A very tough perennial that can grow in hot dry areas and tolerate little water. Excellent for rock gardens and sunny spots where little else is growing. Needs little maintenance. The gray green crinkly leaves offer a lot of interest to the plant and provide interesting color and contrast. Deer and rabbits don't eat it. Little maintenance a really tough plant. Ideal for low water gardens, butterflies and bees love the flowers.
Description of Horehound (Marrubium Vulgare).
A perennial plant Hardy zones 3-10. Horehound produces numerous stems of D shaped extremely crinkly, textured, gray green leaves on square branching stems. Leaves are covered with wooly down making them very striking. Flowers are borne in whorled segments arranged like small 'balls' at intervals along the stems with several leaves below each flower group. Flowers themselves are white small tubular and not very striking. Plants flower prolifically over most of the summer months (June to September ). The whole plant has an interesting aroma often described as musky.
Location and care of Horehound (Marrubium Vulgare)
Horehound is an extremely easy plant to grow. It prefers full sun and well drained soils. It thrives best on poor soil and does not like a lot of nutrients. Its is fairly drought tolerant and likes to dry out between waterings. Cannot tolerate waterlogged soils or even soils that become waterlogged for any period of time. Prefers soils that are slightly alkaline or neutral but will grow on slightly acid soils. If soil is too acid will need to modify with lime.
Ideal for hot dry areas in the garden where not much else is growing. Great for rockeries and tough spots as long as it has full sun. Needs very little care once established. Will not flower until its second year.
Allow plenty of room for the plant to spread as it will bush out and produce strong woody roots once established. Plant at least 14 inches apart. Cutting back long flower stalks after the plant has completed flowering will encourage it to flower again and produce more lush leaves. Use leather gloves as the dried flower stalks can be quite prickly and the seed heads will stick to any surface they can. Cut back almost to the ground in later fall ready for the next springs growth. The gray green leaves provide a lovely contrast in most garden especially rockeries.
Growing f Horehound (Marrubium Vulgare) from seed.
Growing Horehound is not difficult but needs a little patience since germination can be a little slow and erratic so seeding indoors is recommended. Sow in medium potting soil that is not to rich. Germination can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks depending on conditions and temperature. For this reason using small pots or plug cell trays is important since germinated seedlings can be removed without disturbing other seeds that are still to germinate. See our general growing instructions for full details.
Keep soil moist until seedlings are large enough to transplant then pot into individual pots and grow on until plants are at least 6" tall before planting out. Plants should be hardened off well before planting out. Choose a cloudy day preferably with rain to follow to plant out so new plants have time to acclimatize to their new home before the hot dry sun hits. Water daily until plants are established. After which little more maintenance but weeding should be necessary.
Harvesting Horehound (Marrubium Vulgare)
The leaves are harvested for medicinal uses. Leaves are best harvested just before the plant starts to flower. Lush leaves can be harvested in small quantities are any time. Do not harvest after flowering as the flower stems are tough and prickly and undesirable. Leaves can be harvested from the first year provided that the plants have grown sufficiently and are spreading out well however important phytochemicals may not be at very strong levels before the plant is ready to flower which it normal does not in the first year of growth. If plants grow slowly wait until the second year to harvest.
Medicinal Uses of Horehound (Marrubium Vulgare)
White horehound has been used for centuries to treat coughs, colds and lung infections. It is an expectorant and tonic and can safely be used in children as well as adults. It is often made into a candy or syrup to disguise the bitter flavor but can also be taken as a tea. The bitter tonic is used to help stimulate appetite and support stomach functions and can b used to help normalize heart rhythms. The root has been used as a remedy for rattlesnake bits.
Other uses of Horehound (Marrubium Vulgare)
The horehound is preferred by bees and a favorite of many apiarists. The horehound is ideal as a partner plant for tomatoes in the garden. When grown alongside the tomato, the tomato plants tend to have higher yields and crop for a longer period of time - for reasons that are still unclear.
Common Horehound, Hashishat Al Kalib, Hoarhound, Horehound, Itsinegiotu, Malrove, Marrubio, Niga-Hakka, Qutainah, White Horehound, Wild Horehound, Woolly Horehound
Horehound plant flowering
Horehound leaf closeup
Horehound tough guy