Thyme is a beautiful and versatile herb; its fragrant leaves can be used in a variety of dishes, from salad dressings to marinades to sauces and rubs.
Thyme, which is native to southern Europe, can be cultivated successfully indoors or outdoors in a range of environments and needs only minimal care to survive.
Though slow to germinate from seed, thyme’s upright woody stems can reach a height of six to twelve inches in a single season, giving gardeners plenty of tasty herbs to enjoy fresh or dry all year.
The famous herb has a long and illustrious tradition of both theological and medicinal applications. Thyme was believed to be a poison cure in the Roman period, and it was widely eaten both before and after meals to fend off sickness.
It was often synonymous with bravery and courage. It was provided to soldiers as a kind of protection or reverence before going into war. It was also burnt at home to purify from spirits.
Thymol, a chemical compound contained in thyme, is an ingredient in mouthwash, medications, and sanitizers, so it has a spot in our kitchens and medicine cabinets nowadays.
Growing Conditions in Growing Thyme Indoors
It all starts with choosing the right pot for growing thyme indoors. Clay pots are ideal for growing this herb since they enable the plants to completely dry out between watering. If you do not have a clay pot, pick one with lots of drainage holes so the plants can dry out.
Thyme requires sandy, well-draining soil to thrive. It should also be put in a window that gets at least six hours of indirect light per day. If you do not have a window where the plant can get this, replace its illumination with grow lights.
Maintain a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit or above in your house. Thyme can prosper under your care if you have the right growth conditions.
Things to Consider in Growing Thyme Indoors
Thyme is a well-known sun lover. So, you should consider choosing it to be planted or situated in a location that receives full sun almost every day. A sunny windowsill with at least eight hours of sunshine per day is perfect. But if your home is shady or you want to keep your thyme alive during the gloomy winter months, a comfortable place under fluorescent grow lights would suffice.
When it comes to successfully growing thyme, the soil is probably the most significant factor. Choose a soil mixture that is very dry and well-draining, whether you are growing thyme indoors or out. As thyme is especially susceptible to root rot and overwatering.
Sandy mixtures are best; if you do use potting soil you already have. Cut it with a touch of coarse sand or gravel to ensure water flows easily through the soil. A pot with adequate drainage is also necessary.
Also, clay or terracotta pots may help wick away excess moisture from the soil. Your thyme plant is not picky about the pH of the soil. It can grow in a wide variety of pH levels which range from 6.0 to 8.0.
Thyme plants are drought-resistant once developed, preferring to be under-watered rather than over-watered. Wait until the soil is fully dry before saturating your thyme plant. And let it dry completely before watering it again.
Keep in mind that thyme will flower. But unlike most plants, this is not a symptom of overwatering or “bolting”. It will survive after blooming as long as you cut it back to encourage new growth.
Temperature and Humidity
Thyme grows well in a humid, arid climate similar to its Mediterranean origins. Maintain temperatures in your home between 60- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit as far as possible, keeping humidity to a minimum. This involves holding the plant out of high-humidity areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
Easy as that: thyme likes nutrient-deficient soil, so it does not need to be fertilized often. This also ensures that the herb should be grown alone in a pot or jar. As combining it with other herbs would make the soil too “rich” for it to survive.
If you want to give your thyme a lift, feed it a diluted liquid fertilizer early in the growing season. Choose an organic fertilizer if you plan to cook with or consume your herb.
Steps on How to Plant Thyme Indoors
Most gardeners want to buy a seedling and implant it while raising thyme indoors. If you prefer this method, start by buying the plants you want. Dig a hole in the soil of your pot and drop the plant in it until you get home. The hole should be large enough to accommodate the plant’s roots comfortably.
Fill in the hole with the soil from the pot until the plant is in place. To prevent any air from reaching the roots, tightly press down around the base of the plant. You can direct sow two to three seeds in your pot if you prefer to start your thyme from seeds. This is a germination security plan.
Cover the seeds casually with clay. Keep the soil moist as the seeds germinate. Keep the pot in a bright, draft-free place. Grow lights would be helpful at this point in the process.
The seeds should start sprouting after three to four weeks. Seeds thrive in temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or above. If all of the seeds germinate, choose the best one and toss the others. Continue to give the plant water and sunlight as it rises.
Caring for Thyme Indoors
Although inside, thyme is not a difficult plant to care for. It does, though, necessitate more attention than when grown outdoors. Water is the first thing that thyme would need. It is easier to submerge thyme than to add too much vapor, according to a good rule of thumb.
This is why using the deep watering system is highly recommended. This method of irrigation can be used indoors to keep the plants healthy. Place the pot in the sink in your kitchen. Enable the water to flood into the pot before it hits the bottom. Allow the pot to drain completely in the sink.
Until each watering session, use the knuckle test to ensure the plant has fully dried out before applying more water. Next to the rose, stick your finger into the dirt. Do not apply any more water if the soil is wet to the second knuckle. If it is completely dry, it is time to water it again.
When caring for thyme indoors, the next step is to fertilize the herb, but only when it is in its early stages of development. Apply a half-diluted balanced fertilizer to your lawn. During the first few weeks of growth, this will assist the plant in adapting.
Leave it alone until this time has passed. Thyme thrives in a neglected setting. Remove any fibrous stems or flowers that appear on the thyme. This will assist in the plant’s increased production.
You should move your thyme outside during the summer months to ensure it enjoys the proper temperatures and lighting. Before putting the plant outdoors for the season, make sure to harden it up.
Many gardeners want to produce more plants from their existing plants, so you might be tempted to cultivate thyme. This is not recommended for thyme in most situations because the plants do not normally grow well.
Finally, make sure your thyme is reported every two years. When the plants get root attached, split them to make more plants or transplant them to a larger container.
Remove the plant from the pot if you want to break it. Break off the roots and transplant the numerous new plants as directed above. You are giving it a great chance to flourish under your guidance by completing these few tasks.
It is Now Time to Harvest Thyme!
Thyme is fast to gather. The leaves can be harvested at any time and in any quantity. It all comes down to personal taste. When you are ready, pluck the leaves from the plant or use scissors to cut them off.
Bring the leaves indoors and clean them thoroughly. Place the leaves in an airtight bag and wrap them in a wet paper towel. Place the bag in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. In the coming days, you can use the leaves whole and fresh, or dry them for later use.
Growing thyme indoors can differ somewhat from growing it outdoors. But the same principles apply. Give it the right growth conditions, take care of it properly, and keep an eye out for possible risks, and you should have a healthy plant on your hands.
Thyme is one of the most straightforward herbs to grow indoors. Indoor thyme production necessitates plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil. If you will simply follow the steps given above on how to grow thyme, surely you will achieve it. Just be patient and be compassionate in everything you do and it will probably have a good result on your way.