Growing and Saving the Seed Of Horehound
Latin name Marrubium vulgare is a cold-hardy perennial member of the mint family. This short, fuzzy-leaved shrub makes old-fashioned flavored cough drops and has a host of medicinal properties. Hardy from USDA zones 3-10.
Native to temperate regions of Eurasia. Historic uses range from treating stomach and gallbladder issues to treating snake bites! Today, horehound is still used as an expectorant, a common component of cough drops.
- Traditional medicinal uses; still used as an expectorant in cough drops
- Seeds germinate in 14-21 days (and sometimes more, as it is quite slow to germinate).
- Start indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost.
- Surface sow seeds and very lightly cover with a thin layer of soil.
- Keep moist until germinated.
- Ideal germination temperature is 68-75 F.
- Prefers full sun and rich, well-drained soil.
- Space plants 10 inches apart.
- Harvest the leaves just after the plant begins to flower.
- Keep flowers clipped if you want to prevent reseeding and spreading, otherwise plants will readily reseed and grow aggressively, like other mints.
- Plants reach 18 inches tall.
- Do not harvest more than 1/3 of the foliage in the first year.
- In the second year and thereafter the plants will flower and leaves can be harvested freely.
- A fairly pest- and disease-free plant, horehound's weedy behavior is its biggest issue. Clip flowers to keep plants from reseeding or grow in pots.
- A very hardy perennial, horehound will flower in the second year.
- Let flowers mature, turn brown, and dry.
- Cut the stalks before the head shatters and shake seeds into a bag.