How to Grow Teucrium – Germander

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Teucrium–commonly called germander–is a perennial subshrub that bears rose, blue, or purple flowers. Teucrium has small aromatic leaves that are gray-green on top and silvery beneath. The overall effect of Teucrium is a low silvery shrub with colorful blossoms.

Teucrium’s dense foliage makes it a good choice to use as border edging or as a low-growing hedge. Teucrium can be used in knot gardens and in rock gardens.

Teucrium will grow easily in full sun in poor to average, well-drained soil. Teucrium prefers neutral to slightly alkaline pH

Teucrium is a genus of about 100 species of herbaceous perennials and subshrubs. Teucrium is native to dry, rocky places worldwide, especially in the Mediterranean.

Flower and leaves of Teucrium fruticans
Flower and leaves of Teucrium fruticans

Get to know Teucrium

  • Plant type: Evergreen shrubs or perennials 
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 8 to 9
  • Hardiness: Hardy to Zone 8
  • Height and width: 12 to 39 inches (30-100cm) tall and 12 to 18 inches (30-45cm) wide
  • Foliage: Glossy, aromatic, dark green leaves, simple or lobed leaves in oppostite pairs.
  • Flowers: Whorled clusters or racemes of small bell-shaped to tubular flowers that are sometimes, but not always, two lipped.
  • Bloom time: Summer
  • Uses: Edging, low hedge, rock garden, knot garden, small-scale ground cover.
  • Common name: Germander 
  • Botanical name: Teucrium 
  • Family name: Lamiaceae 
  • Origin: Mediterranean region

Where to plant Teucrium

  • Plant Teucrium in full sun.
  • Plant Teucrium in well-drained, preferably neutral to alkaline soil.

When to plant Teucrium

  • Set container-grown Teucrium in the garden in spring or autumn.

Planting and spacing Teucrium

  • Space Teucrium 12 to 18 inches (30-45cm).

How to water and feed Teucrium

  • Give Teucrium moderate water in well-drained soil. Teurcrium does not want wet soil.
  • Fertilize Teucrium with an all-purpose, slow-release organic fertilizer in spring.

Teucrium care

  • Keep Teucrium compact by pruning or shearing the plants in spring to within about 2 inches of the ground.

Teucrium pests and diseases

  • Teurcrium is infrequently bothered by pests or disease.
Teucrium chamaedrys
Teucrium chamaedrys

Teucrium propagation

  • Sow Teucrium seeds in containers in a cold fram as soon as tey are ripe.
  • Insert softwood cutting in ealry sumer or semi-ripe cuttings in ealry summer.

Teucrium varieties to grow

  • Teucrium canadense. Perennial. Grows to 3 feet tall; bears white to rose flowers; a dwarf evergreen creeper to 8 inches high, with pale pink flowers is commonly available. 
  • T. chamaedrys. Shrubby perennial. Grows to 18 inches tall, spreading to 2 feet; many upright, woody-based stems densely set with toothed, ¾-in.-long, dark green leaves; bears rose-pink or magenta flowers in loose spikes. Cultivar ‘Prostratum’ grows 4 to 6 inches tall and spreads to 3 feet wide or more. 
  • T. fruticans. Bush germander. Shrub. Loose, silvery-stemmed shrub grows 3 feet tall and 1 foot wide; lance-shaped leaves 1 ¼ in. long, gray-green above, silvery-white beneath, giving overall silvery gray effect; lavender-blue flower spikes at branch ends; blooms most of the year. Cultivars include ‘Azureum’, grows 3 to 4 feet high and 6 feet wide; bears terminal whorls blue flowers; ‘Compactum’ grows to 3 feet tall, is relatively narrow and dense in habit, with deep blue blossoms.  
  • T. gussonei (T. cossonii, T. majoricum). Shrubby low mound perennial grows 3 to 8 inches tall, 1 ½-2 ft. across; narrow gray leaves; dense heads of small, rosy-purple flowers in a nearly unending show. Good rock garden plant. 
  • T. marum. Cat thyme. Shrub with densely clustered upright stems closely set with tiny gray-green leaves; bears deep pink or purplish flowers.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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