Do you want to know how to grow thyme from cuttings? I’m going to cover that in the following paragraphs. Thyme has been used for millennia as everything from a symbol for bravery in combat to an antidote for different poisons.
Also known as garden thyme or common thyme, the Thymus sp. L. member of the Lamiaceae plant family is common now across North America but likely originated in the Mediterranean, as the name is derived from Greek. Thyme was once used in recipes as pre-refrigeration protection, to some degree, against spoiled meat.
How To Grow Thyme From Cuttings?
I think the first thing you should know is that this is going to take a fair amount of time and attention. However, like with many herbs, stem cuttings are usually a more efficient means of cultivating thyme than doing so seed propagation.
When To Get Your Cuttings?
Don’t do it with stems that are too young, because they might not root or live long enough. Alternatively, plants that get too old start having woody stems that are difficult or even impossible for you to propagate. Also avoid cuttings from fully-grown with flowering buds, because they won’t support good rooting.
Instead, focus on thyme cuttings from mature and established stems. Make sure they are soft and green but without flowering buds. Ideally, your stems are at least 2 inches in height, if not more.
How To Take Your Cuttings?
I made a mistake once of not using pruning shears that were sharp enough. You don’t want to create tears in both the plant and cuttings. This will only lead to pests and diseases. You also should avoid it to not hurt the growth nodes.
Never take the whole stem off. You need to retain enough of the foliage for the plant to come out again. You’re looking for 2/3 or even 3/4 of your stem while leaving several sets of leaves near the bottom. Growth nodes are what need to be at the bottom of your cuttings.
Remove the bottom leaves, but leave the ones at the top. I’ve learned that adding sand or perlite to potting soil helps a lot, probably because thyme grows naturally in drier areas without a lot of moisture in the soil.
Fill up a medium-size container with your soil mix. It should come up to the actual rim after you moisten it with a bit of water.
Put holes in the soil just a little wider than each of the cuttings. You can use a tool, your finger, or a stick. Just remember that if you use a stick, it should be clean. You don’t want to introduce disease or pests to your growing environment. Immerse at least half of each cutting into those holes, and then firm the soil around them, so they look standing tall.
Maximize your propagation rate by putting a bottle or plastic bag over the containers to trap moisture in. I also recommend using a rooting hormone to dip the bottom of every cutting before you put them into the pot.
Maintaining Your Cuttings
Fresh cuttings that haven’t rooted yet don’t keep moisture or water as well as fully grown plants, so you don’t actually want a dry atmosphere just yet. The truth is, if you don’t keep the humidity at 70 percent or higher, then your plants might not even root.
That means sealing your containers, as previously mentioned, but it also means you need to monitor moisture levels in your soil and their contained environment.
Are things too dry? Just moisten your mix again, but do it quickly. Don’t over-moisturize them, though, or they might rot. Also, avoid direct exposure to sunlight.
Still, let the plants breathe a few hours a day. Air circulation in containers isn’t high, and they are going to need some fresh air each day, even if the moisture-trapping powers of a closed container are also necessary for the rest of the day.
Now, as you know how to grow thyme from cuttings, you should never run out of this wonderful herb. Apply what you have learned, and you will slowly master this process over time. Learn more tips on growing herbs here.