Lamb's ears

Stachys byzantina and cvs.

Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
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Lamb's ears (Stachys byzantina and cvs.)
STAK-iss by-zan-TEEN-ah
Synonyms:  S. lanata
Genus:  Stachys
This mat-forming perennial has rosettes of furry, silvery-gray leaves to 4 inches long. In summer, it bears gray spikes tipped with tiny, pink-purple or violet flowers. This plant crowds out weeds. 'Silver Carpet' is a non-flowering cultivar. 'Big Ears' has 8- to 12-inch-long, grayish-white felted, mid-green leaves.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Plant lamb’s ears in a dry, sunny place where you can stroke it as you walk by—in a pot or between stepping stones. It spreads out by rooting stems. It is not invasive, but with ideal conditions it might self-seed in a dry, neglected corner.
Care:  Provide full sun or light shade and moist but well-drained soil. They tolerate drier soil as well, but not excessive heat or humidity.
Propagation:  Divide or remove rooted sections in spring as growth begins.
Problems:  Prone to powdery mildew and sometimes rust and leaf spot. Slugs and caterpillars can cause problems.

Overview

Height
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Habit
Spreads
Light
Full Sun Only
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Characteristics
Showy Foliage
Bloom Time
Summer
Flower Color
Pink Yarrow,
Niagara
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Container,
Ground Covers
Seasonal Interest
Summer Interest
Type
Perennials

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