We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Spanish Thyme?

By Anna Harrison
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Spanish thyme, or Plectranthus amboinicus, is a small tender perennial shrub that is used as a seasoning and also has medicinal applications. Although this plant's country of origin is widely disputed, it appears that it may actually have come from India or Africa. Is known by many different names, including Cuban oregano, Spanish oregano, and Indian borage, and is often confused with other types of thyme. This fragrant herb is easily grown for culinary purposes as well as its ornamental appeal.

This thyme shrub is cultivated for its small, fuzzy rounded gray-green and white leaves that grow opposite each other and resemble those of the coleus plant. It produces small, insignificant purple flowers in mid summer that should be promptly removed to encourage new leaf growth. This plant usually reaches no more than 20 inches (50 cm) in height, but the top should be kept pruned back to promote fullness.

When planting Spanish thyme, care should be taken to provide it with as much sunlight as possible. This causes the plant to produce the maximum amount of essential oil, thereby making it more fragrant and flavorful. Spanish thyme thrives in hot weather and will tolerate poor, dry soil. It will not survive in wet or shady areas and is susceptible to cold. Even the slightest frost will kill this plant, so it may be best to grow it in a pot and bring it indoors during cold weather.

In general, all thymes are easy to start from seed but the tiny seedlings are fragile, slow growing, and tend to get spindly. New plants can also be started from cuttings or root divisions, and these tend to be tougher and sturdier than those started from seed. Young plants can be set outdoors when the soil has warmed and all danger of frost has passed.

Spanish thyme leaves have a slightly peppery taste and can be used either fresh or dried, although fresh is preferable. This thyme variant is often used in combination with other herbs in rubs for fish, seafood, meat, or poultry. The flavor mixes well with beans, rice, stuffing, and salad dressing and can be used as a substitute for sage.

This herb has a camphor-like smell and contains forskolin which has been researched for its ability to improve chronic lung disease, glaucoma, and congestive heart failure. Spanish thyme tea is also said to have a laxative effect and may reduce inflammation and improve digestive problems. Crushed fresh leaves are applied directly on the skin to treat insect bites, stings, and burns.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon1006710 — On May 06, 2022

I live in South Florida and I have two Spanish Thyme plants, one by my kitchen window in a glass flower pot in water and the other is potted outside in my backyard. They have both flourished immensely, but the leaves of the one outside are at least twice if not three times the size of the one inside. They're absolutely gorgeous.

By fBoyle — On Aug 18, 2013

@turkay1-- I think Spanish thyme likes hot weather.

If you look at the different names for this plant-- Spanish thyme, Jamaican thyme, Mexican thyme, Cuban oregano-- all of these places have warm, mild climates.

So Spanish thyme plant is definitely not going to do well in dry or cold weather. You could try covering them in winter with plastic but I still don't think they will last, unless you're in Texas or something.

By candyquilt — On Aug 17, 2013

@ysmina-- How do you manage to grow it outside?

I have Spanish thyme potted in the house. It does fine by the window. I also tried planting it outside and it died very quickly.

By ysmina — On Aug 17, 2013

There are so many uses of thyme, I use it for so many things. I grow Spanish thyme in my garden. I have a lot of it. I dry some in the sun and store it to use in cooking. The rest I use for medicinal purposes. I leave it in isopropyl alcohol for a few weeks and then use it as a disinfectant and anti-fungal solution.

I also crush some and use the juices and oils to make balm with beeswax. I use this topically for aches and pains. It's great for arthritis pain. Thyme is practically good for everything.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.