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Will Creeping Thyme Survive Winter? (Explained)

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Last updated on September 23rd, 2022 at 04:51 pm

Winter is generally a scary time for plants, especially herbs with shallow roots. With the appearance of frost, many plant activities are reduced to the barest minimum, and this climate best suits hazardous microbes.

As plants strive to maintain normal function in the cold with reduced sunlight, the weather makes them more susceptible to diseases and death.

You must have also discovered that creeping thyme requires a minimum of 4 to 6 hours sunlight each day. Additionally, this herb thrives best with heat is tenable in its originated environment, the tropics.

If you planted your creeping thyme just after the previous fall, you should have an established herb by now. And if you are attached to plants as I am, you no doubt are caught in-between confidence and fear with winter just ahead.

Like I did as a previously inexperienced gardener, you could also wonder whether creeping thyme survives the winter?

Well, with proper care, creeping thyme can survive winter no matter how harsh. Winter is surely no ideal time for creeping thyme to thrive as a heat-loving plant sensitive to excess moisture. Yet, it is a resistant herb that remains evergreen even in the fall of winter once established.

Does Creeping Thyme Die In Winter?

Unlike companion herbs such as Basil, Rosemary, and Mint who act as annuals and die back in winter, creeping thyme does not die in winter

With these other herbs, the cold and absence of sunlight drive them to seek refuge indoors because they cannot withstand the temperature, especially the increasing amount of moisture.

However, with creeping thyme, transplanting indoors is not necessary for winter survival since it has an outstanding ability to survive and live through winter.

Furthermore, Creeping thyme is a perennial herb that fully establishes after about a year of propagation. This ‘year’ encompasses all seasons, winter included.

Of course, creeping thyme loves and thrives with heat, yet I highly recommend you propagate it in mid or late winter. This is because the heat and sunlight, if not moderate, could scorch the young herb.

Consider also the fact that creeping thyme is woody. This woodiness results from secondary growth in the stem of the herb.

With such a woody stem, creeping thyme is better able to withstand temperature drops in winter. Also, the extra stem cells absorb the excess water and store them, keeping the herb alive and disease-free until the frost passes away.

If your creeping thyme just got established to your delight, there is no need to fret over the coming winter.

Creeping thyme needs no extra preparation for winter though doing so could be advantageous. However, your resilient creeping thyme will not die in winter. Still, can you enjoy its foliage on these dark days?

Does Creeping Thyme Produce Foliage In Winter?

Many reviews recommend creeping thyme as a lawn plant. Still, we cannot overlook its culinary and medicinal purposes, for which many have cultivated it.

How pleasant it is to perceive this herbs aroma not just on lawns but also in delicacies. In winter, though, do you have to resort to dried or processed creeping thyme to enjoy this herb even when you have a cultivar just outside?

Well, creeping thyme produces foliage in winter, but how much of it depends on you. Remember, creeping thyme is an evergreen herb capable of surviving winter on its own.

However, to produce sufficient foliage depends on you. In winter, creeping thyme is inclined to be more woody than leafy, but with your help, it can also be the other way round.

For creeping thyme to keep producing sufficient foliage in winter, you can help by pruning off the dead stems lying vertically to the main stem.

The pruning should also extend to the flowering part at the top of the herb. Doing this will help the creeping thyme focus on the expansion of foliage rather than reproduction.

Where possible, you can also expose creeping thyme to sufficient sunlight though this is limited in winter. Using a fleece to cover your creeping thyme in winter also improves foliage production.

The fleece helps to generate heat, thus creating an ideal environment to thrive. This exposure reflects positively on the foliage production.

Also, if you cultivate potted creeping thyme, you may decide to take it indoors during the winter. When positioned to bask in enough sunlight, a warm room temperature, and sufficient water, you will not miss out on fresh creeping thyme foliage all through the winter.

Nevertheless, moderation and caution are required when pruning in winter, that is if you must. You ought not to prune so much at a time that the young shoots and foliage become exposed.

If this happens, it could cause the entire plant to wither and die!

How Long Does Creeping Thyme Last?

Whoever said ‘good things don’t last’ never cultivated creeping thyme. This aromatic herb is a perennial and a resistant one at that.  Healthy creeping thyme can live for about 3-5 years, depending on the care administered.

We sometimes think of creeping thyme as a valuable weed because of its weed-like properties. Thinking about how resistant this herb is, you would also discover that it can reseed itself.

Towards the end of its life span, the herb simply flowers and reproduces and reseeds in the pot or lawn cultivated. 

With this ability, creeping thyme continues to grow, even replacing dead ones. The process may escape your notice but keeps creeping thyme around for much longer.

Additionally, creeping thyme is resistant to foot traffic, deer and rabbits. With no effective predation, the resistant herb keeps right on growing.


Creeping thyme, a unique member of the mint family, is simultaneously tolerant. With creeping thyme, there is no need to fret over the winter as survival is assured.

You can also enjoy fresh thyme foliage all year round with this herb. Do not hesitate to propagate creeping thyme right away because not even winter can sabotage your efforts in cultivating a delightful herb, whether potted or on a lawn.


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