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Mother of Thyme | Plant Profile

Mother of Thyme ‘Magic Carpet’ (Thymus serpyllum) is a fragrant ground cover with an abundance of small purple flowers. Not only it is fragrant, but like other thymes, the leaves are edible.

Mother of Thyme survives well in direct sunlight with dry soils. The dark green leaves may hold their color in mild winters. Deer tend to avoid this hardy and vibrant plant, but the fragrant leaves and small flowers often attract butterflies. Mother of Thyme usually survives well in dry and rocky soil and is quite resistant to drought.

If left unchecked, Mother of Thyme can become crowded, resulting in a woody and unattractive appearance. To prevent this, regular cutting of the stems and dividing crowded plants in the spring is recommended.


Mother of Thyme Characteristics

Mother of Thyme is an attractive and dense ground cover with fragrant leaves and small purple flowers. Though the dark green leaves are edible, it is recommended not to use the leaves in cooking. Traditional varieties of thyme are more appealing in the kitchen. This is a 'creeping' ground cover, meaning that runners will sprout and root along the edges. This results in the carpet appearance, as indicated by the name.

Used to dry, rocky, and nutrient deficient soils, Mother of Thyme is a valuable option for along rocky sidewalks, as a filler in between stepping stones or ornamental rocks and on sunny banks or hillsides. Mother of Thyme can even be implemented as a lawn substitute or garden edger.

Mother of Thyme prefers dryer soils and can easily develop root rot if planted in an area with poor drainage. It rarely has an issue with diseases or pets, except for the occasional spider mite which are common in the height of summer. To prevent Mother of Thyme from becoming overgrown and woody, it is best to divide in the spring. This is also the best method of propagation.

USDA Climate Zone
Zones  4 - 8
.25 - 1.00'
Bloom Time
June - July
Dry - Medium
Full Shade
Deer Resistant?