pink blooming flowers on elfin thyme

Elfin Thyme for Hypertufa Once Again

I was so excited to find Elfin Thyme for planting in my hypertufa bowls on a recent trip to Grandma’s Gardens near me. That garden center is an independent one that usually has everything. Lucking out on a 25% discount, I happily picked up two of them.

Large 10 inch pots. What a great find! Am I right?

Elfin Thyme in hypertufa perfect 1

Previously I had this particular type of thyme in my giant T Rex Trough at one of my old homes. The hypertufa trough was so large that I couldn’t take it with me when I moved, so I was forced to leave it.

(In my mind, the new owners loved it and it still is there completely covered in thyme and all the other tiny plants I had in it. I refuse to believe that they destroyed and broke it up with a sledge. )

Very tiny leaves of elfin thyme

Elfin Thyme or Thymus serpyllum is a dwarf cultivar of Thyme and this dwarf is a great plant for hypertufa since it does require great drainage. Rock gardens are where it is usually found. I like its look which is matted but sturdy. It almost seems to have a “hard” surface since it grows so tightly.

My hypertufa containers are typically in full sun or mostly sun which is great for Elfin Thyme. In slight shade, it will not flower as well and the flowers are amazing. It is almost completely covered in purple flowers in summer for a few weeks.

Elfin thyme just beginning to bloom

A sandy gritty soil is great and it must have good drainage or it will quickly rot. The sight of this summer blooming mat of purple flowers cascading over the side of my hypertufa is so pretty that I just want to grow it everywhere.

This plant can last for approximately 3 to 5 years so it is best to take new cuttings frequently so that your original plant will keep producing new ones when its time has run out.

"Elfin" Thyme - Perfected Matted Tiny Fairy Plant for My Hypertufa Bowls

Propagate by cutting sections about 2 or 3 inches square and repotting in new planters or areas. That way you can maintain your plant for a long time.

Creeping thyme not quite as hairy
Not Elfin thyme, not as hairy, but still great in hypertufa. Creeping thyme?

If you should look for this particular plant for yourself, here are some other names it goes by:

Thymus serpyllum “Elfin”

Thymus praecox arcticus “Elfin”

“Elfin” Creeping Thyme

If you are a fan of Fairy Gardens, this makes a perfect lawn in a dish or trough. Since it is hardy from Zones 4 to 8, it survives snow and ice in my Ohio winter nicely.

Just be sure it doesn’t stay in a puddle of ice. It must be able to drain or the tiny leaves will rot away. Then, like me, you will be on the hunt again.

tiny erodium flowering

It goes especially well with Erodium in a hypertufa planter. Both of these plants spread out so nicely but look so delicate and fairy-like.

I took some of these pictures this morning and , thankfully, we are expecting rain by noon. I won’t have to water everything. Think I should get some housework done, or catch up on some Netflix? Decisions, decisions…

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