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Thymus Coccineus Group (Red Creeping Thyme)

Creeping Thyme Coccineus Group, Wild Thyme Coccineus Group, Red Creeping Thyme

AGM Award
Red Creeping Thyme, Creeping Thyme, Thymus Coccineus, Wild Thyme, Red Thyme, Groundcover, seaside plant, aromatic perennial, fragrant perennial
Red Creeping Thyme, Creeping Thyme, Thymus Coccineus, Wild Thyme, Red Thyme, Groundcover, seaside plant, aromatic perennial, fragrant perennial

Thymus Coccineus Group, also known as Red creeping thyme, is a beautiful, low-growing, aromatic sub-shrubs that is known for its fragrant foliage, attractive flowers, and versatility in the garden.

The plant is a member of the mint family, and it is native to the Mediterranean region, where it grows wild in rocky and dry areas. The Coccineus Group is often also listed as Thymus praecox ‘Coccineus or Thymus praecox subsp. arcticus.

What is Special about Red Creeping Thyme?

  1. Foliage: The leaves are small and elliptical, and they are a beautiful blue-green color with a slightly hairy texture. They are evergreen in mild winter areas.
  2. Fragrance: The foliage has a strong, pleasant aroma that is released when the leaves are crushed or brushed. It is said to be calming and relaxing.
  3. Flowers: The plant produces small, tubular, deep pink flowers that bloom in late spring to mid-summer depending on the geographic location.
  4. Pollinators friendly: Red creeping thyme is a favorite plant for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators due to its bright flowers.
  5. Versatility: Red creeping thyme is a popular choice for ground cover because of its low-growth habit. It grows to a height of only 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) and can spread up to 12 inches (30 cm), making it an excellent choice for planting between stepping stones or in rock gardens. The plant is also great for use as a border plant or in container gardens. It is also drought-tolerant, making it an ideal choice for xeriscaping.
  6. Maintenance: Thyme is an easy plant to grow and maintain. It is also a low-maintenance plant that does not require regular pruning or fertilization.
  7. Award: Red creeping thyme is the recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  8. Essential oils: The essential oils found in the plant have been used for centuries in traditional medicine for a variety of purposes. The oils are said to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, and they have been used to treat respiratory conditions, skin irritations, and digestive problems.
  9. Deer/rabbits: Thyme is deer and rabbit resistant.

Overall, this creeping thyme is a low-maintenance plant that adds both beauty and functionality to the garden.

How to Grow Red Creeping Thyme?

  1. Choose a suitable location: Red creeping thyme thrives in full sun in well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil. Select a location that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight and is not prone to waterlogging. This plant is not fussy and tolerates poor soil and dry soil.
  2. Prepare the soil: Red creeping thyme prefers soil with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0. Amend the soil with organic matter to improve drainage and aeration. Remove any weeds or grass in the area before planting.
  3. Plant the seeds or cuttings: The best time to plant creeping thyme in spring or fall in mild areas. If planting seeds, sow them thinly on the soil surface and cover them with a thin layer of soil. If using cuttings, take a stem cutting and plant it in the soil. Water the soil well after planting.
  4. Water: Red creeping thyme needs regular watering to establish itself. Water the soil deeply but infrequently to encourage deep root growth. Once established, the plant is drought-tolerant and requires less watering.
  5. Fertilize: Red creeping thyme does not require heavy fertilization. A light application of a balanced fertilizer in early spring is sufficient to promote healthy growth.
  6. Prune regularly: Cut back as necessary to promote bushy growth, maintain plant appearance and prevent it from becoming woody.
  7. Protect from frost: Red creeping thyme is hardy to USDA zones 5-9. In areas with cold winters, protect the plant from frost by covering it with a layer of mulch or straw.
  8. Propagation: Red creeping thyme can be propagated by division or stem cuttings in mid to late summer. Take a 4- to 6-inch (10-15 cm) stem from an established plant and remove the leaves from the bottom 2 inches. Dip the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone, and then plant it in a pot filled with moist potting soil. Keep the soil moist and the cutting in a warm, bright location until it roots and begins to grow.

By following these steps, you can successfully grow red creeping thyme in your garden or container.

Pest and Diseases

Red creeping thyme is relatively pest and disease-resistant, but it may occasionally encounter some issues. Here are some of the potential pests and diseases that may affect red creeping thyme:

Aphids: These small insects can suck the sap from the leaves and cause the plant to weaken. They can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Spider mites: These tiny pests can cause yellowing of the leaves and fine webbing on the plant. They can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Whiteflies: These small, winged insects feed on the sap of the plant. This can cause yellowing of the leaves, stunted growth, and even death of the plant if left untreated. To control them, you can spray the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil, which are both safe and effective methods of control.

Root rot: This can be caused by overwatering or poorly drained soil.

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A2, A3
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Lamiaceae
Genus Thymus
Common names Red Creeping Thyme, Thyme, Creeping Thyme
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid)
Height 2" - 3"
(5cm - 8cm)
Spread 10" - 1'
(25cm - 30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Edging, Ground Covers, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden, Informal and Cottage, Gravel and Rock Garden, City and Courtyard
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Thymus serpyllum ‘Magic Carpet’ (Creeping Thyme)
Thymus pulegioides ‘Aureus’ (Golden Large Thyme)
Thymus citriodorus ‘Doone Valley’ (Lemon Thyme)
Thymus ‘Silver Queen’ (Lemon Thyme)
Thymus vulgaris (Common Thyme)
Thymus ‘Silver Posie’ (Common Thyme)

Recommended Companion Plants

Cerastium tomentosum (Snow in Summer)
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ (Lavender)
Erigeron karvinskianus (Mexican Daisy)
Santolina chamaecyparissus (Lavender Cotton)

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A2, A3
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Lamiaceae
Genus Thymus
Common names Red Creeping Thyme, Thyme, Creeping Thyme
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid)
Height 2" - 3"
(5cm - 8cm)
Spread 10" - 1'
(25cm - 30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Edging, Ground Covers, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden, Informal and Cottage, Gravel and Rock Garden, City and Courtyard
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Thymus (Thyme)
Guides with
Thymus (Thyme)
Not sure which Thymus (Thyme) to pick?
Compare Now

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