Creeping time is generally used more as a ground cover than as an herb. This low-growing fuzzy plant spreads out in a mat and is covered with beautiful flowers.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Ground cover,
- Mixed border,
- Low-growing plant (under 6 inches)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Acid soil,
- Alkaline soil,
- Dry soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
Season of Interest:
- Late spring,
- Early summer,
- Mid summer,
- Late summer,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size and Method of spreading
Creeping thyme generally grows no more than 3 to 6 inches high. It is a trailing-rooting ground cover. Trailing-rooting ground covers have trailing stems that spread out from a central root system. These stems spread out horizontally over the ground and can root where they come in contact with the soil. New shoots will be formed at the point where rooting occurs.
This is a fairly low maintenance ground cover. It grows well in poor soils as well as alkaline sites. It is tolerant of drought. Wet sites must be avoided or this plant will rot. Full sun is best, but this plant will tolerate some light shade.
Disease, pests, and problems
Slugs can be a problem. In wet sites, root rot can occur.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Resistant to deer.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Europe.
The opposite leaves are oval and very tiny (1/4"). Leaves can be semi-evergreen in mild winters.
Upright clusters of tiny pink-purple flowers cover the plant early to mid-summer. Some cultivars have flowers that are white or red.
Fruit are small nutlets; not ornamentally important.
Cultivars and their differences
Some cultivars may be sold under another species name or may be sold simply as 'thyme'.
Annie Hall creeping thyme (Thymus praecox 'Annie Hall'): Pink flowers; withstands foot traffic better than the species.
Scarlet creeping thyme (Thymus praecox 'Coccineus'): Covered with rose-red flowers. Also sold as red creeping thyme.
White creeping thyme (Thymus praecox 'Albus'): White flowers.
Wooly creeping thyme (Thymus praecox 'Pseudolanuginosis'): Densely hairy leaves.