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Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:29 am
Location: Southern Ontario, Zone 5



This is driving me absolutely insane, I'm so unbelievably frustrated it's unreal.

I got a thyme plant several months ago. The pot it came in was too small, so I put it in a bigger one, with my lovely premium potting mix that has worked for ALL of my other herbs. It did well for a while. Then it just started wilting. I tried giving it more water; didn't work. Less water; didn't work. More sun; didn't work. Less sun; didn't work. So, it kicked the bucket.

Later I tried to grow some thyme from seeds. They refused to even sprout.

A few days ago I was at a gardening place, and found a French thyme plant that looked fairly good, so I bought it. And just a few days later, the leaves are already shriveling.

I took it out of the pot and found it was potbound, so I placed it in a larger pot. I heard it likes bad soil, so I used some dirt that I shoved out of my front yard, because soil can't get much worse than it is around here (southern Ontario).

I only gave it a light sprinkling of water the day after bringing it home, and tried to lay it out in a sunny room. But I haven't seen any improvement since repotting. So, I tried to give it a good watering and placing it in shade... I really don't know what else to do here. I'm totally at a loss.

Can anyone offer any advice? :(

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

So it was potbound. When you put it into a bigger pot, did you loosen up all the roots so they were hanging down? Sometimes people just pop the root ball into a bigger pot, but if you haven't loosened up the roots and they are circling around, then it is still pot bound in the bigger pot.

When they say thyme likes "bad dirt" they mean not very fertile. But that not very fertile soil would be sandy and very well draining. I doubt your back yard dirt is loose and very free draining like that. What you need is something like cactus mix or regular potting soil with a bunch of extra perlite added.

And it likes SUN. Putting it in shade with extra water is a good way to kill it. Sun and let it dry out between waterings. You said initially you were putting it in a sunny room. It's very difficult to have an indoor space that is sunny enough for it; it needs to be outside. But of course, since it has been inside, it will have to be hardened off to the outside a bit gradually.

Posts: 14043
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Thyme I can grow, sage is another story. When you buy thyme, look for a young plant that does not have woody stems. If it is young it should not be pot bound. Thyme likes full sun and a well drained soil. The soil only needs to be of average fertility. Like most of the grey leafed herbs, thyme is used to growing in marginal places.

I plant my thyme in bulb pans or bowls. They are wide and shallow. The bowls usually need to have more holes put in them but the bulb pans usually have enough. I use slow release fertilizer in my soil mix.

When I plant the thyme. I push some of the branches into the soil or I put a small stone on top of them to hold them down. Thyme will eventually become woody in the center and the center dies out, but if you keep ground layering the branches, you will have new plantlets all of the time. If the thyme is in the ground, I will cut out the center when it dies out and take one or two of the daughter plants and plant it back in the middle. The more you clip the thyme the bushier and more branches it will make.

Good luck

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