Propagating Thyme


It’s nice to have fresh herbs to go out in the garden and cut during the Summer when you need them in a recipe. But what about during the cold Winter months? You can go to the market and buy, but have to use quite quickly or they end up in the trash. This Fall I took a look at my huge Thyme plant and decided to try propagating Thyme.

I have purchased plants in the Winter before at the greenhouse, but they seem to end up dying. I’m not sure if its the transition from the warm, humid greenhouse to the cool, dry house or not? So I thought,why not try and propagate some cuttings from my outside Thyme and Rosemary plants?

In early Fall, I cut some cuttings from the edges of the main plant, and put the ends of the cuttings in rooting hormone. Then I planted the cuttings in some potting soil. I put on a sunny window. I’m sure I was way too impatient, but a couple weeks went by, and the leaves looked like they were drying out, like the plant was dying. So I threw out the plant, cut some more cuttings (luckily the plant stays nice a green well into Fall), and decided to try my luck in water.

I put the cuttings in a cup of water, and waited…and waited…and waited. It took at least 2 months for the cuttings to root. But they finally did. I’m not sure if the cuttings were too woody for rooting, but they finally rooted. See the fragile white roots in the cup above. I planted one of them the other day, and my fingers are crossed. So far, the leaves are staying green, so that’s a good sign.

At the same time I cut some cuttings from my huge Rosemary plant. I put those in water as well, and ended up throwing out as the leaves got dead looking almost immediately after putting into the water.

I’m going to retry rooting both this year again, but will do much earlier in the season with less woody stems.

For this season, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that these Thyme plants hold their own.

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