Form: Herbaceous stems growing from a woody base (subshrub).
Leaf retention: Evergreen but drought-deciduous.
Growth rate: Moderate.
Mature Size: 12-15" high and 15-18" wide.
Flowers: Tiny, light purple to pink, in rounded clusters.
Bloom: Late spring into summer.
Leaves: Blue-green, fuzzy, oval, with a very strong, minty aroma.
Roots: Fibrous. Not invasive.
Wildlife: Flowers attract butterflies, bees, and possibly hummingbirds. Seeds attract
birds. Avoided by mammals.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: California and Oregon.
Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8b-11.
Heat tolerant: Needs part shade, especially afternoon shade, and extra water, over 90°F.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun to part shade. Avoid full shade.
Water after becoming established: Deep water every 2-4 weeks, depending on temperature,
to establish a deep root system that can withstand high temperatures and drought.
Soil: Very well drained, dry, low in organic content, pH 6.1-7.8 (slightly acidic to
slightly alkaline). This plant is salt tolerant.
First Year Care: Locate in an area with full afternoon shade in regions with high
temperatures. Water once when planted, then deep water after one week, then every two to four
weeks as needed.
Planting: This plant can be grown on a mound for better drainage.
Prune: Cut back by one-third in fall or winter to encourage a more rounded, bushy shape,
or clean up after the last freeze of winter. Deadheading spent flowers encourages more blooms
but eliminates seed for birds.
Propagation: Seed, rootball division.
Uses: Butterfly garden, fragrance garden, xeric garden. While edible, the leaves and
flower heads have a slightly bitter taste and are seldom used.
This plant is a member of the Mint family (Lamiaceae). 'Russian River' is a popular cultivar.
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Latest update: November, 2019.