Seed Swaps

Tips for germinating thyme?

Hi guys!

I’ve sown thyme twice now and so far (2 months) none of the seeds have germinated.. So I’m guess I’m doing something wrong! Any tips? It’s summer here so it’s nice and warm outside where it’s planted!

Cheers :)

Posted over 4 years ago

I have no problem germinating it, but I always seem to kill it once it’s potted up! I firmly press the fine seeds into a flat of moist, soil-less medium and put under a grow lamp. I have the flat sitting in a tray filled with a quarter inch of water so that it can uptake whatever it needs. I have a fan on to lightly move the air to prevent damp off. This is how I start everything, especially very tiny seeds. I find I have very little control when planting directly outside. Lack of germination may be from not keeping the bed evenly moist, planting too deeply. Good luck!

Posted over 4 years ago | Last edited over 4 years ago

Hi Flowerweaver, thank you for your reply. I always sow them directly in to the soil outside, so maybe I should give a soil-less medium a go. What types of medium do you use? Sorry I’m a new gardener so don’t know much yet :) Thank you!

Posted over 4 years ago

A few things I thought could be the problem……..the viability of your seed for starters and either sowing too deep, or once you have sown the seeds, the act of watering can push them deeper into the soil. Also, a heavy rainfall after sowing will not be good for tiny seeds. I have had to re-sow thyme before because of my poor timing and heavy rain!

Before I direct sow thyme, I gently press the soil and moisten. Then for watering, I actually use a spray bottle so as not to disrupt the seeds too much.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

Posted over 4 years ago

I use a product that has peat and pearlite in it. For the tiny seeds I must break up the pearlite so that the mixture is finer. Just look for a good seed starting mixture at your local garden shop. It should be labeled as such. Deanna’s way for outdoor sowing is similar to my indoor sowing in that the soil must be tamped and and kept moist. Where I live it is semi-arid and keeping an outdoor bed misted would be a full time job! I suspect in Australia it might be the same. For this reason I have to start most of my outdoor plants inside. I have set up some shelves and have shop lights with grow bulbs in my laundry room for this purpose. Just be sure to ‘harden off’ any plant you start inside by slowly acclimatizing it to it’s future location before you plant it. If you haven’t taken a plant through hardening off, you might want to read about it first.

Posted over 4 years ago

Thanks guys, I will give all your tips a go, hopefully I will have success this time, really appreciate it! :)

Posted over 4 years ago


Folia Helper

United States10b

DKGrows, it might help if you dampen a paper towel, place your seeds on it about 1/2"-1" apart, fold the paper towel over the seeds, and place them in a ziplock bag to sprout. I usually write the names of what I am sprouting along with the number of those seeds on the paper towel, so I won’t get confused about what I’m sprouting. Many times I sprout several different varieties on the same sheet of paper towel, so it can be very important to have them labeled, before you start and before you dampened the paper towel.

Check them every day or two to see how they are progressing and to make sure they are not too wet and rotting. Make sure you have them sprouting in a warm spot. When you see little roots forming, you can gently cut around the sprouted seed, being careful not to cut the roots. Then take your cut paper towel pieces with sprouted seeds inside and place them on top of some good rich dampened organic potting soil and then sprinkle a thin layer of the damp soil on top. You can plant several seeds in a small pot and transplant them later, when they are big enough.

Just be sure to keep the soil moistened and not too wet. I’ve found that it is important for me to try to keep my thyme in partial shade and well watered, because if I forget to water them and they broil in the South Florida sun even for a short time, they can get fried and die quickly. I usually grow them in terra cotta pots and sometimes I even put the pots in basins full of water, to keep them moist. They rarely get too wet, but you’d want to keep an eye on them just to make sure.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

Posted over 4 years ago

So this is what I did, I germinated thyme with the wet paper towel and plastic bag, it took about 10 days for it to sprout. I went to plant it in a pot today but the seed grew through the paper towel. I just filled the pot halfway with dirt threw the whole paper towel in and covered it with soil. There was no way I was going to be able to separate it withought damaging my seedlings. I hope it works, any thoughts on this?

Posted about 1 year ago

Hi there! You're reading a conversation in the Herbs group on Folia.