Content Detail

Lamb’s ears is well loved for its densely hairy leaves. Keeping those fuzzy leaves dry is important for the health and beauty of this plant.

  • Family (English) Mint
  • Family (botanic) Lamiaceae
  • Tree or plant type Ground cover, Perennial
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium plant (12-24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Occasional drought
  • Season of interest early fall, early summer, late spring, late summer, mid fall, mid spring, midsummer
  • Flower color and fragrance Pink
  • Shape or form Creeping, Mounded, Upright
  • Growth rate Fast, Moderate

Size and Method of spreading:

Lamb’s ears is a low-growing to mounded ground cover, growing 12 to 15 inches high. It takes on a more upright appearance as the flower stalks develop. It is a colonizing ground cover. Colonizing ground covers produce underground stems that spread out horizontally and shallowly, produce roots and then send up new shoots. These plants are strong growers and may have the potential to grow aggressively.

Native geographic location and habitat:

This plant is native to Turkey and Iran.

Leaf description:

Leaves are mostly growing from the base of the plant and are oblong to elliptic.  They are densely hairy, giving the plant a gray-green to whitish appearance and a soft, felt-like feel.

Flower description:

Small, purple-pink flowers are borne on upright stalks and grow up to 6 inches tall.  Flowering time is from summer into frost, but the flowers are not very showy.

Fruit description:

Fruit are small nutlets and not ornamentally important.

Plant care:

It is important for this plant to have well drained soil.  Overhead watering can be a problem as well, since the hairy leaves can trap water and this leads to rot.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Rot and leaf diseases can be a problem when conditions are too wet. Slugs can also be a problem, but it is resistant to deer and tolerant of black walnut toxicity.

Big Ears lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina ‘Big Ears’):

Large, silvery-green leaves in dense rosettes.  Few to no flowers produced. Also sold under the name ‘Helene von Stein’.

Fuzzy Wuzzy lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy’):

Silvery-white leaves produced in dense clusters, making for a full ground cover.

Silky Fleece lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina ‘Silky Fleece’):

A dwarf variety with smaller leaves. Grows to 3 to 4 inches high in leaf; up to ten inches when in flower.

Silver Carpet lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’):

Seldom produces flowers.


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