• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Thymus vulgaris

common thyme

common thyme

© RHS 2002

  • Other common names common thyme
    garden thyme

    pot-herb thyme

    see more
  • Synonyms Thymus vulgaris 'German Winter'

  • Family Lamiaceae

  • Genus Thymus are evergreen woody-based perennials, shrub or sub-shrubs with small aromatic leaves and terminal whorls of small, 2-lipped, tubular, purple, pink or white flowers in late spring or summer

  • Details T. vulgaris is a bushy dwarf shrub with small, linear to ovate, aromatic, dark grey-green leaves, and terminal spikes of small, whorled, white or pink flowers in early summer

  • Plant range W Mediterranean


  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Bushy

  • Fragrance Leaf

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilLoam, Chalk, Sand

  • pHAlkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 5-10 years

How to grow

Cultivation Easy to grow in most well-drained alkaline to neutral soils in full sun

Propagation Propagate by seed, by division or plant rooted basal stem cuttings in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds City & Courtyard Gardens Cottage & Informal Garden Mediterranean Climate Plants Wildlife Gardens

How to care

Pruning Cut back in spring

Pests Generally pest free

Diseases Generally disease free

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