Lamb's Ears (Stachys byzantina) is a wonderful evergreen perennial, mostly grown for its rich rosettes of showy, velvety, silvery tongue-shaped leaves, resembling lamb's ears and bringing interest to the border. Pink-purple flower spikes appear in late spring or early summer. Their fuzzy flowers add textural interest, but cutting them off promotes foliage growth and improves the plant's vigor.
- Aside from its foliage interest, it is drought tolerant, deer and rabbit resistant and requires low maintenance and low watering.
- Extremely easy to grow, Lamb's Ears enjoys a low, spreading habit and forms a compact mound up to 6-8 in. tall (15-20 cm) or 12-18 in. in flower (30-45 cm) with a spread of 12-36 in. (30-90 cm).
- Thrives in full sun or light shade, in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils. Can tolerate poor soil conditions.
- Wonderful for edging beds, softening hard corners and walks, massed as a ground cover, as an accent in the border, underplanting roses or shrubs or in rock gardens. Works well as a filler and as a border perennial. Its silvery leaves are perfect foils for plants with hot- or cool-colored blossoms.
- Popular Lamb's Ears cultivars are:
Stachys byzantina 'Helen von Stein'or 'Big Ears' with attractive and fragrant foliage. It rarely sends up flower spikes.
Stachys byzantina 'Silver Carpet' with incredibly attractive silvery-green leaves. Rarely blooms.
- Remove damaged leaves for a neat planting. Can self-seed profusely.
- Plant in spring, spacing plants 1-3 ft. apart (30-90 cm), depending on the variety.
- Divide every 2-4 years