Thymus serpyllum Coccineum

Red Mother-of-Thyme

Red Thymus serpyllum Coccineum, Thymus serpyllum Coccineum, Red Mother-of-Thyme

Red Mother of Thyme blooms with showy rose-red flowers in late spring and grows to form thick mats of tiney, deep green leaves. Not as xeric as some other varieties, this one needs regular moisture.

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Zones 4 - 9
Advantages
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Bee Friendly
Bee Friendly
Rabbit Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Fragrant Flower / Foliage
Groundcover
Evergreen
Evergreen
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Full Sun
Morning Sun & Afternoon Shade
Morning Sun & Afternoon Shade
Annual Rainfall
Average
10 to 20", 20 to 30", 30 to 40", 40 to 50"
Bloom Time Early to late summer
Shipping Shipping begins in early September, coldest zones first. Buy now and we'll ship your order at the ideal planting time for your region. Learn More…
SKU HBL4CXX

Details

3" tall x 18" wide (cutting propagated). Considered by many to be the showiest ground cover thyme with its profuse show of rose-red flowers in summer. Also notable for its thick mats of dark green leaves. A fine variety for planting in thyme lawns and between flagstones. Nice!
Associated SKUs
HBL4CXX
95575 (Plant - 2.5" deep pot)
95575F (Flat of 32 - 2.5" deep pots)
Common Name Red Mother-of-Thyme
Botanical Name Thymus serpyllum Coccineum
Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Light Requirements Full Sun, Morning Sun & Afternoon Shade
Flower Color Red
Mature Height 3" tall
Mature Spread 18" wide
Bloom Time Early to late summer
Ships As Potted Plant
Evergreen Yes
Planting Time Spring / Summer, Fall
Soil Type Sandy Soil, Average Soil, Low Fertility Soil, Well-Drained Soil
Soil Moisture Average
Amount of Rain 10 to 20", 20 to 30", 30 to 40", 40 to 50"
Advantages Deer Resistant, Bee Friendly, Rabbit Resistant, Fragrant Flower / Foliage, Groundcover, Evergreen
Ideal Region Anywhere In The US
Neonicotinoid-Free Yes - Learn More
Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada No

Planting Guides

Planting A Thyme Lawn

IF REPLACING AN EXISTING LAWN, FIRST REMOVE THE OLD LAWN

You can kill or remove the old lawn in several ways:

A) Strip off the old turf grass with a sod cutter and kill off any remnants of lawn around the edges; OR

B) Kill the existing lawn, by spraying it with a one-time application of systemic glyphosate 14 days or longer prior to planting. (While repeated, widespread use of glyphosate can be damaging to the environment, healthy soils are capable of breaking down any residual chemical from a one-time use. Keep kids and pets off the lawn until the herbicide has dried.) or

C) Smother the lawn: If you can wait 6 months or longer, the old lawn can be killed by covering it with alternating layers of corrugated cardboard and compost laid down about 6” deep; or

D) Solarize the lawn by killing it with heat from the sun. This can be done by covering the lawn turf with clear plastic for one to two months during the heat of summer. Be sure and bury the edges of the plastic sheeting and place heavy rocks across the middle to anchor it and hold it down when the wind blows.

Note: Letting the lawn go brown by withholding water will not kill Kentucky Bluegrass.

IMPROVE THE SOIL - Before planting thyme plants into bare soil, it is essential that the soil be enriched with compost and other organic or natural fertilizers to insure that the plants grow vigorously and cover the area quickly. Proper soil preparation can be done anytime before planting. However, preparing the soil well in advance of planting insures that the ingredients have begun to breakdown and the soil will have a finer texture. It also allows weeds to sprout and be pulled or roto-tilled prior to planting. This will greatly reduce the amount of weeding after planting the thyme.

To improve the soil for best results use organic or natural soil amendments listed below. Rototill the soil enriching ingredients into the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches.

Planters II trace mineral supplement: Use 2 lbs/100 sq.ft. This natural trace mineral supplement provides essential micro-nutrients and boosts microbial activity in the soil needed to break down compost and natural fertilizers and improve nutrient availability.

Yum Yum Mix: 4 lbs/100 sq. ft. When it comes time to fertilize your soil in preparation for planting we suggest using a gentle, non-chemical based fertilizer. Yum Yum Mix feeds the soil that feeds your lawn. This organic formula adds essential nutrients to the soil and “feeds” the soil’s earthworms and beneficial microbial population to maintain a healthy living soil needed for a vigorous, low-care lawn. Healthy soil means a happy lawn!

Compost: Use at the rate of ½ to 1 cu. yard per 100 sq. ft. (depending on the condition of the soil). Heavy clay soils should be amended with some compost and 3/8" gravel (about 1/2 gravel and 1/2 native soil plus a few shovelfuls of compost) to improve drainage. Along with Yum Yum Mix, a high quality compost will build and maintain a healthy living soil.

DO NOT use manure unless you know it has been actively composted to break it down. Old piles of manure (even if stored for many years) have not been composted adequately. Instead, it will begin to compost (break down) after you’ve tilled it into the soil. This causes burning of plant roots and induces a serious nitrogen deficiency that will stunt or kill the new plants.

PLANTING

Plants should be spaced 12"-15" apart in a grid pattern. Plugs may be planted closer for faster fill-in. Expect coverage in 4 to 5 months, depending on soil preparation, weather and care. After the new plants are in the ground, water in thoroughly.

Thyme lawns are best suited to smaller areas of up to a few hundred square feet because of higher maintenance considerations. Just as importantly, we have found thyme lawns to be most attractive in smaller, more intimate areas like courtyards and patios where the edges can be interplanted with taller growing perennials and ornamental shrubs. Buffalo or Blue Grama grasses are best suited for covering large expanses in your yard. For difficult, poor-soil areas on exposed slopes, more vigorous more vigorous and aggressive ground covers like Groundcover Hybrid Broom (Genista kewensis), Soapwort (Saponaria) and Creeping Gold Buttons (Cotula) are recommended instead of creeping thymes.

Thyme lawns tolerate some foot traffic but are not suitable for a kids' play area. For walkways across the lawn use stepping stones to avoid wearing a path through the plants.

The best varieties for use in a thyme lawn are 'Pink Chintz', 'Reiter', 'Woolly', 'Coccineum', T. praecox ss. arcticus 'Coccineus' and Nailwort (Paronychia). To vary the bloom times and leaf textures, different varieties can be intermingled. Eventually 1 or 2 varieties may predominate.

In milder climates (Zones 7 to 9) a thyme lawn will generally be evergreen.

WATERING

Depending on how hot the weather is, the plants will need a good soaking approximately once or twice a week, for the first two to three weeks. Once the plants begin to root out and grow, watering frequency can be cut back to a good soaking once every 7 to 10 days. (Yellowing foliage can be a sign of over watering.)

The water needs of a thyme lawn are substantially less than that of a bluegrass lawn, particularly with proper soil preparation to promote deep root growth. In areas with dry, sunny winters, winter watering (Dec.-March) every 2-4 weeks is recommended.

MOWING

The recommended thyme varieties for a thyme lawn are low growers that do not need mowing. However, to keep your lawn looking tidy after blooming, it can be mowed using a bagger mower to remove the faded flowers and to help the stems fill in any bare spots. Set the mower blade at the height that cuts off the flower tops but doesn't cut into the stems and foliage below. Don't scalp the plants!

Fertilizing

Fall is the optimum time to apply fertilizer. A single application of Yum Yum Mix applied at the rate of 2 lbs per 100 sq. ft. in mid to late fall (late Sept.-early Nov.) will keep the thyme lawn looking good.

A light raking in the Spring can be helpful in removing dead stems and foliage after a harsh winter.

Then top dress with a thin 1/2 inch of finely textured compost or well rotted manure to help the plants spread to fill in bare spots and reinvigorate the whole lawn for the coming of summer.


View more Planting Guides, or download our complete Planting Guide for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.

Shipping

Plant Shipping: Buy now and we will ship your order at the ideal planting time for your region. Fall shipping begins the week of September 6, zones 3-4 first. Most plant orders arrive within 3-5 days, or less, of leaving our greenhouses. This prompt delivery is provided without additional express charges.

Grass Plugs & Seed: Most orders ship within 5-8 business days (all zones).

Gardening Goods:All non-plant items ship within 2-3 days.

Standard shipping costs are $4.99 and up, depending on the size of the order.

Make Fast Even Faster: For ‘Rush’ same week delivery, please call customer service at 800-925-9387.

More Shipping Info

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High Country GardensThymus serpyllum Coccineum
 
2.5

(based on 2 reviews)

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(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Much different than shown in Denver Botanical Gardens

By 

from Oceanside, CA

About Me Avid Gardener

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Accurate Instructions

Cons

  • Small In Size

Best Uses

    Comments about High Country Gardens Thymus serpyllum Coccineum:

    I planted 10 of these, after about 5months, 4 survived. Very slow growing, very flat, only a 2" tall, unlike picture. I live in southerna california about 1/2 mile from coast. Not sure if salt air has something to do with it.
    I originally saw this plant in Denver botanical gardens along with the Achillea ageratifolia and it looked great.
    I was looking for something a little buklier

    • Primary use:
    • Personal

    (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Great plant but did not do well for me

    By 

    from Fort Davis, TX

    About Me Avid Gardener

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate Instructions
    • Attractive
    • Fragrant
    • Hardy
    • Healthy

    Cons

    • Small In Size

    Best Uses

    • Garden
    • Outdoors

    Comments about High Country Gardens Thymus serpyllum Coccineum:

    I got this to cover a slope to prevent erosion. I live the high desert in Texas and the plant just never took off. Likely a combination of poor soil and extreme winds and heat. Loved the look and was very disappointed that it did not work out for me.

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    Q & A

    USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

    To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

    • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
    • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

    Find Your Planting Zone:

    Enter your Zip Code to find your USDA Planting Zone

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