A Low-Care Ground Cover for Sun: ‘Summer Sunshine’ Germander

Fine Gardening – Issue 198
A Low-Care Ground Cover for Sun: 'Summer Sunshine' germander
Photo: courtesy of Hoffman Nursery

‘Summer Sunshine’ germander (Teucrium chamaedrys ‘Summer Sunshine’)

Zones: 4–9
Size: 6 to 8 inches tall and 12 inches wide
Conditions: Full sun; moist, well-drained soil
Native range: Europe

Somehow in the larger gardening consciousness, germander (Teucrium spp. and cvs., Zones 4–9) got classified as boring. It’s not, and even if you disagree, you would have to admit that ‘Summer Sunshine’ germander is certain to catch the eye. This tough subshrub sports golden scalloped foliage in spring that fades to a charming chartreuse in summer. Soon after, the mid- to late-summer flowers of pinkish purple top the plant for weeks.

‘Summer Sunshine’ reaches only around 8 inches tall, so it is shorter than the species. But it spreads out to form a pretty ground cover. Germanders prefer full sun and moist soil, but they are tough enough to endure some shade, and they won’t pout if you don’t provide them with a weekly full can of water. They want to be evergreen, but colder winters don’t always allow this to happen. So you might be bored by this plant because you don’t have to do much for it, but you will never get tired of looking at it.

Forestfarm, Williams, OR; 541-846-7269;

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