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7 Reasons Your Thyme Is Not Growing?

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The desire for every gardener is to have their plants grow as at when due and within the shortest possible time. Therefore, it can be psychologically traumatizing when you go through the stress of planting Thyme, and it isn’t growing.

So, why is my Thyme not growing? It could be that your Thyme is not growing because it’s still in the sprouting stage, especially if you had just planted seeds. It could also be that the soil you planted your Thyme is not of the required pH, or it’s retaining too much water. Furthermore, it may be due to inadequate sunlight, or maybe you’re overwatering or underwatering it. Additionally, weeds or even diseases can also make your Thyme not grow.

Is Thyme Slow Growing?

Thyme is slow-growing if grown from seeds. This is because germination is slow, as it takes a while for the seedling to sprout from the seeds. This is why most gardeners prefer to buy and plant seedlings and cuttings instead of growing Thyme from scratch.

However, if Thyme is grown by the seedlings or cutting technique, growth is faster because it bypasses the extra four to twelve weeks needed for the seeds to sprout into seedlings.

In about two months, your Thyme will be ready. That’s why going with the seedling approach is usually recommended for gardeners who wish to grow Thyme, especially for culinary purposes.

How Long Do Thyme Take to Grow?

As a perennial, Thyme completes its life cycle in three or more years. However, it takes the seeds about four to twelve weeks to sprout into seedlings. Thereafter, it matures and becomes fully established in about ten weeks.

Even though generally speaking, your Thyme can become ready in twelve weeks. It is, however, not cast on stone as several other factors can influence this time, and they include:

1. Your Planting Choice

Growing Thyme by the seeds approach is slower than the seedlings method. This is because the seeds will have to sprout first into seedlings before they grow.

Contrarily, for the seedling method, you just plant the seedlings straight in the garden, and they begin to grow. Consequently, this method is faster.

2. The Soil

Thyme prefers neutral soil in terms of pH, but it can also thrive in a slightly acidic or alkaline medium. But if you plant it in soil that is too acidic or alkaline, it will not grow because these conditions are too harsh and unfavorable for it to grow.

Thyme requires well-drained sandy or loamy soil as well. Consequently, if you plant it in clay soil that retains so much water, your Thyme will suffer from excessive hydration and will not grow well.

3. Sunlight

Every plant needs sunlight to grow, and Thyme is not an exception. This is because sunlight is needed for photosynthesis, which is how green plants make their food from carbon dioxide and water.

Thyme needs full sunlight to grow. So if you plant your Thyme in a shade where it doesn’t get enough sunlight, it won’t grow as it should.

4. Too Much Weeds

Weeds can be very annoying because they slow down the growth of your Thyme. They compete with your plants for resources such as soil nutrients, water, sunlight, space, and others.

More so, they can also serve as a breeding site for pests and diseases if left unchecked.

5. Diseases

If your Thyme is not growing, one of the reasons may be that it is sick. One of the most common diseases affecting Thyme is fungal diseases, and they thrive in moist, congested conditions, especially if weeds are in the picture.

6. Watering

Interestingly, both underwatering and overwatering can negatively affect your Thyme growth. When you don’t water it well enough, it may not grow, especially during the young phase.

Furthermore, overwatering the Thyme suffocates the roots, depriving them of oxygen, leading to damaging and rotting of the roots.

If the roots are bad, your Thyme won’t get the sufficient nutrients required to grow. Therefore, you should ensure that the soil is a well-drained type and that you only water when the plant needs it.

7. Overcrowding

Most cultivars of Thyme are low-growing shrubs, so they can easily take up space. So if you don’t give enough room between the plants, they won’t grow as much and as fast as they should.

How Do You Encourage Thyme to Grow?

If your Thyme is not growing, all hope is not lost. There are specific steps you can take to encourage your Thyme to grow. Some of them include:

1. Fertilizing The Soil

Thyme does not require overly nutritious soil to do well. In some cases, it does pretty well in poor soil. However, this is an exception and not a rule.

So if the soil you are growing your Thyme lacks nutrients, you should consider fertilizing the soil a little.

It’s very pertinent to choose the right fertilizer. For this, you may need to have the soil tested to know the deficient nutrient, which will influence your fertilizer choice.

You should be careful not to use excess fertilizer because this can also affect your Thyme, especially if you add too much nitrogen. This will cause your thyme to lose some flavor.

2. Weeding

This is particularly important during the formative period of your Thyme. You should keep the vicinity around your Thyme weed-free, so it doesn’t have to compete with weeds for resources. This is because Thyme doesn’t do too well with competition.

3. Watering

Even though Thyme is a drought-resistant plant, that doesn’t mean you should completely abandon it, especially when it isn’t fully established yet. You should water it from time to time when the soil is dry.

4. Pruning

Pruning overgrowths and old redundant stems reinvigorate the Thyme plants to grow. This is mainly for the fully established plants, and you should do it from time to time.

You should aim for just a third of the plant in a month during the growing season. You should also prune when the plant is woody.

5. Spacing

You must give enough room in your garden for the plants to grow. This is so that they are not congested, and circulation of air is maximal.

Thus, you should give a space of about twelve to twenty-four inches between each plant.

Furthermore, if you are planting indoors and using pots, you should use one that is reasonably big enough to accommodate the plant’s roots.

Using a small pot will limit the growth of the roots, which will translate to the entire plant as well.

6. Repotting

If you planted your Thyme indoors and it has stopped growing, then it means that the roots are bound.

Therefore, you need to get a bigger pot and replant the Thyme so the roots can have more room to grow into.


There are several reasons why your Thyme may not be growing. Sometimes, you need to be patient because Thyme itself is a slow-grower, especially when growing from seed.

However, if this is not the case, the problem may be tied to soil, sunlight, watering, weeds, diseases, or even overcrowding. Be that as it may, identifying the problem and removing it is the most crucial step.

Thereafter, you should encourage your Thyme to grow by fertilizing the plant, weeding, watering, pruning, spacing them appropriately, and repotting them. These will give them the necessary boost to grow.


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