Santolina or Lavender Cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus), a favorite of Mediterranean gardens, is a beautiful evergreen shrub noted not only for its dense, fine, silvery gray-green foliage all year around but for its drought tolerance.
- Blooming occurs in summer with a display of small button-like bright yellow flowers, but Santolina is mostly grown for its foliage.
- Hardy to zones 6 to 9, it typically grows in broad, dense mounds up to 24 in. tall (60 cm) and 36 in. wide (90 cm) in dry to medium, well-drained soils and thrives in full sun.
- A poor, dry soil lover (rich soils or wet soils to be avoided!), Santolina is a great candidate for beds, borders, rock gardens and contributes to lovely edgings.
- Drought tolerant once established, deer and rabbit resistant!
- Unpruned plants tend to become sparse and woody in the center. Cut back yearly, before spring growth begins to help control this trait. You can simply trim as needed around the edges or cut the whole plant back to a few inches high. After the blossoms fade, shear or clip off flowering shoots. In cold winters, plants may die to the ground but they should send out new growth in spring.