Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Horehound
Ballota vulgare

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ballota (bal-LOT-uh) (Info)
Species: vulgare (vul-GAIR-ee) (Info)

Synonym:Marrubium vulgare

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

21 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From herbaceous stem cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; direct sow after last frost
By simple layering
By serpentine layering

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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Thumbnail #1 of Ballota vulgare by HarryNJ

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There are a total of 19 photos.
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2 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive eatmyplants On Aug 5, 2012, eatmyplants from Comanche county, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Horehound grows wild in certain pockets in my area. Most of what I've seen is growing under trees in fairly deep shade. It is very drought tolerant. At this time, the ground is bone dry and it is flourishing. Horehound is easily transplanted by just digging up the roots and replanting (with soil or no soil, doesn't matter, just keep damp until replanting). Cut off all the above ground growth and it will put out all new growth in a fairly short time.

Neutral boocat13 On Feb 7, 2010, boocat13 from Coquille, OR wrote:

I want white horehound, Marrubium vulgare, for cough candy-making. Ballota vulgare is BLACK horehound, not used in cough candies. These plants are not synonyms. Very annoying.

Neutral frostweed On Dec 27, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Horehound Ballota vulgare is naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.

Positive Weezingreens On Sep 3, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

Horehound is a fascinating plant with an unusual gauze-like texture under the leaves and along the stems. The dark green leaves are savoyed (deeply veined). It can produce a small white flower in summer. Cut back for renewed growth.

In my youth, I recall my father buying horehound candy which was a brown sugar-coated lozenge with a distinctive taste. Whether used in candy or in tea, it is a home remedy for coughs and colds.

Neutral lupinelover On May 6, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Leaves are very beautiful white overlaying green. Very fleshy. Plant can grow very big, with stems layering when they touch ground. Suitable for groundcover. Tolerates some foot traffic.

Flowers are white, insignificant.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Hereford, Arizona
Jerome, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Prescott Valley, Arizona
Bonsall, California
Menifee, California
Santa Ana, California
Florence, Colorado
Osborne, Kansas
Gold Hill, Oregon
Clarksville, Tennessee
Belton, Texas
De Leon, Texas
Santo, Texas
Wytheville, Virginia
Great Cacapon, West Virginia

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