Do you know the cherry on top? Red Creeping Thyme is well-suited for the climate in Texas. It’s a type of thyme that can thrive in the Texas environment due to its drought-tolerant nature and ability to withstand hot temperatures. This makes it a popular choice for landscaping and gardening in Texas.
Here in this article, we will talk about everything related to Red Creeping Thyme and how you plant, grow and maintain them in Texas.
What is the Red Creeping Thyme?
Red Creeping Thyme, a member of the mint family, is a low-growing herbaceous perennial that decorates landscapes with flowers, vegetables, and even ornamental plants. Characterized by non-woody stems, these specimens prefer full sunlight and show exceptional resilience against drought, foot traffic, and even harsh environmental conditions. The term “creeping” is aptly coined for their low and horizontal growth along with the soil surface.
Their capacity to withstand foot traffic and discourage deer makes them an ideal choice for pathways, gardens, and as an alternative to traditional lawns. Red Creeping Thyme has a comparatively short life cycle.
Their above-ground existence starts in Spring and fades away or dies in dormant seasons like winter and harsh weather conditions. Then again regrows from the root system in Spring. Where else, Ornamental Red Creeping Thyme attracts beautiful birds and pollinators.
Do Red Creeping Thyme Ideal for Texas Landscapes?
Texas has a diverse climate that includes areas with arid and semi-arid conditions, particularly in West Texas and parts of Central Texas. These areas often experience periods of low rainfall and high temperatures.
As Red Creeping Thyme is a highly sun-loving and drought-tolerant herb, it can adapt well to Texas’s hot and sunny weather. Red Creeping Thyme shows excellent growth in 6-8 hours of daily sunlight, which Texas is well-known for. However, some afternoon shade in the severe dry season facilitates the Red Creeping Thyme.
How to Plant and Grow Red Creeping Thyme in Texas?
Planting and growing Red Creeping Thyme in the Texan landscape involves choosing the right location with a favorable environment and soil composition. After all, sowing the seeds or installing plants should also be at the right time. Here’s how you can do it:
Choosing the Right Location and Soil
Red Creeping Thyme grows well in areas with six hours or more of direct sunlight every day. We pay attention to the Texas environment, and this is something you’ll find common in most areas of Texas. The next thing to look for is soil and timing.
For optimal Red Creeping Thyme growth, the soil’s pH should be 7, which is neither acidic nor alkaline. If your soil is either too acidic or too alkaline for Red Creeping Thyme, you can adjust the pH level to produce an ideal environment for your plants.
If your soil is too acidic, you can add things like lime and organic stuff such as compost, well-rotted manure, and peat moss. These supplements will help make your soil less acidic and help to raise the soil’s pH level.
On the other hand, if your soil is too alkaline, you can add sulfur or certain fertilizers to make it a bit more balanced. Besides, the soil must be well-drained. For the soil with heavy clay or poorly drained, you can make it better by tossing in some compost or other organic stuff to help with drainage.
Planting at the Right Time
Once you’ve got the place and soil ready, you can plant Red Creeping Thyme in your Texas soil. Wondering when’s the best time to do it? Aim for Spring and fall, which are typically the most appropriate seasons for planting these thyme. Avoid planting during the heat of summer or winter, as it will leave you with not-so-pretty blossom in your garden.
Prepare the Soil
Remove any weeds, grass, or other plants from the planting point to prepare the soil before planting. This will prevent competition for resources and allow the Red Creeping Thyme to grow fast and healthy. The soil should next be loosened up to increase aeration and drainage. Finally, thoroughly water the soil before planting to allow it to settle and retain moisture.
The Planting Phase
It is now finally time to plant. Prepare a wider and larger hole than the plant’s root ball. Bring the plant out of the container slowly so that you don’t damage its roots. Then, slightly untangle the roots if they are tightly intertwined.
Now, place the plants into the hole and align the top of the rootball with the soil surface. Finally, Backfill the hole with soil, gently pressing the soil around the plant to eliminate air pockets.
Alternatively, you can also start with seeds. First, you sow the seeds on the appropriate soil discussed. And then slightly push the soil down. Trying to keep the soil dripping wet or moist. And within 1-2 weeks, you will see seeds sprouting.
How To Care and Maintain Red Creeping Thyme?
It is not the end when you finally put the plant into place. Despite being a low-maintenance herb, you need to make minimal effort to care for and observe its growth so that all the hard work doesn’t go in vain. Here is how you take care of them after planting.
Creeping Thyme is a drought-tolerant herb, meaning you don’t necessarily have to water it frequently. However, it’s prudent to provide regular watering in the scorching Texas summer, where temperatures can get very high.
When you do water, it’s crucial to ensure that the soil doesn’t become excessively saturated, which could lead to root rot. The key is to keep the soil consistently moist but not overly soaked.
During the rainy season, there’s usually no need for additional watering. The natural rainfall would be enough to meet their moisture requirements.
Thyme, including creeping thyme, generally doesn’t demand fertilization to flourish healthily. Nonetheless, feeding the soil with a well-balanced, organic fertilizer during the Spring is important if your soil lacks nutrients. It can foster robust growth.
If your soil is already abundant in nutrients and in good condition, fertilization might not be essential upon planting thyme. It’s important to note that using a low-nitrogen fertilizer is advisable, as excessive nitrogen content could prompt the plant to produce more leaves and fewer flowers.
Mulching is needed in the first session to prevent the growth of weeds. Red Creeping Thyme is exceptionally good at competing against weeds by growing fast. But, in its earlier life, you need to take care a bit when weeds can be a threat.
So the solution against weeds is mulching, creating a thick layer of materials, including leaves, compost, wood chips, etc., to cover the soil surface around plants. Applying mulch correctly is important to maximize its benefits.
Put a layer of mulch that’s about 2 to 4 inches thick (around 5-10 cm). Remember not to pile it against the stems of the plants so that water doesn’t get trapped and pests don’t become a problem. You’ll need to add more mulch as it breaks down over time. Mulch also helps shield the Red Creeping Thyme during tough winters, especially if you’re in colder USDA zones of Texas.
Occasional pruning continues Red Creeping Thyme’s lush growth and flowering. Red Creeping Thyme produces small flowers in late Spring to early summer. After the flowering period, look for the stems that no longer flower.
Simply put, look for the stems that have wilted flowed and then lightly cut down the stems to encourage bushier growth and maintain a tidy appearance. But don’t cut too close to the soil. The goal is to remove the parts of the plant that have completed their flowering cycle while still maintaining some healthy foliage to support new growth and potential flowering.
Keep an Eye on Pests and Diseases
Keep an eye on the transplanted Red Creeping Thyme for signs of stress, pest, and disease. Provide some temporary shade and ensure adequate moisture if the plant appears wilted.
However, Red Creeping Thyme is highly resistant to pests and disease. If you see that some roots get rotted, take necessary measurements like amending the soil by adding organic materials like compost and leaf mold.
Does red creeping thyme come back every year?
Answer: Yes, red creeping thyme is a perennial plant, which means it does come back every year. It is known for its low-growing, creeping nature and is often used as garden ground cover.
Does red creeping thyme spread fast?
Answer: Yes, red creeping thyme is known to spread relatively quickly. It has a creeping growth habit and sends out runners that allow it to spread and fill in gaps in the garden. However, the rate of spread may vary depending on the growing conditions and other factors.
Which is the best creeping thyme?
Answer: The “best” creeping thyme can vary depending on your specific needs and preferences. However, some popular and highly regarded varieties of creeping thyme include:
- Elfin Thyme (Thymus serpyllum ‘Elfin’): This variety has a very low, dense growth habit and features small, deep green leaves. It is known for its excellent heat and drought tolerance.
- Mother of Thyme (Thymus serpyllum): Mother of Thyme is a popular choice with pink to lavender flowers and a spreading growth habit. It is a tough and low-maintenance option.
- Woolly Thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus): Woolly thyme has fuzzy, silver-gray leaves that create an attractive visual effect. It is known for its ability to tolerate sun, heat, and drought.
- Pink Chintz Thyme (Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’): This variety has delicate pink flowers and forms a dense mat of light green foliage. It is often used to provide ground cover in gardens.
It’s always recommended to check with local nurseries or gardening experts, as certain varieties may perform better in specific climates or growing conditions.
What time of year do you plant creeping thyme?
Answer: In Texas, the ideal time to plant creeping thyme is in the spring or early fall. These seasons offer milder temperatures and more favorable establishment and root growth conditions. Avoid planting during the hot summer months, as it can be stressful for the plant and make it more difficult for it to establish itself successfully. Be sure to check your specific location and climate to determine the best time for planting creeping thyme in your area.
Red Creeping Thyme particularly adapts well to the Texan landscape. If you are a Texan, this particular shrub can enhance the beauty of your landscape or garden and has a delightful aroma.
On top of that, it requires minimal maintenance to plant and maintain, which can particularly be useful for Texan weather. As nobody wants to do backbreaking work in Texan heat, Red Creeping Thyme gives you a chance to achieve more by investing less.