Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Lambs Ear Plant Profiles

During the winter months I thought it would be fun to showcase plant profiles of my favorite garden workhorse plants and new plants I'm interested in growing. This week's plant profile is Lambs Ear.

Lambs Ear (Stachys byzantina) is an herb, an easy to grow ground cover that is known for the softness and shape of its plant leaves, hence the name Lambs Ear. The plant spreads easily and grows in a thick pattern, perfect for sunny areas on garden banks or in places where not much else will grow. Lambs Ear tends to be invasive in warmer climates, the roots spread easily and the plant may self-seed profusely, so plant carefully. The thick mat that Lambs Ear creates is ideal for areas under shrubs or lining walkways, the plant's leaves are soft, woolly, and downy feeling, making this a great plant for children to enjoy. Lambs Ears require full sun to partial shade for best growth pattern. Most Lambs Ear varieties have green leaves and bloom with tall spikes of pink flowers in late spring/early summer. The Silver Carpet variety does not bloom, but instead sports a lovely silver leaf color, and tends to grow slowly. Lambs Ear prefer full sun and well-drained soil. The plant may need dividing every two to four years, a good covering of mulch helps this low growing plant do its best for the garden.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stachys_byzantina_flowers.jpg

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