Thyme is a great herb that can be used in a variety of recipes; however, starting new plants from seed can be challenging given their tiny size and the environment they require. Don’t worry, starting plants from seed isn’t the only way you can grow the herbs you love!
Can you grow thyme from cuttings? Yes, you can grow thyme from cuttings! Growing thyme from cuttings is much simpler than growing it from seed. Mature sprigs of thyme can grow new roots after being removed from the plant. After a few weeks, you will have a new thyme plant that will produce leaves for all of your cooking needs.
While it may seem like magic, growing new thyme plants from cuttings is as simple as 1, 2, 3! Read on to understand the most important steps of growing thyme from cuttings, such as where to harvest it from, how to encourage new roots to grow, and the overall process!
How To Grow Thyme From Cuttings
Using mature cuttings of plants to start new plants is a great way to grow herbs quickly! While the process will still take a few weeks, starting them from seed is much more difficult and usually takes many months before you have harvestable amounts.
How Long Does Thyme Take To Grow From Cuttings?
Thyme cuttings will take approximately 4 to 8 weeks before they can be transplanted in soil. Then it will take around 3-4 months before it is able to establish into a full plant you will be able to harvest thyme from on a regular basis.
Does Thyme Root Easily?
Since thyme is a woody perennial herb, it has the ability to grow new roots easily from cuttings! It will take about 2 weeks or so before roots begin to grow from the cuttings, but you will quickly see small white nubs begin to protrude from the stem of the plant.
Where Do You Cut To Propagate?
You’ll want to focus on harvesting your thyme from areas that have grown for at least one year. When looking at the stem, try to identify where the stems grow thicker and sturdier. It will work best to cut thyme close to the soil level as these sprigs will have the best ability to grow roots.
How To Grow Thyme From Cuttings in Water
Growing new thyme plants in water is the best way to root them quickly! Simply harvest, place in a container of water, and allow a few weeks for the thyme to grow new roots. Then transplant them into the soil so they will establish a new plant. Follow the 3 steps below for detailed instructions.
- Harvest Your Cuttings
Harvesting the thyme in the correct location is important to ensure the cuttings will root well. Locate the area nearest the soil where the stems are woody and resemble a branch of a tree. Avoid harvesting tender new sprigs that won’t have the energy or ability to stay ridged and grow new roots.
- Place the Cuttings Water
Use a cup, jar, or any other container to grow your cuttings. A clear container works best so you can watch the new roots grow and track their progress so you know when it is best to transplant your cuttings.
- Remove the Cuttings, and Plant in Soil Once Roots Form
Once you begin to notice new roots growing from the stems, transplant them into the soil. It will usually take at least 2-4 weeks before you begin to notice small white nubs begin to protrude from the stems. Once the roots reach about ½ to 1 inch long, use any regular soil mixture to plant your cuttings
Thyme Cuttings in Soil
Growing thyme cuttings in the soil can be more difficult than in water due to the inability to watch the roots grow. Many times soil carries pathogens that may infect the open wound of the stem, causing your thyme to die before it has the chance to grow
- Harvest Your Cuttings, and Let Them Heal
Harvest your thyme from the mature parts of the plant so they have the best chance of rooting. Then allow the stems to dry out for a day or so to give the stem time to callus over, helping to prevent infection from entering the stem after planting. Avoid harvesting tender new sprigs that won’t have the energy or ability to stay ridged and grow new roots.
- Place the Cuttings in the Soil
Use any container to grow your cuttings. Fill your container with basic potting soil, and insert your thyme branches at least 1-2 inches deep. Be sure to keep your soil moist but not overly saturated. The stem will rot if the soil is too wet.
- Monitor Your Cuttings
Monitor your propagated cuttings to ensure they are receiving ample water and not dying from any infection. If you notice a lack of vigor or a decline in health, these sprigs may have caught an infection and won’t root. Using honey or other rooting hormones can help prevent infection and stimulate new root growth.
How To Propagate Thyme
While it is easy to grow thyme from cuttings, you can also grow thyme from seeds, by dividing mature plants, and layering a current plant. See the different ways you can grow thyme below.
The seeds of thyme are very small and similar to poppy seeds or even smaller! This can make it extremely difficult to plant effectively. If growing from seed, ensure you purchase seeds from a reputable source and follow the instructions on the packet. It may be helpful to cover your seeds with a humidity dome (find them here) to keep them moist and warm for the best germination results.
You can propagate your thyme by dividing your existing plant. As long as the plant is mature and large enough, you will be able to separate pieces of it and plant them again. The new parts should root well after a short time and start new full plants.
Using cuttings of the plant is a great way to grow more thyme because you can use sprigs you purchased from the store or that were given to you! Simply follow the guide above on how to propagate the herb from cuttings to have new plants growing in no time!
Thyme will grow long shoots as the seasons go on. Take these, and bend them to touch the soil, using wire or garden stakes to secure the thyme to the soil. Shortly after, the plant will begin to grow roots along the ground helping to establish the plant. Add a thin layer of soil on top of the stems to help stimulate new growth. Once plenty of roots have formed, cut the bent sprig to sever it from the mother plant, and transplant your new thyme if desired.
Can You Grow Thyme in Water?
You can grow thyme hydroponically, but simply growing it in water won’t provide enough nutrients alone. Add nutrients if you are growing hydroponically, and you should be able to grow just as much thyme as you would in the soil!
How Does Thyme Spread
Thyme spreads by rooting anywhere its branches touch the soil, by shooting up new branches from around the base of the plant, and by seed. It will naturally produce seeds after flowering. These will fall and germinate the following season.
Thyme is a versatile herb that grows easily by propagation. Try it by using cuttings, splitting up existing plants, and growing it from seed! Soon enough, you’ll have more thyme than you know what to do with, but you can always dry it or freeze it for later use.