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Elfin Creeping Thyme - Thymus serphyllum Elfin
'Elfin' is one of the best of the creeping aromatic evergreen thymes. More details below!

Elfin Creeping Thyme - Thymus serphyllum Elfin

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Elfin Creeping Thyme
Thymus praecox 'Elfin'

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 5a-8b  Find Your Zone



Special Attributes

'Elfin' is one of the best and our favorite of the creeping thymes. It forms dense, 1- to 2-inch tall mats of tiny glossy leaves and equally tiny violet-lavender flowers. What the flowers lack in size they make up for in number, nearly covering the fragrant grayish-blue foliage in summer. This little creeping thyme is a tough one; quite tolerant of foot traffic, drought and heat tolerant, and deer and rabbit resistant, making it a fine selection where a low-growing, ground-hugging perennial groundcover or filler plant is needed.




Landscape & Garden Uses

Growing in a low mound to only 1 to 2 inches tall and spreading to 24 inches or more over time, Elfin Creeping Thyme tolerates foot traffic well so is perfect for use to fill the gaps between stepping stones and pavers or as a groundcover or underplanting for shrubs, roses, perennials and small trees, such as Japanese maples. Very nice around and growing over boulders. Flowering bulbs will pop right through it in spring. Also serves nicely as a soil cover in container gardens grown above ground. A fine addition to rock gardens and the Xeriscape (low water needs).

Tip:  When planting between closely spaced stepping stones or pavers the root ball of some creeping thymes can be divided so as to fit in to the smaller gaps. Just make sure plants have rooted across the soil surface in the pot. If there is only a single stem with branches do not try to divide the plant!

Suggested Spacing:  12 to 18 inches for mass planting;  6-12 inches to fill gaps between stepping stones or pavers





Cultural Preferences

When planted right and in the right spot, Elfin Thyme is easy to grow. It grows best in light, lightly moist to dry, well-drained soil and full sun. A little shade is okay. Will tolerate rainy periods but constantly soggy or wet soil is a killer. So make sure to plant in a well-drained site. 

Note:  Find helpful advice from our experts under the Planting & Care tabs above on desktop monitors and below on mobile phones. 




Plant Details

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 5a-8b  Find Your Zone
Plant Type:  Evergreen Groundcover
Height or Length at Maturity:  1-2"
Width at Maturity:  1-2' or more
Spacing:  6-12" apart
Growth Habit / Form:  Low, Mat-Forming, Dense, Spreading/Trailing
Growth Rate:  Moderate
Flower Color:  Violet-Lavender
Flower Type:  Single
Flower Size:  Small
Flowering Period:  Summer, Early Fall
Fragrant Flowers:  No
Foliage Color:  Silvery-Gray
Fragrant Foliage:  Yes
Berries:  No
Sun Needs:  Full Sun, Morning Sun with Afternoon Shade, Morning Shade with Afternoon Sun
Water Needs:  Average
Soil Type:  Clay, Loam, Sand, Silt
Soil Drainage:  Well Drained
Soil pH:  6.0 - 7.0
Maintenance / Care:  Low
Attracts:  Visual Attention, Butterflies
Resistances:  Deer, Disease, Heat, Humidity, Insect, Foot Traffic



Plant Long & Prosper!

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