Wednesday, June 3, 2009

GERMANDER, Teucrium chamaedrys

Ever since I snipped off a few stems at a friend's garden I have had germander growing in my garden. It is one of the easiest plants to root. Just take a stem, remove the lower leaves and stick into the ground in a shady spot. You'll never need to buy this plant again. It is a low growing shrubby perennial. Chamaedrys means 'ground oak' and the small leaves are similar to oak leaves. It thrives in poor soils, and the small purple flowers are attractive to bees. Although it prefers full sun it will grow with only morning sun.

In my English garden I use it as a low hedge in the circular bird bath bed. It grows against the brick edging. By regular trimming I can keep it to about 10". This year the plants received a major renovation. A few years ago I was away from home throughout the summer and the plants, with no attention, grew lanky, growing over themselves. I was quite nervous to cut it back severely but that is what I should have done. So this year I cut every plant back down to the ground. If it survived, great, if not I would replace it. It survived, although it will need to fill in again with new plants in some places.

I also use it in a less formal setting in other parts of the garden, although always at the front of the bed. Here, without trimming, it is allowed to flower. After flowering the plants are cut back for re growth.

11 comments:

  1. Ooo! I like this germander. Is it drought tolerant?

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  2. I'm not familiar with this one. It sounds like it would do well in my new-baby garden. Perhaps I can trade you a few sprigs for a 'Macho Mocha' mangave pup?

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  3. Hi,

    You garden looks gorgeous.

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  4. Iris-extremely drought tolerant.
    Pam- It's a deal

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  5. Beautiful! I killed mine last year when I repotted it...I need to get some more because I did love the little blooms and the lovely shape.

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  6. I have a few in a new bed. But why do you always plant them at the front? Because they are short?

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  7. Interesting regarding the name - that Chamaedrys means ground oak - I haven't grown this, so haven't looked closely to notice the shape of the leaves. Nice!

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  8. I had no idea this plant was so hardy and took root so easily. I will most definitely get some for myself. I'm thinking it's time for me to head back to Natural Gardener. Your posts are so inspiring!!

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  9. Hi Rose,
    I just did a search looking to see if I was spelling germander correctly and to make sure the plant I was labeling was germander. I enjoyed your post, and put a link to it in my post. I'm going to try sticking some stems in the ground to see if they root.

    Happy Gardening!

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  10. Oh, by the way, did you become part of Wellsphere? If so, are you glad you did?

    They sought me out awhile back, too, but I decided not to have my blog on their site, because they were going to own the content or something like that.

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  11. Corner garden Sue- No I did not join Wellesphere. I ignore any of those advertising things that come and usually delete the comment from my post. I have them from flower shops and even Lancashire plumbers! Really. What abuse of the internet.

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