Flowers, nature’s expression of beauty and glamour come in various forms, sizes, and colors. Although they vary in all that, they have one primary and fundamental purpose.
They all serve as the reproductive structure of plants grown by seeds. They extend a plant speciesâ€™ continuity to bore offspring that develop from seeds.
Most herbs grown around our homes produce many flowers, and these pretty flowers give the environment a more aesthetic essence and signal the formation of seeds.
But if youâ€™re not used to seeing thyme producing flowers because you are new to gardening, you may wonder why it produces flowers.
So, why is your thyme flowering? A thyme plant will only produce flowers when it is fully mature and ready to produce seeds. However, the flavor and aroma are not disturbed by the presence of the flowers.
Is It Bad If My Thyme Is Flowering?
Thyme is a perennial hardy herb part of the mint family with a very friendly and pleasant aroma. It prefers to be grown in full sun and well-drained soil.
Seeds or cuttings can propagate it, but growing it from the seed is highly discouraged as it could prove to be very difficult, and the results might not meet expectations.
An average thyme plant will take about 12 weeks to grow and fully mature. They could grow 6 to 12 inches in height during this time, spread 2 feet wide, and possibly start flowering.
If youâ€™re new to gardening, you may ask, â€œhow can flowers all nice and fluffy possibly produce strong, hard seeds?â€ Flowers consist of many parts that help them achieve this goal, but majorly, by the stamens, pistil, and corolla.
The corolla the brightly colored petals that attract insects to the flowers, and as they come, they tend to transfer some pollen grain (male gamete) from the stamen to the pistils, which convey them down to the ovary to be fused with the ovules (female gamete) to now form seeds.
While itâ€™s typically not bad for thyme to produce flowers, it is entirely up to you to know if your thyme flowering is bad or not.
This is because thyme could be used for many things at which most is dependent on the timing and condition of the plant.
For one, if you keep the plant mainly to extract its leaves for its medicinal and aromatic flavoring, then letting it flower could be bad both for you and your plant.
This is likely because the life cycle of thyme is shortened after it has produced flowers and bore seeds despite being a perennial evergreen. After thyme flowers, it becomes woody and dries out in a couple of years, four tops.
But if your only desire is for the plant to give your home or garden a more pleasant value, then I suggest you let the thyme bloom.
As thyme blossoms, its fragrance strengthens, causing it to cover more areas to give your home a pleasant scent while looking beautiful doing so, and when it dies, you get yourself a new one and start all over again.
Do Flowering Thyme Spread?
A lot of herbs in their growth achieve quite a good amount of length in their establishment. Though some may grow upward, some may decide to lay low and spread on the ground.
The mints, for example, remain the most invasive herbs there are. Nevertheless, it can grow, covering over half a meter square of area.
Thyme can grow very fast and spread quite wide too. Aside from growing a max height of 12 inches, it can also spread over 12 inches long as its most significant horizontal distance, but it would take the plant a whole lot of years to grow that wide.
Moving on, thyme is one of the most popular herbs because it has a few varieties and close relatives. One of these varieties is the creeping thyme.
Creeping thyme is not quite your everyday thyme (Thymus vulgaris). However, what it does not attain at good heights makes up for it in its ground coverage.
Growing to cover up to 24 inches of ground area, creeping thyme remains one of the fastest and farthest spreading herbs.
What Should I Do When My Thyme Flowers?
Like most woody herbs, thyme needs to be taken care of adequately. Providing it with an open sun and well-drained soil is not going to be just enough. Basic thyme needs to be pruned very frequently as time goes on.
As your thyme grows and flowers eventually, it is best if you start pruning it more often to encourage its continual growth.
While pruning, endeavor to take off the flower heads and the old and dry branches to regenerate new and brighter ones. As mentioned earlier, lack of pruning the leaves and flowers could cause your thyme to overgrow, become hard-woody and die.
Make sure to cut the flowers too, as this fosters the growth and formation of new leave on the plant. There are a few tips on pruning thyme to promote healthy growth, and they are:
Thyme is best pruned in early spring once new growth has been noted to have begun. When you notice that your thyme has begun to give out new leaves, use a pair of shears to snip some of the old and woody parts.
Ensure not to trim a lot of leaves out as this can leave the plant bare and cause it to wilt. “So as you need sharp shear for pruning, I would recommend using this shear. Check out the latest price on Amazon“.
Cutting off Mature Leaves And Flowers
Cut off some of the leaves or flowers and use them as a garnish in your kitchen or brew a hot cup of thyme tea during the season. Thyme has a lot of nutritional benefits.
It can be used as a spice in your meals as it has excellent flavor and taste. Its leaves and flowers also contain antioxidants, which fight against unstable molecules that influence aging and diseases in the human body as it is taken as a tea.
And lastly, make sure to cut off the flowers and top stems at least 3 to 4 weeks to winter for your thyme to grow and recover before winter during that time frame.
Should You Remove The Flowers From Thyme?
Once a herb starts producing flowers, it centers all its energy into growing and developing the flower to yield seeds.
So cutting them off would somewhat change the flow of energy and nutrients from the flowers to the rest of the plant.
So if you want your thyme to thrive and be more prolonged, then removing the flowers is the best option for you.
Thyme is a herb that mainly serves culinary and medicinal purposes rather than ornamental. So, as an amateur gardener, you may be surprised to see your thyme blooming.
Well, thyme produces flowers because it is from the flowers that seeds can develop. Therefore, these seeds are what aid its propagation.
Nonetheless, because you may be growing thyme mainly for medicine or as a spice, you would want it to maintain its original flavor.
In that case, it would be best to trim off the flowers as they grow to avoid them altering the taste of the plantâ€™s leaves.