Plants with square stems are usually members of the mint family. These are unique among the plant families and are recognized by their square stems, paired leaves, and unique flowers.

Plants with Square Stems

Some plants not in the mint family have square stems as well, but this is primarily a characteristic of this family. Some other members of the mint family are flowering plants with small flowers that grow in specific regions and climates.

One might ask, do all mints have square stems? The answer to this is, yes, almost all mint plants do! Let us take a look at some of them below.

List of Plants with Square Stems

1. Oregano

Oregano is a prevalent herb that is used primarily in different foods. It is used to add a specific flavor to various dishes. Oregano is safe to consume, but does not provide an evident health benefit. It’s mainly used to make the flavor a little richer.

– Characteristics

The leaves of this herb are olive-green and have purple flowers. As this is a member of a large family of plants, it is closely related to other herbs like thyme and basil. The leaves have a strong taste and a pungent smell. The leave and flowers are also used for making tea.

Oregano have purple flowers

– Propagation Conditions

You can grow oregano in your own home. Sow it in indoor pots with seed composite at the start of the year. Water and germinate them, and when they are physically large enough, put them in a pot with a multipurpose composite for further growth.

– Care and Maintenance Requirements

Water the pots regularly, but it is crucial to avoid over-watering because it can cause the roots to rot. In addition, remember that liquid fertilizers can be used to encourage growth. You must also keep in mind that trimming the plants after the flowers fade away will also help them thrive.

If there are any dead stems, cut them off from the plant. On the other hand, during winter season, you must keep the plants dry and use a well-draining soil composite.

2. Basil

Like Oregano, Basil is a culinary herb that adds a unique flavor to different dishes. It is also known as great basil. 

– Characteristics

It is either an annual or perennial, of course, depending on the region, and it is quite small in size. Furthermore, it blooms with small white flowers that grow on a square stem atop the plant.

One of the key characteristics of basil is that there are different varieties of this herb, and different parts of the world use the word “basil” to refer to its different types. For example, in western cuisine, basil refers to Genovese or sweet basil. Each have their own unique growth range, but they all have a square stem.

Basil culinary herb

– Growing Conditions

As a perennial herb, the best time to plant basil is two weeks after the last frost, as you must wait for the soil to be warm. It needs a good amount of sunlight, so choose a spot accordingly. Like oregano, basil can be grown from an existing plant.

The soil should be moist, nutritious, and well-drained. You may use either compost or cottonseed meal. However, if you are planting basil in a pot, it is essential to choose a large pot, so the soil does not dry out from the sun.

– Care and Maintenance

Water the herbs consistently and regularly. Watering early in the morning is a good practice. To encourage growth, trim the plant often. It is also important to note the blooming flowers will cause the leaves to lose their flavor, making it all the more necessary.

3. Rosemary

Rosemary is another edible herb that is native to the Mediterranean region. 

– Characteristics

The leaves and their oil are essential for medical and culinary purposes. For medical uses, rosemary is good for hair growth, and rosemary extract can be used as a sunblock.

It is a popular herb with square stem, all around the world, especially in the world of cuisines, rosemary is used primarily for its flavor fragrance in a variety of dishes.

– Growing Conditions

The growing conditions for rosemary resemble the previous entries on this list, as they all belong to the same family of plants. Rosemary grows well in well-drained soil in a well-lit place.

Rosemary Growing Conditions

It is best to avoid leaving the plants in wet soil in the winter, as it is harmful to the young or recently sprouting plants, because it would damage the newly formed roots of the plant. Hence, it is better to raise some plants in controlled pots for a few years before planting them in your garden.

– Care and Maintenance

Rosemary is a low-maintenance plant. It requires trimming, especially after the flowers bloom, to encourage growth. The trimmings can be replanted to grow more plants if you have the space. A well-drained compost works best for keeping this plant healthy.

You may use a balanced fertilizer because it is a good idea to encourage growth with regular watering, especially during dry spells and hot weather. On the other hand, in winter, keep the plant indoors for a favorable temperature.

4. Verbenas

Verbenas are hardy perennial herbs popularly used in gardens because of their blooms spanning several months. The plant’s height varies wildly between species – anywhere between one and five feet.

– Characteristics

These square-stemmed plants have globe-shaped flower heads that bloom from May to October. Due to their abundant nectar-filled flowers, they are a common choice among many gardeners.

– Growing Conditions

Verbenas require a well-lit location with plenty of indirect sunlight to grow to their full potential. They love moist but well-drained soil. You can leave the flowers for birds and insects during their bloom and trim them before spring to encourage more growth.

Verbenas hardy perennial herbs

Note that the bedding verbenas grow the best in bedding schemes and plant pots, while taller varieties can be grown in prairie-styled pots.

– Care and Maintenance

Use moderately fertile soil with good drainage. The plants prefer full sunlight, but avoid placing them directly under the sun, especially in hot weather. Verbenas are drought tolerant, but it is better to water them regularly to keep the soil moist. Avoid overwatering as it can rot their roots.

You can use organic matter and fertilizers at the same time, as they are a good idea to encourage plant growth. Remember that many types of verbenas do not require trimming to keep growing. But for the trailing types, if they overtake the whole container to hinder their surrounding plants, it is a good idea to cut them back.

5. Dead Nettle

Dead nettle is a flowering herb that is native to Europe and Asia. These plants are used as edibles. The flower tops and leaves are used in salads or as spring vegetables.

– Advantages

This plant’s pollen is red, which is very noticeable to the bees that often visit the flowers, and this will encourage different pollinators as well to visit your garden and to take pollen. In addition, another great advantage that it is used by herbalists as they would use it as a salve to treat various skin conditions, because it has a skin healing power.

Dead Nettle Advantages

– Growing Conditions

A hot and humid climate is not a suitable environment for these plants when you are growing them, and this is because the dead nettles prefer moist, well-drained soil with a good amount of shade. Some varieties of dead nettles need well-lit areas to maintain their color.

– Care and Maintenance

Dead Nettles can be kept in the shade as well as under the sun, but it largely depends on the type of flower used and how much water you can provide to them. To keep their maintenance low, it is a good idea to keep these perennials in the shade, so they require minimum water.

You must use acidic and loamy soil to house dead nettles, and you can also add compost to improve drainage. Their water requirements depend on the light and sun exposure they receive. If they are kept in shady areas, they require very little maintenance, whereas plants receiving more sunshine require a good amount of water to stay alive.

6. Coleus

Coleus is a plant with square stems and leaves directly opposite each other. Initially, they were used as bedding plants in the Victorian era. 

– Features

They produce tiny flowers with colors ranging from white to blue, red, yellow, and purple. These plants have a wide variety of shapes, colors, and patterns. It is through their vivid colors and foliage have made them a popular choice for gardeners.

Coleus can be used as a ground cover when planted in large numbers. Within only a single season, they come forth in full bloom, spreading a colorful carpet over the landscape.

Coleus like morning sun

– Growing Conditions

Coleus can withstand partial or complete shade, like other entries on this list. While the optimal requirements vary between varieties, the best lighting conditions are morning sun and shady afternoons, especially in hot and humid climates. Note that these plants can grow in shade and sunlight alike.

Coleus prefers rich, loose, and well-drained soil. These plants grow the best in moist soil, but not to the point that it becomes soggy and harms the roots.

– Care and Maintenance

Keep the plants in indirect sunlight or complete shade, depending on your choice of Coleus. Keeping them indoors near windows during the summer is a good option, but they might need more exposure during the winter.

Keep the soil rich, moist, and well-drained. Regular watering is good for them, especially in dry spells, but excessive water can result in root damage.


Plants with square stems are plenty, both in numbers and varieties. These plants can be annual or perennial, depending on the type and your personal preference.

If you want some plants with square stems, keep in mind the following points:

  • The Lamiaceae family plant list contains all sorts of plants ranging from herbs, flowering plants, perennials, annuals, and ground covers.
  • Most of these plants are edible, giving out an intense aroma and flavor.
  • They are easy to grow and maintain in a wide variety of conditions.

Of all the square-stemmed plants you have seen here, which one do you think is the squarest of them all?

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