How to Grow Horehound


Horehound plants are related to mints. They have the same square stems and crinkly leave and the obnoxious habit of aggressively reseeding themselves whether you want them to or not. There are several plants that go by the name horehound; true horehounds have the Latin name marrubium vulgare. Horehound plants are used to flavor horehound candies, cough syrups and teas. Horehound isn't the prettiest plant or even the prettiest mint; it has slightly crinkled, hairy green leaves and woolly stems. In its second year horehound produces lots of small white flowers that form whorls up the stem. Horehound reaches a height of 2 feet and will grow anywhere as long as the soil is not waterlogged.

Step 1

Choose an out-of-the-way spot in your garden with full sun.

Step 2

Use the rake to break up the soil and rake the planting area smooth.

Step 3

Broadcast sow (gently sprinkle) horehound seeds over the soil.

Step 4

Cover the seeds with 1/4 to 1/2 inch of soil.

Step 5

Use the back of the rake's tines to press the soil firmly around the seeds.

Step 6

Water the horehound seeds well after planting. No further watering is required. Seedlings will emerge in four to seven days.

Step 7

Thin seedlings to 18 inches apart.

Step 8

Cut horehound plants back by half at the end of their first year. Use the leaves and stems to flavor teas and candies.

Step 9

Cut horehound plants back by half after they flower in their second year and every year thereafter. Remove all the flowers as horehounds readily self-seed. Dry the stems and leaves to use in teas or flavor candy.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not over water horehound plants as this could lead to root death. Do not let horehound plants self-seed unless you want a lot of horehound plants, everywhere.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Horehound (marrubium vulgare) seeds
  • Pruning shears or scissors


  • Herbs in Bloom; Jo Ann Gardner; 1998
  • Herbal cuisine; growing and using horehound
Keywords: How to grow horehound, Growing horehound, Horehound facts