What Is Creeping Germander?
Creeping germander (teucrium aroanium) is a small evergreen tree native to Texas and Mexico. It grows up to 15 feet tall with large spreading branches that are covered with tiny white flowers in spring and fall. The leaves are green, leathery, oval shaped, 1/8 inch long and have five leaflets each. There are four pairs of veins running through the leaf which give it its name “creep”.
The seeds are round, white and about one millimeter across. They are found in clusters on the undersides of the leaves or attached to them. Seeds germinate in less than two weeks after being sown but take six months before they become self-sustaining plants. If you don’t want your seedlings to grow too big, wait until their first flowering season to plant them!
How To Grow Creeping Germander?
When growing creeping germander, there are several methods you can use. You could buy pre-planted seedlings from nurseries or online. Or you could start from scratch. Here’s how to do it:
1) Buy Seedling From A Nursery: Most garden centers sell pre-planted seedlings that will produce new plants within a few years.
2) Start From Sown Seeds: Creeping germander seeds are tiny but easy to handle and store.
Sow them in good quality seed starting mix and keep them moist. They need light to germinate so don’t cover them with soil. They should start showing signs of growth in two weeks. Transplant them into individual 3 inch pots after they develop their first true leaves. Grow them in these pots for about 6 – 10 weeks before planting them in the ground.
3) Transplant Already Established Plants: Take tip cuttings from mature germander plants in late spring or early summer.
Remove the leaves from the lower 18 inches of the cutting and allow it to dry for a couple of days. Prepare a good quality seed starting mix in a flat and make a small depression (hole) in the center. Place the cutting in this hole so that the base of the cutting is just above the soil line. Firm the soil around the cutting and water it. Cover the flat and place it in a shady location.
Keep the soil barely moist and keep an eye on it for a couple of weeks before transplanting to individual 3 inch pots. Keep them here until you can safely plant them outside.
Sources & references used in this article:
Ground Covers for Arizona Landscapes by E Davison – 1999 – repository.arizona.edu
What Can I Do with My Herbs?: How to Grow, Use, and Enjoy These Versatile Plants by J Barrett – 2009 – books.google.com
Ground Cover Plants by JL Creech – Turfgrass Science, 1969 – Wiley Online Library