- Author: Linda Lewis Griffith
- Editor: Noni Todd
By Linda Lewis Griffith UCCE Master Gardener
Common Name: Wall Germander
Planting Zone: Sunset zones 2-24
Size: 1-2 ft. high, 3 ft. wide
Bloom Season: Summer to early autumn
Exposure: Full sun
Pruning Needs: Pinch to retain compact shape; shear back once or twice each year to keep neat and force side branching
Water Needs: Low water once established; a little more inland
Narrative: This member of the mint family is a small, mounding subshrub with deep green, fragrant leaves that have toothed margins. It is native to dry hillsides and open woods in the Mediterranean region. But it is equally adapted to the coastal, inland and valley gardens of California. Red-purple or white flowers bloom throughout summer on loose stalks. These should be trimmed off at the end of their season to maintain good foliage density. Older stalks and branches lying on the ground should be regularly removed. Wall germander loves poor, gritty soil but does well in a variety of other soil conditions as long as drainage is adequate. It is fire resistant if kept hydrated. Wall germander is found in both herb and wildlife gardens where it is attractive to bees and butterflies. Deer leave it alone. It is a popular topiary and border plant and may be kept in its pleasing natural form or clipped into a small hedge.
It may also be planted as a small-scale groundcover. A lower growing cultivar, ‘Prostratum,' grows to 4-6 in. high, spreading to 3 feet across. When planting for ground cover, set new plants two feet apart. Wall germander is generally free from pests and diseases. It is hardy to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Plants can easily be propagated in a variety of ways. Allow seed heads to dry on plants, then remove and collect in a small bag. Sow seeds directly in the ground outdoors in the fall. Or sow indoors and transplant seedlings in the spring. Cuttings can also be selected, rooted and planted when new growth appears.