Watering thyme

Watering thyme

Thyme is a well-known herb that many gardeners include in their herb gardens. In order to get the most growth and harvest from thyme plants, you’ll want to ensure that the plants are properly watered.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at how often to water your thyme plant. The answer will vary depending on a bunch of factors. We’ll analyze those factors and how they affect your thyme plant’s watering needs.

How often to water thyme plants

When it comes to how often to water thyme plants, the answer depends on a variety of factors. For example, is the thyme plant planted in a pot or in the ground? Is it in direct sunlight or does it only get a partial day of direct sunlight? What has the weather been like recently?

Generally speaking, the best way to determine how often to water your thyme plant is to check the top half-inch of soil for dampness. As a rule of thumb, if it’s dried out, give the thyme plant some water. If it’s still damp or moist in the top half-inch, then no need to water the thyme plant.

Watering thyme seedlings

When it comes to how often to water thyme seedlings, you want to make sure you give your young thyme plant the water it needs for its early growth.

Sometimes thyme plant seedlings are grown in bunches. These may soak up moisture faster, so keep tabs on the dampness of the soil for these seedlings.

It’s best to water them lightly more frequently than watering them a lot less frequently. Seedlings are more susceptible to “drowning” when they are overwatered. Too much water at once can also cause the plant to uproot itself, as soil washes away easier when the plant doesn’t have a solid root structure in place.

Plan on watering your thyme seedlings every few days, or even daily. Keep an eye on the surface level dryness of the soil, and give the seedlings a sprinkle if it doesn’t look moist.

Thyme seedlings are faster to show it if they don’t have enough water, so if the plant is wilting and the soil is dry, not enough water is probably the problem.

Watering an established thyme plant

Established thyme plants should be watered when the top half-inch of soil is dry. Below are specific growing scenarios and information on how often to water the thyme plant for each.

When to water thyme that is planted outside

Thyme planted outside is often healthier, as there’s more chance of direct sunlight, and airflow generally helps to protect it against disease.

Plan on watering your established thyme plant a few times a week when it’s planted outside. If you’re not sure whether it needs to be watered, you can check if the surface level soil is moist, or if the thyme plant is wilting.

When to water thyme that is planted inside

Thyme plants that are planted inside may not need as much water, as direct sunlight is normally not available. Be extra careful that you aren’t overwatering the thyme plant inside.

If the thyme plant is wilting, that could be a sign that it is under or over-watered. Keep track of how moist the soil is to know the difference before watering the thyme plant more.

When to water thyme planted in the landscape

Thyme that is planted in the landscape is able to pull up some moisture from the ground, so it won’t need to be watered as much as thyme plants are grown in a container.

When to water thyme planted in containers

As mentioned previously, thyme that is planted in a container will need to be watered more frequently since they don’t have natural water in the ground as a source of hydration.

Things to consider

There are numerous factors to consider when determining how often to water your thyme plant. Factors like weather, sunlight, the season of the year, and spacing all play a rule.


Spring weather is generally rainier in some areas, so you may not need to water your thyme plant as much. Be careful that you don’t overwater your thyme plant in a season with a lot of rain.

Sunlight exposure

Most thyme plant varieties grow great in full sunlight, but in the heat of the summer, you’ll need to keep these plants watered well. 

Thyme plants that are grown in full sun will dry out fast, especially if they are getting direct sunlight during the noon of the day.

Keeping the thyme plant well watered in these seasons ensures that they’ll be able to produce healthy new shoots of fresh thyme in the future.


Depending on the season, you may not need to water your thyme plant as much. In the fall, when the thyme plant is more established and the cooler weather sets in, you may only need to water the thyme plant once a week.


Thyme plants that are planted close together will compete for the same water, and as a result, you’ll need to water them more.

Tips for watering your thyme plant

Here are some tips for watering your thyme plants.

Your thyme plant may wilt with too much water or too little

Keep in mind that a thyme plant that is wilting does not necessarily always need water. Sometimes thyme plants wilt when they have too much water.

Always check the soil dryness to determine if you should give the thyme plant some water.

It may not be a watering problem, but a fertilizing problem

If the plant is wilting or looking yellow, it may not be your watering that is the problem. You may want to check the fertilizer level of the soil it’s planted in to see if that’s the problem.

Make sure your pot has adequate draining

If you are planting your thyme in a pot, it’s very important that the pot has proper drainage. thyme is susceptible to root rot if water does not drain through the soil, so well-drained soil is essential.


If the thyme plant needs watering a lot, you may want to re-pot the plant so that it has more soil to spread its roots in.

Watering your thyme plant recap

In conclusion, there are many factors that will affect how often you’ll need to water your thyme plant. The best and most simple thing to do is check the moisture level in the top half-inch of soil to determine if it needs some water.