Lamb’s Ear

Lamb’s Ear

Delightful soft, downy foliage resembles lamb’s ears in feel and appearance.

Silvery appearance is ideal for contrasting and grey gardens.

Formerly used to bandage wounds.

Hardy Zone 4-9.

Lamb’s ear is a heat resistant ornamental plant classified as an herb that is native to Turkey, Armenia and Iran, though it can be found commonly in most parts of the world and Lamb’s ear is an herb that adds striking visual appeal to any garden.

As the name would suggest, lamb’s ear produces leaves with a shape similar to that of a real lamb’s ears.

They are primarily a creeping plant that usually does not grow more than one foot high.

Lamb’s Ear produce light purple flowers on tall spikes that can grow over two feet high that bees find very attractive.

They grow very easily and are considered a weed in their native lands.

Lamb’s Ear make great additions to any rambling garden and can be used to form low ornamental hedges.

They are grown primarily for the soft velvety texture and vibrant color of their foliage rather than their flowers and are often used in children’s gardens because of their soft feel.

For planting or seeding choose a site with full sun and well-drained soil.

Starting from seed:

Dig up the first 4 or 5 inches of soil across the entire area and set aside in a container for mixing. The soil must be prepared to meet the needs of the lamb’s ear to ensure you will get the best possible results. Mix the soil up with plenty of sand and peat moss. This will lighten the soil and allow it to drain more quickly.

Lay half of the soil back down in an even layer. Distribute seeds across the soil, scattering them widely like you were placing grass seeds, though not in such high amounts. Throw the rest of the soil over the top of the seeds.

Use a rake to spread an inch thick layer of mulch over the top of the soil to prevent weeds taking root while you wait for the lamb’s ear to grow. This layer will also protect fully grown lamb’s ear from mildew problems and possible slug damage later on.

Water the mulch lightly and do so regularly every 3 or 4 days. Lamb’s ear is very drought resistant but also very prone to damage from being overwatered so make sure to water sparingly. You should have sprouts in six weeks and healthy juvenile plants by the end of the summer. The lamb’s ear will have fully matured by the middle of the next spring and will begin to propagate themselves to fill in any gaps where other plants did not sprout.

To encourage outward growth it is important to deadhead the flower spikes shortly after they begin to wilt.

Also by trimming the outermost leaves you will encourage the foliage of each lamb’s ear to thicken.

For plants:

Dig a hole for each plant no deeper than the plants were growing in the containers; space the holes 1 foot apart.

Add a light application of organic fertilizer to the planting holes before setting the plants in.

Mulch around but not on top of the plants with 3 inches of organic compost.

Water well until soil is completely moist, weekly, during the first year only.

After Lamb’s Ear becomes established it is quite drought resistant.

Packet. App. 50 seeds. $3.00




 

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