Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Monardella villosa:
Coyote Mint

social icons Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram

Form: Herbaceous stems growing from a woody base (subshrub).
Lifespan: Perennial.
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.
Fruit: Seed.
Leaves: Blue-green, fuzzy, oval, with a very strong, minty aroma.
Stems: Herbaceous.
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. This plant dies to the ground in freezes and comes back from its roots in the spring.
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.
Mulch: No.
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.
Litter: Low.
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.

Do you have additional information or a different experience for these plants that you would like to share? Email All contributions are welcome and appreciated.

Monardella villosa flowers

By John Rusk from Berkeley, CA, United States of America - H20130909-9891—Monardella villosa—Katherine Greenberg, CC BY 2.0, httpscommons.wikimedia.orgwindex.phpcurid-59292698

© 2008-2023 by
Latest update: May, 2021