Thyme – Easy Propagation Via Offshoots

The growth-friendly thyme can be very easily propagated by cuttings and also by division. When suitable shoots grow, you can remove them at any time during the growing season. The shoots must be healthy and robust and must not have any flower buds. Plant the cuttings as soon as possible after cutting.

Propagate thyme from cuttings

Thyme is usually propagated via so-called softwood cuttings. These are young, not yet mature shoots from the growth of the current year. These shoots are still completely green and wilt very quickly after cutting. Softwood cuttings of thyme are placed directly in potting soil and take root within about six to eight weeks. Check back regularly after planting to see if you need to water more. As with germinating seeds, you should place the cuttings in a light location without direct sunlight.

Planting a thyme cutting

  • Remove an approximately 10-centimeter-long, strong side shoot from the mother plant.
  • Cut it straight across just below a leaf base.
  • Carefully remove the leaves from the lower half of the cutting.
  • Dip its underside in hormone preparation.
  • Drill a hole in a pot of potting soil with a prod or pencil.
  • Plant the cutting inside.
  • Press it down gently with the pricking stick.
  • Make sure that no air pockets form around the cuttings.
  • Water the cutting carefully.

Propagation by division

Dividing literally means dividing the old plant into many smaller plants, the healthiest of which are replanted. Instead of simply throwing away the old plant, it is worth separating some healthy parts from the outside and cultivating many healthy young plants from old ones. It is best to divide thyme in the spring when it will sprout vigorously again in the same year and even develop flowers. How to share:

  • Lift the whole plant, including its rootstock, out of the ground.
  • This works best with a pitchfork.
  • Be careful not to damage roots.
  • Shake off loose soil.
  • Discard diseased parts and the middle part of the plant.
  • Divide the plant into pieces with healthy roots and shoots.
  • Use hand forks or a pitchfork to do this.
  • You can cut through roots that are too strong with a clean and sharp knife.
  • Plant the new plants immediately after division at the same depth as before.
  • Make sure the roots are evenly distributed.
  • Press down the soil and water the plants generously.

Tips and tricks

Only cut from healthy plants and only from non-flowering side shoots, as these tend to form roots better. Always use a clean, sharp knife to avoid damaging plant tissue.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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