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As usual, if there's a particular plant you'd like me to address, just drop me a line at shell@michellesgarden.com.


Lamb's-Ears
Stachys byzantina (syn. S. lanata)

Lamb's-ears are eye-catching foliage plants with basal rosettes of elongated, densely white, wooly leaves. These sun-loving plants grow from slow-creeping stems.

Flower Color

Small, two-lipped rose purple flowers are carried on wooly flower stalks. Many people consider the flowers unattrative and remove them.

Flowering Time

Early Summer.

Height and Spread

6-15 inches (15-37.5 cm) tall; 12-24 inches (30-60 cm) wide.

Temperature Requirements

Zones 4-8. Plants are sensitive to hot, humid weather.

Position

Well-drained, sandy or loamy soil. Full sun to light shade. Intolerant of heavy, soggy soil.

Cultivation

Lamb's-ears form dense broad clumps of tightly packed foliage. Divide overgrown clumps to control their spread.

Propagation

Divide plants in spring or fall.

Pest and Disease Prevention

In wet, humid weather rot may occur. Cut back affected plants. Proper siting is the best defense.

Landscape Use

Plant at the front of formal and informal gardens with irises, coral bells (Heuchera spp.), alliums (Allium spp.), yuccas, and sedums.

Cultivars

'Primrose Heron' has soft, primrose yellow foliage in spring. 'Sheila McQueen' has larger, less-wooly leaves and grows well in warmer zones. 'Silver Carpet' is a neat, compact cultivar that is listed as nonflowering but it flowers in some gardens.


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