Stachys is a large genus of about 300 species of annuals, perennials, and a few shrubs from varying habitats in north temperate regions. Opposite, wooly or hairy leaves grow on square stems. Tubular, 2-lipped flowers can be white, yellow, pink, red, or purple. They are borne in racemes or spikes and often attract insects. Taller species are useful in borders. Lower-growing species make good edging, ground cover, or rock-garden specimens.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsLeaves are hairy or wooly. Flowers often attract bees and butterflies.
CareNeeds well-drained, moderately fertile soil in full sun. Some species can tolerate part shade. Rock garden species need very well-drained, gritty soil and protection from winter moisture.
PropagationSow seed in a cold frame in spring or fall. Divide or remove rooted sections of perennials as growth begins in spring. Shrubs and subshrubs can be propagated from greenwood cuttings in early summer.
ProblemsProne to powdery mildew, rust, and leaf spots. Slugs and caterpillars can be problems as well.