Lambs ears (Stachys byzantina) is an interesting gray leaf plant for sun or very light shade. This is one of those plants that you either love or hate but there are few gardeners in the middle on this one.
The “like ” factor usually revolves around the flowers of this plant; they ‘re a pinkish shade carried on spikes above the lovely gray foliage. Many gardeners cut it off, not allowing the plant to flower and many grow one of the flowerless varieties.
Foliage is a fuzzy gray, small leaved plant that makes an excellent ground cover.
- Light: full sun to light shade
- Bloomtime: mid summer
- Bloom color: pinkish
- Hardiness: USDA zone 4
- Propagation: Division in spring or fall or seed
- Uses: Use this plant as a ground cover in protected areas or as a gray leaf accent plant.
Lambs ears does not tolerate drought very well and prefers an evenly damp soil. It will tolerate damper soils for brief periods of time but winter wet is to be avoided as is a mulch around the leaves.
Varieties to Look For
- ‘Big Ears’ – leaves very large, up to 25 cm long.’Cotton Ball’ – a sterile cultivar – no flowers
- ‘Primrose Heron’ – leaves yellow in spring; flowers pink
- ‘Sheila Macqueen’ – sterile; low-growing; leaves large.’Silky Fleece’ – grows 25 cm tall with lilac-plum flowers
- ‘Silver Carpet’ – sterile, smallish leaves
- ‘Striped Phantom’ – variegated leaves