Germander is a shrubby perennial with aromatic, dark green foliage and clusters of mint-like pink or purple flowers in late summer. The plants tend to stay short, only reaching a couple of feet tall. Germander is useful in herb gardens or knot gardens.
- Common name: Germander
- Botanical name: Teucrium chamaedrys
- Zones: 5 to 9
- Size: To 2 feet tall
- From: Areas of Europe and Asia
- Family: Labitae (mint family)
- Sun: Full sun or partial shade.
- Soil: Moist, but well-drained soil rich in organic matter.
- Moisture: Drought tolerant.
- Mulch: Lay a 2- to 3-inch-deep layer of mulch over the soil around the plants. Use winter mulch only after the soil has frozen.
- Pruning: Cut plants back in autumn after freezing temperatures arrive or in spring before plants begin to grow.
- Fertilizer: Fertilizer is generally not necessary in soils that are rich in organic matter. If desired, use a balanced fertilizer in spring.
- Seed: Sow seeds in a sheltered spot in the garden or in a cold frame in autumn.
- Aphids: These small insects often appear in large numbers on new growth. Each day, spray them off with a stream of water; they will not attack a plant after being knocked off. Use an insecticidal soap or neem-oil-based spray if infestations are severe.
- If harvesting germander, be certain to have positively identified the plant first. Some poisonous plants closely resemble non-poisonous species.
- In early spring, shear the plant back to several inches tall to help encourage a dense, low habit. Otherwise germander plants may become a bit lanky and leggy.
- Teucrium chamaedrys ‘Prostratum': A low-growing ground cover form to about 8 inches tall. Purple flowers. Zones 5 to 9
- Teucrium chamaedrys ‘Variegata': Grows to about one foot tall with leaves variegated white. Purple flowers. Zones 5 to 9.