Learn How to Grow Wall Germander (2023)

Wall germander (Teucrium chamadrys) is a shrubby broadleaf evergreen with a clump-forming habit, grown mostly for its aromatic foliage (it is a member of the mint family). Sometimes categorized as Teucrium x lucidrys, wall germander is one of those old-fashioned plants that does not receive a lot of press nowadays. That fact may be changing soon, however. With many gardeners worried about bee populations being on the decline, it may be hard to ignore a proven and adaptable bee magnet such as T. chamaedrys for much longer.

Wall germander bears dark-green, shinyleaves with toothed edges and a nice smell. The smell released from the leaves when crushed makes them prized for crafts. Craftspeople often dry the stems of the plant before using them in potpourri or wreath projects. Light to deep purple flowers appear in summer and early fall.

Wall germander sometimes is included in the category of sub-shrubs, since it has a mounding form with a semi-woody base. It can also be considered an herb, since the plant has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes, such as a treatment for gout. But its herbal use has fallen out of favor due to evidence that it can harm the liver.

Botanical NameTeucrium chamaedrys
Common NamesWall germander
Plant TypeBroadleaf evergreen
Mature Size9 to 12 inches tall; 1- to 2-foot spread
Sun ExposureFull sun
Soil TypeDry to medium moisture, well-drained soil
Soil pH6.0 to 8.0
Bloom TimeJuly
Flower ColorRosy lavender to pinkish purple
Hardiness Zones5 to 9 (USDA)
Native AreaMountainous regions of southwest Asia, Northern Africa, Europe

How to Grow Wall Germander

Plant wall germander in soil that is well-drained, in a sunny, sheltered location. Wall germander attains a height of about 1 foot, with a slightly greater width. If you want to form a quick, tight hedge, install the individual plants 6 inches apart. For a looser, more casual hedge, space them 1 foot apart. The plant can spread via rhizomes. While this ability to spread is a potential nuisance, it also means the plant can be useful in erosion control.

Despite its fairly good cold-hardiness, growers in zone 5 should take suitable steps to avoid winter damage on the plants. This can be a problem during winters that are coldbut not snowy (a blanket of snow acts as a protecting mulch). One way to solve this problem is to gently lay evergreen boughs over the plants (for example, those from eastern white pine or hemlock trees).

(Video) How to grow Germander

Learn How to Grow Wall Germander (2)

Learn How to Grow Wall Germander (3)

(Video) Teucrium chamaedrys (x lucidrys)- Dwarf Germander


Wall germander prefers a full sun location. Shade will make the plants leggy and scraggly.


This plant prefers dry to medium-moisture soil that is well-drained. It will tolerate poor, sandy soil, provided it is well-drained. Wall germander does well in neutral to slightly alkaline soil, but will protest if planted in very acidic soil, below 6.0 in pH.


In the first year of growth, water this plant weekly to a depth of at least 3 inches. Once established, watering every 10 days or so is usually sufficient. Withhold watering as winter approaches.

Temperature and Humidity

Wall germander is native to rocky areas around the Mediterranean basin, so it will thrive under similar conditions. This plant prefers relatively dry, warm conditions, and generally does not react well in rainy, humid regions. Zone 5 gardeners may need to cover the plants in winter.


Wall germander grows well with relative neglect, but it will appreciate an annual spring feeding with a balanced general-purpose fertilizer diluted to one-fourth strength.

Pruning Wall Germander

Growers typically shear their small hedge of wall germander at least twice a year— once in late winter or early spring and a second time after flowering. If you grow the plants individually (rather than in a hedge) and want the best flowering display, skip that first shearing because you may be removing some flower buds. The more formal you wish your hedge to be, the more often you will want to shear it to maintain its shape and promote denser growth.

(Video) Get to know Germander

Propagating Wall Germander

This plant can be propagated by seeds, but rooting stem cuttings is the more common method. Take a 4- to 6-inch cutting from a healthy stem tip, making the cut just below a leaf node. Strip off the leaves from the lower half of the cutting, then dip the end of the cutting into a solution of rooting hormone and water.

Plant the end of the cutting into a small pot or tray filled with a mixture of perlite and peat moss. Cover the pot loosely with a plastic bag or dome, and set the pot into a bright area but not in direct sunlight. Keep the pot at 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and open the bag or remove the cover for a few minutes every few days to allow the cutting to breathe. Water only enough to keep the soil mix damp.

When new leaf growth becomes obvious, carefully transplant the cutting into a pot filled with ordinary potting mix. Water it well and place the pot, uncovered, back into a bright location. Over two or three weeks, gradually give the new plant increasing doses of full sunlight. At the end of this period, the plant is ready for the outdoor garden.

Related Species

Bush germander (Teucrium fruticans) is a close relative of wall germander. This species is also useful in formal designs. Bush germander's specialty is the art form known as topiary.As a larger plant (at least4 to 6 feet tall and wide; a ​7-foot height is possible under ideal conditions), bush germander is a true shrub that gives you the mass you need to sculpt a topiary.

A drawback is that this Mediterranean plant is not as hardy(only zones 8 to 10) as wall germander. But, like its hardier cousin, it likes full sun and well-drained soil.If you are seeking a plant somewhere in between bush and wall germander size-wise, grow thedwarf cultivar ('Azureum') of the former: It grows only 3 to 4feet tall.

Compared to Germander Speedwell

The similarity in common names sometimes causes people to confuse wall germander with germander speedwell. Germander speedwell is actually a type of veronica, as its botanical name indicates:Veronica chamaedrys.

(Video) Teuchrium chamaedrys - Maintenance

Common Pests/Diseases

Most problems with wall germander are related to cold temperatures or high moisture levels. These plants can be susceptible to mildew, leaf spot, and rust in humid environments. Providing good air circulation may relieve these problems.

Mites can sometimes be a problem with wall germander. Horticultural soaps and oils, or pesticides, will control these.

In the northern end of the hardiness range, it is not uncommon for wall germander to die back due to cold temperatures. Covering the plants in winter may be necessary in Zone 5.

Landscape Uses

Wall germander makes a good short hedge, clipped in the same manner as boxwood, or can be used as an edging plant. The plants are just the right size to line a walkway or one edge of a flower border with a small hedge. Or if you grow an herb garden and want it to look great, border it with a small hedge of wall germander. Planted close together, wall germander also makes a suitable ground cover.

Wall germander is also a staple of knot gardens, those wonderful expressions of formal landscape design using geometric shapes, dating back to the Renaissance. It is easy to see why these broadleaf evergreens would be well-suitedto be mass-planted in curving lines to form interesting patterns in the garden, since they are dwarf plants with densely-packed leaves that are easily controlled through shearing

Recently, wall germander has seen resurrected interest as a plant to lure pollinators, including bees and butterflies, to the landscape.

(Video) Teucrium fruticans - Bush Germander


How do you propagate creeping germander? ›

Germander can be propagated via seed and takes about 30 days to germinate, or you may also use cuttings in the spring and/or divide in the fall. Plants should be spaced 6 inches (15 cm.) apart for a hedge with the addition of some organic matter worked into the soil.

How do you germinate a germander seed? ›

For spring planting, mix the seeds with moist sand and store in the refrigerator for 60 days before planting. Keep the soil lightly moist until germination. Growing: As the plants grow, keep the soil consistently moist; this plant loves moisture, and it can tolerate wet soil much better than drought.

How do you grow Teucrium? ›

Teucrum prefer well drained neutral to alkaline soil in full sun for best effect. They are greedy plants and benefit from an annual mulch after pruning. Propagation is fairly easy from softwood cuttings in the summer or semi ripe hardwood cuttings in early autumn. Both require bottom heat for the best rooting.

Is germander a herb? ›

Wall Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys) Herb in 9cm Pot

Wall Germander is a shrubby aromatic perennial with a creeping rootstock.

When should I prune my germander? ›

Prune the germander as needed throughout the summer growth period to maintain its shape and size. Shearing the plant every one to two months from early summer to fall results in a pleasantly shaped shrub that still flowers in spring.

How tall does germander get? ›

Along with its low growing habit, this translates to 'ground oak'. It grows 6-18 inches tall with a 1-2 foot spread. In late spring to summer, magenta pink tubular flowers grow in whorls from the leaf axils and are attractive to bees. The leaves are aromatic and shiny with scalloped edges.

When should I fertilize my germander? ›

Fertilizer. Wall germander grows well with relative neglect, but it will appreciate an annual spring feeding with a balanced general-purpose fertilizer diluted to one-fourth strength.

Is American germander invasive? ›

American Germander - Teucrium canadense, however, is widely distributed on the continent, being found in each of the lower 48 states as well as most of Canada. This is indicative of its weedy nature, and it is considered invasive by some weed authorities.

How do you take care of a bush germander? ›

This beautiful & hardy perennial is very low maintenance. No fertilizing or deadheading is needed. They can be pruned to shape after blooming is finished, concentrating on cutting out older growth. After establishing for a year, Azure Bush Germander is drought tolerant.

How big does a bush germander get? ›

Bush Germander will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet.

Can you prune Teucrium? ›

Teucrium are best positioned in an area of full sun with some shelter from intense midday heat. Pruning should be undertaken during late winter or early spring to neaten your plants appearance and to control its shape and size. This should include the removal of dead, old or diseased branches.

What is germander good for? ›

Overview. Germander is a plant. The parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine. Despite serious safety concerns, people take germander for treating gallbladder conditions, fever, stomachaches, and mild diarrhea; as a digestive aid, germ-killer, and “rinse for gout;” and to help with weight loss.

Is germander poisonous to dogs? ›

Germander is toxic to dogs. It contains hepatotoxins that can cause liver damage. Germander extracts have been linked to reported instances of severe liver injury, which can be fatal for dogs.

Can you eat germander? ›

Toxicity. It is unsafe to consume germander, and its sale has actually been banned in France. Research has concluded that germander may cause liver disease and even death in some cases.

Are Wall Germanders poisonous? ›

Many gardeners like to use germander as a border in herb gardens, because it smells sweet and it shapes well. It can also be used as an edible or medicinal herb, although it can become toxic in large doses.

Where is germander native to? ›

Native Distribution: Saskatchewan east to Newfoundland, south to Florida, west to Texas, and north to North Dakota; also in all western states and British Columbia.

How do you prune a germander sage? ›

In frost-free areas, prune the entire plant back by almost half after the last flowers in fall. This will promote fuller growth the following spring and keep the plant looking tidy over winter. In cooler regions where plants may be semi-evergreen or deciduous, lightly prune in early fall well before the first frost.

How far apart do you plant Teucrium? ›

Plant approximately 0.75 to 1m spacing.

Is germander a perennial? ›

Teucrium (Germander) is a huge family of perennials, herbs and shrubs found world-wide, with the highest concentration of species in the Mediterranean region of Europe and Northern Africa.

Is germander an evergreen? ›

Germander, an evergreen sub shrub (or suffrutex) of the Teucrium genus, which also includes, Cat Thyme, and the ground cover Fruity Teucrium, makes a great hedge. A sturdy little plant, Germander is easy to grow almost everywhere in the US.

Is creeping germander Evergreen? ›

Many Teucrium species are evergreen and shouldn't be cut back in the spring. But in late fall, rake off brown tree leaves and other fall debris to keep plants clean and foliage healthy over the winter. In spring, winter killed tips can be sheared off.

Is Borage a comfrey? ›

Borage and comfrey are both flowering plants from the Boraginaceae family. They look similar to one another when they're not in bloom. However, their flowers can be used as a distinguishing feature. Borage flowers are typically blue while comfrey flowers are pink, purple, and white.

Is American germander good for bees? ›

Suggested Uses: American Germander is a useful plant for shoreline restoration and large rain gardens. It can be aggressive on moist soils, but does not do well in drought. It is an excellent pollinator plant for attracting honeybees and a variety of native bees, as well as hummingbirds.

Does American germander have square stems? ›

Stalk / Stem

The central stalk will be erect and strong. Since this is a member of the mint family of plants, the stalk will be square, or at least have 4 distinct angles on its cross section.

Can you eat wood sage? ›

Despite having the familiar sage-green leaves, Wood sage has very little scent, so is not a good cooking herb.

How do you prune a silver germander? ›

Cut the plant back hard -- within 6 inches of the soil -- in early spring before new growth begins if it has begun looking "leggy," meaning that all its foliage and blooms are at the top of the plant, showing scraggly stems below.

Is Bush germander native to California? ›

tall bush germander. Teucrium is native to the Mediterranean area and therefore suited to Sonoma County gardens.

How do you take care of a margarita bop? ›

The spent flower spikes should be cut off to encourage more blooming, better form, and longer life. Best in full sun with well drained soils and moderate to little water once established. 'Margarita BOP' has proven particularly adaptable and has survived longer than other cultivars.

Is sweet pea shrub a perennial? ›

This tidy evergreen shrub is a tried and true perennial that is beloved by avid gardeners far and wide. It has vibrant purple-magenta, pea-like flowers that have a soft-pink central crest. In mild winter areas this beautiful bush blooms almost year-round.

Is teucrium fast growing? ›

Teucrium is a small, very hardy, fast growing, architectural evergreen shrub with striking Silver/Grey foliage upon square grey stems which makes it a great contrasting plant. It produces clusters of lavender-blue flowers during spring and summer. Teucrium fantastic for hedging and it is suggested to prune regularly.

What is germander herb? ›

Germander refers to about 250 species of plants in the mint family (genus: Teucrium) used for centuries in herbal teas and more recently marketed as a germander extract as an aid for weight control and management of diabetes and hyperlipidemia.

Is phlox a ground cover? ›

Creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera) is a low-growing, mat-forming plant that is often seen spreading as a ground cover, in rock gardens, and even in crevices of stone walls. It blooms in the late spring to summer with clusters of fragrant, five-petal flowers that stretch almost an inch across.

Is teucrium Chamaedrys edible? ›

Edible Uses

The plant is widely used in making alcoholic drinks with a bitter base, which have digestive or appetite-promoting qualities[7].

Can creeping phlox be grown from cuttings? ›

Creeping phlox is easy to propagate through division, stem cuttings, or rooted stems. Cuttings, if done right, are a particularly easy option to propagate, as they root easily after a few months. All you need to do is cut a roughly 6-inch-long section, either from a rooted stem or a lateral shoot near the tip.

Can creeping myrtle be propagated? ›

Crape myrtle is easily propagated from semi-hardwood cuttings taken during the growing season. June, July and August are excellent times to root cuttings. Take cuttings from new growth of the season, leaving three to four nodes per cutting and several leaves.

How do you propagate creeping Jenny? ›

Propagating creeping jenny is easy. If allowed to run over the soil, the stems usually take root and spread. You can also dig up a clump of creeping jenny plants with roots and simply divide them. Another method for propagating creeping jenny: Make 2-inch stem tip cuttings just below a leaf or bud.

Will creeping phlox choke out weeds? ›

Also known as Creeping Phlox, or Moss Phlox, this plant forms fluffy purple or white flowers in a thick mat. It creates an enchanting look on any yard with cloud-like formations of purple flowers. The dense carpet of flowers chokes out weeds by preventing sunlight from reaching beyond its bushy growth.

Where is the best place to plant creeping phlox? ›

Phlox subulata is best grown in well-drained soils in full sun. Though it can do well in areas with dappled light like a sunny area in a woodland garden or in especially hot, humid climates, the best flowering is typically found in full sun. With a little care, creeping phlox will thrive in your landscape.

Does creeping phlox spread fast? ›

Creeping phlox will grow in any soil, but if you want to keep it healthy and as beautiful as possible, make sure the ground is moist and well-draining. Don't forget to provide the plant with plenty of sunshine. This flower spreads fast and has small star-shaped flowers.

Where does creeping myrtle grow best? ›

Creeping myrtle (Vinca minor), also called lesser periwinkle, is the well-behaved vinca. Those in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9 can plant creeping myrtle in almost any corner; it accepts full shade to full sun, dry soil to moist soil, and requires little maintenance.

Can you root a crepe myrtle in water? ›

Crape myrtle shoots root well under a variety of indoor and outdoor conditions, although it's not possible to root crape myrtle cuttings in water. For most home gardeners, it's best to root crape myrtle cuttings in pots so you can better control the growing conditions.

Is creeping myrtle poisonous to dogs? ›

Crape Myrtle is not poisonous to dogs, so you can include this perennial shrub in your landscape if you have furry friends. Some varieties have berries and seed pods that may fall from the plant, but there is no reason to be concerned if your dog eats any part of the plant.

Will vinca cuttings root in water? ›

Tip. Vinca is easy to propagate from cuttings placed in water or potting mix. You can also take rooted cuttings from established plants in the garden.

How do you make vinca grow faster? ›

The best soil where it grows much faster is slightly acidic in nature and moist. HEIGHT: The reason why it is chosen as the groundcover is that its height barely reaches more than 4 inches which rules out the necessity of trimming them frequently.

How do you make a vinca bushier? ›

Deadheading means pruning off faded flowers before their seeds mature. Annual Vinca does not need deadheading in order for it to continue blooming. You can prune the plant occasionally to boost blooming. This is as simple as pinching off the wilted flowers.

Can creeping Jenny be a houseplant? ›

You can also take the container indoors, as creeping Jenny grows well as a houseplant. Just be sure to give it a cooler spot in the winter.

Will creeping Jenny come back every year? ›

Creeping Jenny Cold Hardiness

In colder growing zones (USDA zone 7 and colder), it will disappear completely. However, as long as you provide proper care and maintenance, it will return after the winter weather ends. You'll just need to trim back the dead stems.

Should I cut back creeping Jenny? ›

Trim back the dead stems of your creeping Jenny before winter hits, and it will come back in the spring with ease.


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