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perennial

Mother-of-Thyme

Thymus praecox

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Mother-of-Thyme (Thymus praecox) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Thymus praecox flowers

Thymus praecox flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Mother-of-Thyme (Thymus praecox) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Thymus praecox in bloom

Thymus praecox in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  4 inches

Flower Height:  6 inches

Spacing:  16 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  2a

Other Names:  Creeping Thyme, Arctic Creeping Thyme

Description:

One of the finest of all groundcovers, forms a dense low mat which is completely covered in dusty pink flowers throughout summer, attractive fine and fragrant foliage the rest of the season; needs a dry and sunny location, will take light foot traffic

Ornamental Features

Mother-of-Thyme is smothered in stunning spikes of lilac purple flowers rising above the foliage from early to mid summer. Its attractive tiny fragrant round leaves remain dark green in color throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Mother-of-Thyme is a dense herbaceous evergreen perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading

Mother-of-Thyme is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Herb Gardens

Planting & Growing

Mother-of-Thyme will grow to be only 4 inches tall at maturity extending to 6 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 18 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 16 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to dry locations, and dislikes excessive moisture. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider covering it with a thick layer of mulch in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Rock  Edging  Garden  Groundcover  Herb 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features