We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Germander?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Germander or wood sage is a perennial shrub in the mint family which is used in some gardens to make low borders and hedges. Some people also distill the leaves into germander tonic or tea, although the plant is not widely consumed. The plant is very easy to grow, and it thrives all the way through USDA zone four, making it a very versatile addition to the garden.

The plant is native to Europe, and has been grown in Greek gardens for centuries. Many species are also found widely distributed in the Middle East, and some are very drought tolerant as a result of their normally harsh environment. A number of plants are called “germander,” but all of them are in the genus Teucrium, and some are more aesthetically pleasing than others. Woodland germander and wall germander are two common examples of ornamental germander cultivated in gardens.

Like other members of the mint family, germander has squared stems and it is very aromatic. It tends to grow in a shrubby form, and it has dark green toothed opposite leaves. In mid to late summer, the plant puts out stalks which produce white to purple lipped flowers. Unless the climate is very cold, the plant will continue to bloom until late fall if it is trimmed regularly, and the leaves will stay lush and green year round.

The growth habit of germander tends to splay and get out of control unless the plant is controlled with pruning. Fortunately, germander takes very well to shaping, and many people use it to form borders and hedges for this very reason. It can even be used in old fashioned knot gardens, since it establishes itself very quickly and it looks quite pleasing whether or not it is in bloom. Other plants in the garden can be color coordinated with the flowers, if desired, or the flowers can be sheared away before they bloom if more greenery is desired.

Many gardeners like to use germander as a border in herb gardens, because it smells sweet and it shapes well. It can also be used as an edible or medicinal herb, although it can become toxic in large doses. Germander has a long history in the treatment of gout and weight gain, for example. Generally only the leaves are used, with the stems and flowers being left intact. As is the case with any medicinal herb, it is a good idea to consult with a doctor before taking germander.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a HomeQuestionsAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By Perdido — On Apr 05, 2012

@wavy58 - If I were you, I wouldn’t plant it. There is a chance it would be harmless, but since it has been harmful to people in the past, there is a greater chance it could hurt your animals.

My aunt is big into herbal remedies, and she recently told me something about germander. She said that in France, it is no longer sold, because it caused so many cases of hepatitis. It was being used as a weight loss supplement, but it did more harm than good.

If you are really set on planting germander, then call your local veterinarian. I’m sure he or she would know whether or not it is safe to grow around pets.

By wavy58 — On Apr 05, 2012

Does anyone here know if germander is dangerous to pets? I have a cat and a dog, and I would like to grow some germander, but I don’t want to jeopardize their health.

The article mentions that it could be toxic if you ingested enough of it. I just wonder if this applies to pets as well, because my dog often chews on grass, and I can just picture him munching away on my germander.

I would feel absolutely terrible if anything happened to him because of something I planted. Then again, some things that harm humans don’t harm pets at all. Any information would be appreciated.

By OeKc05 — On Apr 04, 2012

If you don’t like bees in your yard, then don’t grow germander. They attract it just about as strongly as apple blossoms do!

I moved into a home that already had germander growing along the front of the house and along the driveway. Once the flowers bloomed, I could hear a steady buzzing sound all day long in the yard. I was afraid to walk to my mailbox!

I finally started cutting off the blooms. It made the plants look kind of dull, but it kept the bees away, and I felt safe in my yard again.

By orangey03 — On Apr 03, 2012

I have some creeping germander growing underneath my hibiscus bushes. It’s a really short plant, so it does well under there, and it keeps the ground covered. I don’t have to weed the area, because the germander chokes out the weeds and grass for me.

It looks just like my neighbor’s germander hedges, except that it is low to the ground. I can cut it as low as I need it, so if a low branch on the hibiscus bush needs more room, it won’t hurt the creeping germander to trim it back.

I’m the type of gardener who likes to have every inch of soil in the garden covered, so creeping germander is perfect for me. The less dirt that is exposed, the less unwanted plants I will have to deal with.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.