly to keep it moist, but not soaked, until the cuttings form roots.
Cut back on watering once the thyme cuttings have rooted. Water when the soil feels barely dry to the touch.
Place the pot outdoors during the summertime, in a location that's protected from wind and the elements.
Harvest thyme during the middle and end of summer by cutting it to a 2-inch height. Rinse it in cold water and use it fresh, or dry the thyme for later use.
Long Before Roots Develop When Propagating Thyme Cuttings
Late spring and early summer are the best times to start thyme cuttings. The cuttings must be taken after new growth emerges at the stem tips, but before the flower buds form. Sever the cutting from the parent plant where it emerges from another stem. Cover the pot with a plastic sandwich bag and secure it with a rubber band. Position the pot in a warm, bright location with light shade during the hottest time of day. Lift the bag and mist the cutting with water every day. Thyme cuttings are no different. Acclimate it to direct sunlight for roughly seven to 14 days before planting it in a permanent bed in autumn.
- North Carolina State University: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings--Instructions for the Home Gardener
- West Virginia University Extension Service: Growing Herbs in the Home Garden
- North Carolina State University Extension: Thymus Vulgaris
- University of Vermont Department of Plant and Soil Science: Thymus
- Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: Fall is for Herbs
- Royal Horticultural Society: Propagating Herbs
- Purdue University Consumer Horticulture: Propagate Herbs Now for Yearlong Enjoyment
- Alameda County Master Gardeners: Your Alameda County Garden Month-by-Month