I bought some creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum), specifically labelled "pink chintz" and it has virtually no fragrance, even when I crush it between my fingers. You have to inhale so deeply to even get the faintest scent.

The label notes that it "features fragrant fuzzy green leaves."

I planted it in October in full sun. I live in hardiness zone 5b. Some moderate searching turned up no answers.

Here are closeup and slightly wider shot of the plant. Apologies for the crappy photos, I'm a better gardener than I am a photographer.

plant closeup

So my questions are these:

1) are herbs planted in the fall not likely to be fragrant till the following spring (which has never been my experience before); &

2) are there specific conditions (weather, soil, age, etc.) that affect the scent of herbs in general?

Thanks for any help!

  • 1
    I think it might be very useful if you could add a clear photo of the plant, just to make sure it is actually a thyme and hasn't been wrongly labelled...
    – Bamboo
    Dec 19, 2018 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, I can't see the leaves clearly in your photograph, even under magnification, but note that not all Thymes are grown for culinary use because their scent isn't terribly strong unless you stand on them. This link https://www.norfolkherbs.co.uk/product/thyme-pink-chintz-thymus-serpyllum/ has a very clear, close up image of the leaves, so check those against yours, but note that under 'Uses' in the link, it's listed as decorative rather than a 'herb' or 'culinary'. This variety is one of a range of Thyme more often planted as attractive ground cover - I bet if you stood on a bit of it on a warm day, you might notice its scent, if it actually is that plant.

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