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Stachys byzantina ‘Silky Fleece’ (Lamb’s Ears)

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Stachys byzantina ‘Silky Fleece’ is a charming cultivar of the well-known Lamb’s Ear, appreciated for its ornamental qualities and compact size.

Stachys byzantina ‘Silky Fleece’: An In-depth Look

‘Silky Fleece’ is a dwarf variety of Lamb’s Ear, boasting the same silver-gray, velvety foliage but in a more compact form. The leaves of this foliage plant are soft and fuzzy, making it a tactile delight in gardens.

Native: Stachys byzantina is native to the Middle East, specifically to regions in Turkey, Armenia, and Iran.

Plant Type and Habit: This cultivar is a perennial, herbaceous plant with a clumping and low-growing habit. It forms dense mats of foliage, ideal for ground cover or edging. It tends to be evergreen but can die back during cold winters and re-sprout from the crowns.

Size: ‘Silky Fleece’ is smaller than the typical Lamb’s Ear, growing only about 2-3 inches tall (5-7 cm), up to 10 inches in flower (25 cm), with a spread of 6-10 inches (15-25 cm).

Flowers: The flowers are small, pink to purplish, and bloom on short spikes. They add an extra layer of interest to the already appealing foliage of this cultivar.

Bloom Time: Flowering occurs in late spring or early summer.

Foliage: The foliage is highly prized for its distinctive appearance and texture. The leaves are smaller and more delicate compared to the standard Lamb’s Ear, yet they retain the same iconic silver-gray color and soft, velvety texture that makes this species so beloved.

Each leaf is densely covered in fine hairs, giving it a silky, plush feel that is particularly appealing in tactile gardens. The color is a beautiful silver-gray, providing a striking contrast against green foliage and bright flowers in the garden. The leaves are also slightly wrinkled or crinkled, adding to the plant’s overall visual interest.

Uses: Perfect for rock gardens, borders, ground covers, and container gardens. Its small size makes it suitable for tight spaces and front-of-border placements.

Hardiness: It is hardy in USDA zones 5-8, showing a good range of cold tolerance.

Wildlife: The plant is not a significant attractor of wildlife but may offer some shelter to small garden creatures.

Toxicity: Lamb’s Ear is not known to be toxic to humans or pets.

Deer and Rabbit: It is generally resistant to deer and rabbits, thanks to its fuzzy leaves.

Drought: Once established, it is quite drought-tolerant, making it a good choice for xeriscaping.

Invasiveness: This cultivar is not considered invasive and typically grows within its planting area without aggressive spreading.

Benefits: ‘Silky Fleece’ offers aesthetic appeal with its unique texture and compact form. It’s low-maintenance and drought-tolerant, making it a practical choice for various garden styles.

Lamb’s Ear Growing Tips

Light: Prefers full sun to partial shade. Full sun encourages denser foliage growth and better overall health.

Soil: Thrives in moderately fertile, well-drained soil. It tolerates a range of soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils with good drainage.

Water: Once established, Stachys byzantina is drought-tolerant. Water regularly until the plant is established, then reduce frequency. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.

Fertilizer: Requires no fertilization since it prefers soil that is not rich. If necessary, apply a light layer of compost or a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring.

Pruning: Trim back the flower stalks after blooming to maintain a tidy appearance. Remove any damaged or spent foliage to encourage new growth.

Propagation: Easily propagated by dividing the clumps in spring or fall.

Pests and Diseases: Generally pest-resistant. Watch out for slugs and snails. Overly moist conditions can lead to root rot or fungal diseases. Good air circulation and proper spacing can help prevent these issues.

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Lamiaceae
Genus Stachys
Common names Lamb's Ear
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2" - 10"
(5cm - 25cm)
Spread 6" - 10"
(15cm - 25cm)
Spacing 6" - 10"
(15cm - 25cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes, Beds And Borders, Edging, Ground Covers, Patio And Containers, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage, Coastal Garden, City and Courtyard
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’ (Lamb’s Ears)
Stachys byzantina ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy’ (Lamb’s Ears)
Stachys byzantina ‘Helen von Stein’ (Lamb’s Ears)
Stachys palustris (Marsh Betony)
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ears)
Stachys officinalis ‘Hummelo’ (Bettony)

Recommended Companion Plants

Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle)
Achillea (Yarrow)
Sedum (Stonecrop)
Salvia (Sage)
Allium (Ornamental Onion)
Hosta (Plantain Lily)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Best Foliage Plants for Your Garden
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Lamiaceae
Genus Stachys
Common names Lamb's Ear
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2" - 10"
(5cm - 25cm)
Spread 6" - 10"
(15cm - 25cm)
Spacing 6" - 10"
(15cm - 25cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes, Beds And Borders, Edging, Ground Covers, Patio And Containers, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage, Coastal Garden, City and Courtyard
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Stachys
Guides with
Stachys
Not sure which Stachys to pick?
Compare Now

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