The best watering schedule for thyme depends on the season and soil drainage. In the summer, water your thyme once every week. When temperatures are not so extreme, such as during spring and fall, two watering sessions per month is usually sufficient. If your thyme grows through the winter, reduce watering to once a month. This herb will almost always do better when the soil dries out before the next watering. This means you should use your discretion and not necessarily follow a schedule religiously. During particularly rainy months, decrease watering accordingly. During drought-like conditions, add more water if needed.
How Do You Water Thyme? [3 Essential Tips]
It is important to water thyme on a schedule to promote healthy growth. However, you should tweak the schedule based on recent rainfall and time of year to ensure satisfactory results. Here are the best tips to follow when watering your thyme in containers indoors or in your herb garden outside:
Aim for 1 Inch of Water Saturation
Water thyme plants so that soil is moist to a depth of 1 inch (2.5 cm). Thyme is a moisture-loving herb, but do not water to the point where you have boggy soil. Moisture depth that exceeds 1 inch puts your plant in danger of withering from excessive moisture. Less than 1 inch of moist soil is typically not enough for the aromatic herb to thrive.
Water Indoor Thyme on a Spring-Fall Schedule
Because weather affects how often you water thyme, it’s a bit different when you’re growing it indoors. Temperatures inside your house are usually not extreme. Therefore, the best approach is to use the spring/fall regular watering schedule of twice a month. This means the frequency of watering thyme should occur once every 14-16 days.
Water Close to the Roots
As is the case with all herbs, the health of your thyme plant depends on thriving roots. Rather than sprinkling the water on top of the plants, as you might do with certain botanicals, water at the base of thyme plants. This ensures that the water is pulled into the soil and feeds the thyme plant’s root system.
How Much Water Does Thyme Need?
Thyme has a naturally hardy nature and does not need excessive moisture to thrive. It is far more likely to die during periods of excessive rain than in drought-like conditions. Sometimes, even in the heat of summer, it is only necessary to water this herb every 10–15 days.
- Thyme is a very hardy plant that requires minimal water.
- Too much generous watering kills thyme quicker than drought.
- When growing your thyme plant, water herbs less rather than risk overwatering.
Watering too infrequently is much easier to remedy than overwatering. Always err on the side of caution. When in doubt, it’s best to typically water less.
Does Thyme Like to Be Watered?
Thyme likes water, but only when it is truly needed. It is a robust herb that does not want to be bogged down in damp soil. The roots of the plant absorb the water quickly, but excess water is difficult for thyme to take in. Too many bouts of watering can weaken or kill the plant. For this reason, it’s best to plant thyme in full sun, where sunlight can evaporate excess water.
- Thyme thrives best with long dry periods between watering.
- Soil that is too moist can lead to poor health of your plant.
- It’s difficult for thyme to absorb excess water.
Thyme will thank you for giving it the water it needs when necessary, but won’t be grateful if you overdo it on a regular basis. Soggy soil is uninhabitable for thyme, leading to a weaker plant and fewer fresh leaves when you’re harvesting thyme.
Does Thyme Like Wet Soil?
Thyme does not prefer wet soil. Consistently wet soil may even kill thyme if the ground is rarely allowed to fully dry out. Do not add more water until all the moisture has been absorbed from the surrounding soil. Thyme can thrive in wet soil for a while, but will not put up with excessive moisture for very long.
- Thyme can thrive temporarily in moist soil.
- Soil should be allowed to fully dry before the next watering.
- If any wetness is still present, don’t water until it is gone.
- Pay attention to how fast the soil drains.
Thyme prefers moderately dry soil, so there is no need to panic if it goes a few days past its watering schedule. This will not harm the plant. As a general rule, if the soil still has any wetness at all, refrain from watering until it appears completely dry. In addition, pay attention to how quickly the soil drains. You may be watering the plant on an appropriate schedule, but the soil may be retaining water for longer than usual periods.
Can You Overwater Thyme?
It is dangerously easy to overwater thyme. Consequently, it’s a mistake many novice gardeners make. Thyme is more drought-tolerant and will live much longer in dry soil than it will in soil that is too wet. So, if your plant is struggling, it’s almost always best to provide less water instead of more.
- Overwatering thyme is a common mistake.
- Thyme survives in dry conditions longer than in boggy surroundings.
- Overwatering is the top reason thyme plants wilt or droop.
- Yellow or brown leaves are often symptoms of root rot from overwatering.
Slow-draining soils or overwatering can lead to an increased risk of root rot. This will cause your thyme plants to wilt or droop. If the foliage is discolored—usually to a yellow or brownish tinge—it is almost always a sign of root rot. Overwatering is the most common cause of this root development problem.
Thyme Water Requirements
Thyme water requirements are heavily dependent on the season. However, rainfall should be considered too, since less watering is needed during months that are especially rainy. Follow a watering schedule loosely, but pay close attention to the moisture level of the soil as well.
- Water thyme approximately once a week during summer.
- Decrease water to twice a month during spring and fall.
- Watering thyme once a month in winter is usually sufficient.
- Thyme is healthiest when the soil is allowed to dry out before the next watering.
- If the soil drains slowly, allow longer periods between watering.
By planting fresh thyme in well-drained soil and providing it with plenty of sun, you’ll get the best results from your thyme plant. This hardy herb can survive drought conditions but will struggle to grow in overly moist soil.