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Teucrium - Care Guide
Caring for Teucrium
Teucrium fruticans are popular garden plants originating from Portugal and the Mediterranean which can be used in a variety of garden contexts. As freestanding plants they will grow quickly to cover a bare bank or they can spread over a low wall to good effect. Similarly, with regular pruning, T. fruticans can make a loose hedge or edge to a border. In large pots they will also spread and perform well in a single season perhaps growing at the base of a larger specimen plant.
T. fruticans is a bushy evergreen shrub with white woolly shoots and aromatic bluish or grey-green leaves which are also covered underneath in a white indumentum. The flowers are produced over a lengthy period right through the summer and, usually, on into autumn.
The flowers are a profusion of pale blue whorls mainly from the ends of the new shoots. Each flower has five lobes and four stamens. The bottom lobe of each flower is distended into a large lip which gives these plants a somewhat unusual appearance.
T. fruticans ‘Azureum’ originates from Morocco and has deep blue flowers but is rather more tender.
T. x lucridys has a much more compact habit, rose pink flowers and is, as its name infers, a low growing hedge germander.
T. fruticans produces such vigorous growth in a single season that it requires hard pruning in early spring to reinvigorate it. Cut your plants back to around 6-9in to leave three or four bud shoots on each stem.
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. Although these plants are perfectly hardy in a normal winter taking cuttings each year in case of a really cold one is advisable. Without hard pruning your plants will soon become straggly and bare at the centre. Older more mature plants are more prone to frost damage and overall, without regular pruning, these are short lived plants anyway.
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