Stachys byzantina (Lamb's ears)

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by SimonZ, Sep 17, 2020.

  1. SimonZ

    SimonZ Gardener

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    These are always something of a quiet surprise for me, I forget about them every year and they emerge in mid summer, usually. I am probably doing everything wrong because I see they are supposed to prefer full sun or light shade, yet in my garden are found beneath a towering umbrella of perovskia, with an enormous buddleja in front of that, so hardly any light. But they just seem to have made that patch of ground their own. If anything I think they're even prettier after flowering, when they just seem to flop into this languorous pose with the leaves seeming to multiply. As you can see from the second photo in particular though, some leaves are now browning a little and I'm wondering what to do as we head into autumn. Is there a good time for dividing stachys, or ought I to just leave them to do their own thing? Should I lop off any unhealthy looking leaves?

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    • Scrungee

      Scrungee Well known for it

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      I don't see any signs of flowers on your Lambs Ears. When I visited a local NT property earlier this year, the ones on a south facing bank were smothered with blooms and covered in insects.
       
    • SimonZ

      SimonZ Gardener

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      They flowered from mid May to approx mid Aug. As I say, my main query now is what to do as we head into autumn. For example, is there a good time for dividing stachys, or ought I to just leave them to do their own thing? Should I lop off any unhealthy looking leaves?
       
    • Sian in Belgium

      Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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      I normally cut back the spent flower-stems to the base rosette. The plants die back completely over winter, so I wait until the leaves have all gone brown, then a gentle finger-through over and around the plants removes the leaves completely. If I want to move/divide them, I find this is the best time, as they have a chance to get a few roots down before winter sets in. We have very dry springs here, so it helps to have the plants starting to establish before the spring/summer drought hits them.
       
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      • SimonZ

        SimonZ Gardener

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        Thank you; I will do this.
         
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