Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Thymus praecox arcticus

Common Name
Creeping Thyme
CA Native
Non-native
Plant Type
Ground Cover
Size
3" x 3'
Flower Color
Purplish-White
Bloom Time
  • Summer
Leaves
Tiny Green
Evergreen
Evergreen
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Bees
Growth Rate
Fast
Hardiness
Semi-hardy
Adverse Growth Factors
None
Special Features
  • Fragrance
  • Low Maintenance
Water Use
  • Low
  • Moderate
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
Exposure
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
  • Shade
Soil Type
Not Particular
Drainage
Good Drainage
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

Creeping Thyme has very green, almost succulent leaves and pinkish-purple flowers that bloom for about 3 -4 weeks in summer. Thyme flowers and leaves are very aromatic and the leaves can be used for cooking purposes. It can absorb some light foot traffic but is best planted where it will not be disturbed. It grows fast so it makes a good ground cover.

Plant in a sunny part of the garden with very good drainage (can take light shade but does best in full sun). Plant at the same level as it was in the container. Thyme is very shallow rooted, especially when first transplanted.  Keep fairly moist until established  afterwhich water can be reduced to periodic watering in the summer months. Mulch around each plant to ensure better moisture retention. Cut back when the branches become woody for more robust and attractive growth.

Thyme has no serious pests or diseases.

Master Gardener Comments
Varietals

T. praecox arcticus ' Annie Hall' - rose pink flower clusters

T. praecox arcticus 'Fulney Red' - red flowers

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