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Can Thyme Grow in Shade? (Explained)

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Last updated on September 23rd, 2022 at 01:46 pm

The different varieties of thyme all have individual characteristics that make them unique and also numerous benefits that make them sorted out.

Most varieties of thyme are known for their tough nature. Unlike other plants, thyme is known for its ability to survive adverse conditions that most plants cannot tolerate.

Thyme usually grows best in areas with a vast amount of sunlight, and this sunlight ultimately leads to the flowering of the plant. As a result, cultivators tend to question its ability to survive in the shade.

Can thyme grow in shade?

Thymes can survive in partial shade for some time. However, partial shade is best but not total shade. Shade hinders the growth of your thyme. As a result, they will grow but not as much as they would have with proper sunlight. Also, the continued absence of sunlight can cause the thyme plant to die off.

Furthermore, the shade prevents the thyme from flowering. Though this may not be a problem depending on what you intend to use the thyme for, as the vegetative parts will be just fine.

How Much Sunlight Does Thyme Need?

Sunlight is essential in the development of every plant, and thyme is no different than most plants. Thyme thrives in heat. As a result, they can go days on end without water and can be ridiculously easy to train.

Enough sunlight is enough to keep your thyme going for a long time. The reason is that the plant has a high tolerance for the sun and can stay for a long time under them.

Therefore, if you are growing your thyme indoors, the presence of sunlight for about six to ten hours is advised to get the best results from their growth.

Thymes can last a long time in the sun and do well in the sun.

However, it does not mean that they have to be under the sun all the time.

Allowing for shade for some time when planted indoors is suitable for the plant.

How to Grow Thyme Indoors?

Planting thyme indoors can be significant. Aside from being an aromatic herb giving your home a unique scent, it can be readily available for your culinary delight.

Thyme usually is naturally resilient and can be grown with no issues outside.

However, when planted indoors, they need a little more attention than they usually would require.

The most common care and requirement when planting your thyme indoors is to give your plant adequate sunlight.

As stated earlier, thyme loves the sun, and the last thing it needs is total shade indoors.

Therefore, having planted your thyme, it is best to place it in a spot where it can receive lots of sunlight. Eight to ten hours of sunlight is ideal for the plant.

Thyme also does not do very well in the winter.

As such, during the winter season, place your thyme in a room with LED lights so your plant can get enough warmth from them.

Having sorted this out and prepared enough to give your thyme the proper amount of sunlight possible, the next step is figuring out the method you wish to use in growing your plant – either by seeds or transplanting.

You should also account for suitable soil; you should fill in your pots with soil that quickly drains the water. As a result, thyme does not need much water to grow and remains in top-notch condition.

It is also okay to fill in your pots with a bit of gravel; this prevents the soil from soaking too much water. The pH of the soil used in growing thyme should be right between slightly acidic and slightly alkaline.

Plant your thyme in pots with soil, and do not water it too frequently. As mentioned earlier, thyme does not need a lot of water to germinate. Watering them every two weeks is enough for the plant.

The seeds of thyme will take upwards of three weeks to a month to sprout so, endeavor to be patient. That said, fertilizers or organic manure are not necessarily crucial for the thyme plant, so there is no need to bother about that.

Once your thyme has been planted, place them in a position that will ensure they receive adequate sunlight. It would be best to replace the pots used for planting thyme from time to time as they get bigger.

Why Is My Thyme Plant Dying?

The thyme plant is incredibly resilient and barely needs any maintenance at all. It isn’t affected by underwatering or poor soil conditions and survives in adverse conditions.

As such, it can be confusing to see your thyme dying because of how sturdy they are. However, though they are tough, your thyme plant is not invincible, and certain things can cause your thyme to die.

There are several reasons why your thyme may be dying. One such is excess fertilizer.

Thyme barely needs any fertilizer to survive and do well in soil with poor nutrients. Therefore, excess fertilizer and nitrogen can be one of the reasons why your thyme plant is dying off.

Another reason your thyme may be dying is overwatering. Thyme plants are extremely drought resistant and do not need a lot of water all the time.

There is such a thing as overwatering, and this can happen quite quickly in thyme than other plants as the average level of water it needs is significantly less than for other plants.

Another reason your thyme may be dying off is the lack of direct sunlight. Keeping your thyme in the total shade can be extremely bad for them and can lead to gradual discoloration of their leaves – a sign of wilting.

Another reason your thyme may be dying can be a result of diseases or infections plaguing it. Again, symptoms may be vast, but they ultimately lead to your thyme dying off.


As a result of its sturdy nature, thyme can survive in partial shade but not for too long as it can start dying off.

Therefore, they are straightforward to take care of and barely need any maintenance at all. The reason why the thyme does not do well is mainly due to trying to overpamper them most times.

They do not need to be watered every day, and they certainly do not need to be given too much fertilizer, thriving in soils that do not have excess nutrients.

Growing thyme is incredibly easy to do though, having to grow them indoors does need a little more attention.

However, this should not hinder you from having to reap all the benefits of this beautiful plant!


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