Thyme and rosemary are perfect companion plants as they are both Mediterranean herbs that love the same amount of water, sunlight and the same type of soil. Growing thyme and rosemary together is easy in your garden bed or in pots and they will stay green all year.
This article will explore how to grow thyme and rosemary together in your raised garden bed, pot or in-ground garden bed. There are some easy tips and tricks to grow these herbs successfully.
How to successfully grow rosemary and thyme together
Rosemary and thyme are Mediterranean herbs which means they love a warm dry summer and can tolerate a cooler winter with more rain. These herbs will successfully grow together with these easy tips.
1. The best position for rosemary and thyme
Plant rosemary and thyme together in a sunny position if you have one. I had planted thyme in a sunny and shady position to test this and the thyme grown in a sunny position has grown over 5x the size. Rosemary and thyme love a sunny spot and will grow faster in full sun.
Rosemary and thyme will tolerate part shade and will still grow well. Some of my rosemary and thyme get afternoon shade from the other plants in my garden and are still growing well.
2. Improving the soil for rosemary and thyme
Rosemary and thyme will tolerate a range of soil types and will grow in harder clay soils if that is what you are working with. The best thing to do to any soil before you plant these herbs is to dig through aged cow manure, compost and worm castings.
Any organic matter will help to improve drainage for your herbs. Worm castings are fantastic and will help to add extra nutrients to the soil.
3. The best mulch for Mediterranean herbs
Mulch is important for herbs as it will help to keep weeds away and help to protect the soil. Worms will dig their way up through the soil that is covered with mulch. They will arrive to eat the bacteria and the natural material from the mulch and break it down for your herbs.
The best mulch for thyme and rosemary is bark or tree mulch. This mulch will break down slowly over time and will only need to be topped up once or twice per year.
4. How to water rosemary and thyme
Watering rosemary and thyme the right way is one of the most important factors to successfully grow these herbs. Mediterranean herbs like to dry out between watering. Overwatering is common and you can tell as the tips of the leaves will start to turn black.
This can happen in tropical and subtropical areas through the winter as the soil will not dry out as quickly. Over winter you may not need to water these plants at all if you are getting good rainfall.
Test the soil and water your herbs if the top 2 inches is dry. That way your herbs will not get too wet.
5. Pruning thyme and rosemary
Thyme and rosemary will both benefit from regular trimming of the top tips of the plant. This will keep both plants neat and growing new stems. Thyme itself won’t need pruning as regularly as rosemary as it tends to stay smaller and dense anyway.
I find the position of my herbs will determine how quickly they grow more than anything else. Those in full sun will grow quicker so prune them every month or two to keep them neat.
You can harvest both thyme and rosemary by removing up to 1/3 of the stems. This will leave enough stems and leaves for the plants to quickly recover from harvesting. You can also grab a handful of up to 1/3 of the plant and trim down 1-2 inches near the base.
Growing thyme and rosemary together in pots
Thyme and rosemary will pair perfectly together in pots. You could also plant them together with oregano and sage which also love the same conditions. Use a good quality all-purpose potting mix and plant these herbs in a pot that is at least 10 inches across.
Place the pot in a sunny position and water it well for the first week. These herbs can then dry out between watering and make sure that you empty out the water from the tray at the bottom each time you water.
If your pot is outside, place it on some landscaping rock or bark mulch and allow the pot to naturally drain.
Tips to know when growing rosemary and thyme together
My top tips for growing rosemary and thyme together include the best time to plant and matching them with other plants that like the same conditions.
Plant in spring and fall
Planting new thyme and rosemary plants in spring and fall will allow them to establish before the weather gets too warm or too cold. My favorite time to plant new herbs is spring as they will grow quickly and be ready to handle the warmer summer weather in 3 months.
Avoid planting these herbs in the middle of winter and summer as the extreme weather can make it harder for them to establish.
Plant with other plants that like to dry out between watering
Matching thyme and rosemary together with other plants that like similar watering and sun will help them all to thrive together. Thyme is growing amazingly well in my garden next to some annual viola flowers. I have also planted rosemary together with Tanika which is a dry tolerant grass.
Plant them with other herbs like sage or oregano or mix them with parsley or chives. I like mixed gardening growing herbs with flowers, fruit trees and herbs to attract bees and beneficial insects.
Growing thyme and rosemary together | Summary
Growing thyme and rosemary together is a great choice and these herbs love the same conditions. Plant them out in spring or fall and mulch them with bark chips to keep weeds away. Herbs pair perfectly with flowers and fruit trees including orange trees, lemon and lime.
Thyme and rosemary will grow small flowers in spring and summer which can help to attract bees to fertilize your fruit trees and strawberries.