How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Red Creeping Thyme

The red creeping Thyme (Thymus praecox) proliferates and creates an abundant carpet of tiny leaves and vibrant blooms! When crushed or touched, the soft green leaves release aromas.

Many bright red and pink flowers bloom in the early summer, adding to the already pleasing smell. Bees and butterflies are drawn to the flowers due to the nectar they release.

Red creeping Thyme can be an excellent low-maintenance option for any garden. When it grows, it will grow densely, and it encircles unwanted plants.

Continue reading this article to learn the basics of caring for the red creeping Thyme so that it can thrive in your yard.

Botanical Name: Thymus praecox ‘Coccineus’

Common Name: Red creeping thyme theme mother of Thyme

Family: Lamiaceae

Plant Type: Woody perennial

Hardiness Zones:4 – 9 (USDA)

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Type of Soil: Well-drained, sandy

Soil neutral to alkaline

Height:3 to 6 inches

Bloom Time: Summer

Flower Color: purple, deep-pink, red

Quick Guide: Planting, Growing & Caring for Red Creeping Thyme

  • Red creeping thyme demands full sun for growth and flowering.
  • Plant in a well-prepared sandy loam that has good drainage
  • Do not overwater, and let it dry between waterings.
  • Regular pruning is vital to keep this beautiful ground cover
  • Red creeping Thyme is believed to draw butterflies and bees

Red Creeping Thyme Plant Care

Red creeping Thyme, also known as Thymus praecox “Coccineus,” is an annual herbaceous plant belonging to the mint (Lamiaceae) family. This plant thrives in full sunlight and can tolerate dry conditions.

Although it is delicate in appearance, Thymeacanll has a wide range of well-drained environments and can even handle moderate foot traffic. Due to these attributes, it requires minimal care and is an excellent option for gardeners new to gardening.

The red creeping Thyme can be adapted to Zones 4-9, in milde; intense, it will be central evergreen. In autumn, the leaves turn bronze. The plant is also called Thymus serpyllum and is known by other names, like crimson thyme or mother of Thyme.

Like other thyme species, the red creeping Thyme is a magnet for butterflies. It is an insect habitat for beneficial insect species, which makes it an excellent option for those wanting to safeguard biodiversity. The repellent properties of the red creeping thyme species are also well-known.

The flowers of the summertime, red creeping Thyme, are available in hues ranging from purple to crimson. They form an impressive carpet of color over the plant’s sprawling delicate foliage that is taller than less than 4 inches but can extend from 12-18 inches.

This kind of growth can fill in any area in the landscape and helps control weed growth.

The red creeping Thyme is widely utilized in rock gardens, walkways, xeriscapes, walls, xeriscapes stories, and alternative lawns and contenders.


It is native to the southern part of Europe and Turkey. The red creeping Thyme favors an area with at least 6-8 hours of sunshine daily.

If this gorgeous plant is in total shade, it will not bloom and produce darker green leaves. So, please place them in areas where they’ll receive the maximum sunlight.


The soils that drain well and have pH levels that are neutral to alkaline are the ideal soil for the red creeping Thyme. This plant is prone to root rot due to overwatering, so it is better in sandy or rocky soils. It is unsuited to clay soils because it holds moisture and could cause waterlogging.

Beware root damage by planting the red creeping Thyme in properly prepared sandy loam soils with good drainage.


Don’t overwater this slow-growing plant. It’s drought-tolerant and requires significantly little to moderate amounts of water. It is known to dry out between waterings.

It is important to water regularly throughout the seedling stage to ensure the soil stays dry but not excessively so. To avoid standing water, you should water the plant every ten days once it is established. Do not plant in areas where water may accumulate after rain.

Temperature and Humidity

The Red Creeping Thyme grows well in USDA zones 4 to 9 and is hardy up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Germination of seeds requires a temperature between 65 and 75 ° F.

However, they can withstand drought and don’t require much humidity. They prefer 30 to 50% relative humidity and adequate air circulation.


When you plant the red creeping Thyme on healthy soil, it’s not required to fertilize it since it is not a huge feeder. However, using a balanced organic fertilizer in spring may encourage lush plants’ growth, particularly in deficient soils.

If you are fertilizing, select an organic slow-release fertilizer and adhere to the instructions for application. For plants with low maintenance requirements, like creeping thyme or thyme, light topdressing of compost or leaf mold could be substituted for fertilizer to increase the soil’s nutrient structure, structure, and microbial activity.


Red creeping Thyme can be described as semi-evergreen. This means it will stay primarily green and retain its leaves through the cold winter months; however, its stems and branches might die back slightly.

Following the arrival of cold weather, the most effective way to safeguard plants in more cold USDA zones is to apply a two to three-inch mulch layer. Apply it when temperatures are dropping to below freezing.

It’ll keep your soil at a constant temperature, giving the plant the best chance to withstand fluctuations in temperature that could harm it.


The red creeping Thyme needs regular pruning in the rock garden or as a mulch to make a thick mat. It is the most laborious procedure if you wish for your creeping Thyme’s growth to be sustained.

The trimming back of the fine-growing texture stems in the early spring can allow for the growth of new plants throughout the season of change. You can also trim flowers after they die in the summer months. In the meantime, you should wait until the fall of your plant to cut the woody stems that your flower has.

How to Plant and Grow Red Creeping Thyme

Site Preparation

Find a sunny spot in which they can flourish. While creeping Thyme is tolerant of the shade of a building, its peak bloom demands full sunshine, i.e., at least 6 hours of sun each day). Then, make sure that the drainage of your soil is good.

This soil could be made more aerable by adding leaf mold, compost, or soil conditioner. Sand is an excellent addition to grounds made of clay.

How to plant red Creeping Thyme from seeds

Red creeping Thyme develops quickly and is self-seeding. Once established outdoors, the creeping Thyme reproduces through self-seeding and continues to grow and improve the landscape.

Plant the seeds of red creeping Thyme directly into the ground once the final frost is gone, or sow them indoors in trays containing the finest potting mix. This is before the six-week countdown until the season’s end.

Because these seeds require light to germinate, please place them in a soil layer not more than 1/16 inch. Keep the temperature between 75 and 65 degrees F. Also, ensure that the soil is moist but not wet.

In 14-21 days in 14 to 21 days, seeds will begin to sprout as new plant growth emerges. Thin the plants by retaining only healthy seedlings and then removing weak ones.

If the threat of frost is over, transfer the seedlings into an enormous container or place them directly in the garden after they have established roots and increased in size.

How to Propagate Red Creeping Thyme

The red creeping Thyme is propagated by cutting off the stems or division. Cut a few not blooming branches, remove the lower leaves, place the stems in water, and place them on the windowsill to establish roots. Cuttings can be repotted after specific sources have appeared.

You can also divide the red creeping Thyme too. As the plants get bigger, they can be gently pulled out a root ball and split in half. Replant one part and then plant or donate the second half. Ensure you water well to aid roots in regaining their strength from stress.

Dividing the plants every several seasons in spring or early fall is recommended. The plants may have to be divided earlier if they’re separated more closely.

How to Grow Red Creeping Thyme in Containers

If planted in pots, the red creeping Thyme spreads its thick mat of foliage and tiny flowers across the soil. Small containers, like coffee cups, are ideal for planting red creeping Thyme seeds. The bases should be covered lightly in the mud.

Please keep the lighting conditions and moisten them for planting red creeping Thyme seeds. These tiny pots are great to place on tables in the kitchen because the new growth will appear within 14-21 days. They can also be placed in large pots on balconies or windowsills.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases for Red Creeping Thyme

The various varieties of Thyme possess natural antifungal and antibacterial properties that help keep pests and diseases at bay. This makes it an excellent companion to other plants. The most crucial aspect to look out for is the possibility of root rot, which can happen if the soil doesn’t drain properly.

If you are experiencing root rot and notice a soil rot, try amending it by adding sand and other organic materials, such as compost and leaf mold. Then, replant with a keen watch on the soil’s moisture content.

But, Spider mites are a concern to creeping thyme plants during humid, hot summer weather. The pests can be easily controlled with insecticidal soap. Spider mites and Aphids are a problem for houseplants and are easily killed by insecticidal soap.

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