Simply Trees

Lamb's Ear Garden Shrub

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Twice a monthFull sunDeer resistantSpring to summer
  • Soft, Textured Foliage: The plant's leaves are incredibly soft to the touch, adding a tactile element to the garden.
  • Drought Tolerance: Once established, Lamb's Ear requires minimal watering, making it ideal for dry or water-wise landscapes.
  • Versatile Garden Use: Works well as a ground cover, in borders, or in rock gardens, providing both visual and textural interest.

More Details

Lamb's Ear, scientifically known as Stachys byzantina, is a beloved perennial herb celebrated for its soft, velvety, silver-gray foliage that resembles the ears of a lamb, giving it its common name. This low-growing plant is prized for its texture and visual interest in the garden, forming dense mats that serve as excellent ground cover or edging plants. In addition to its attractive foliage, Lamb's Ear produces tall spikes of small, pink to purple flowers in early to mid-summer, adding height and color contrast to its display. Its drought tolerance and low maintenance requirements make it a popular choice for xeriscaping, rock gardens, and borders, as well as for sensory gardens due to the unique feel of its leaves.

Growth rate: Moderate growth rate; mature height of 12-18 inches and width of 18-24 inches.

Please note: Images on our website depict plants and trees at full maturity to showcase their expected grown characteristics. These images are illustrative examples only and do not represent the size of plants or trees upon delivery.

Pruning: Deadhead flowers to maintain a neat appearance and to prevent self-seeding. Cut back foliage in late fall or early spring to encourage fresh growth.

Fertilization: Requires minimal fertilization. If necessary, apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring.

Winter Protection: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to protect the roots and provide insulation from freezing temperatures.

Choose a location with well-draining soil in full sun to partial shade. Dig a hole as deep and twice as wide as the root ball. Plant the Lamb's Ear, backfill with soil, and water thoroughly. Space plants 18-24 inches apart to allow for spread and air circulation.

Water regularly during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system; once established, it is highly drought-tolerant. Prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade, where it may produce fewer flowers.

We process and ship your order as quickly as possible, typically within 1-3 business days. You will receive a shipping confirmation with tracking information once your item(s) ship.

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!

In cases of extreme cold or hot weather, we may temporarily delay shipping to ensure the well-being of your plants. Our primary focus is on delivering healthy and thriving plants to you. Rest assured, we'll make every effort to notify you of any delays promptly.

Please allow additional ship times during inclement weather and sale periods. We do not process or ship orders on the weekend or U.S. Holidays. Simply Trees is not responsible for delays due to carriers, local disruptions, or weather.

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At Simply Trees, we're committed to your satisfaction. If your plants arrive considerably damaged or sustained damage beyond the point of recovery, please contact us within five days at with clear photos for assistance. Our 30-day guarantee covers issues after planting, subject to our terms and conditions. We can't cover plants in the wrong climate or with inadequate care, but we're here to help in other situations. For a detailed understanding of our 30-day guarantee and how we ensure a fair process, click here to learn more.


Zones 4-8

Lamb's Ear thrives in USDA Zones 4-8, adapting to a variety of soil conditions, provided they are well-drained. Its preference for full sun to partial shade and its drought-resistant nature make it a flexible addition to both sunny and partially shaded areas of the garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

Lamb's Ear typically grows to a moderate size, forming low-growing mounds or clumps of foliage. The plant typically reaches a height of around 6 to 24 inches and spreads outward to form a mat-like ground cover. The spread of Lamb's Ear can vary depending on growing conditions, but it generally ranges from 12 to 24 inches wide.

While Lamb's Ear is not a particularly tall plant, its soft, velvety foliage and dense growth habit make it a popular choice for edging borders, filling in gaps in flower beds, or creating ground cover in sunny areas of the garden. Its compact size and attractive foliage also make it suitable for container gardening, where it can spill over the edges of pots or planters.

Lamb's Ear is known for its relatively fast growth rate, particularly in favorable growing conditions. Under optimal conditions, Lamb's Ear can spread quickly, forming dense mats of foliage. However, the exact growth rate can vary depending on factors such as climate, soil quality, sunlight exposure, and moisture levels.

In general, Lamb's Ear tends to establish itself rapidly in the garden, especially in spring and early summer when temperatures are mild and moisture levels are adequate. Once established, it can continue to grow steadily throughout the growing season, producing new foliage and expanding its spread.

Regular pruning and division may be necessary to control its growth and prevent it from becoming invasive in the garden. Despite its rapid growth rate, Lamb's Ear is relatively easy to manage and can be maintained at the desired size with proper care and maintenance.

The best place to plant Lamb's Ear is in a location that provides full sun to partial shade. Here are some considerations for selecting the ideal planting spot:

Sunlight: Lamb's Ear thrives in full sun, receiving at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. However, it can also tolerate partial shade, especially in hotter climates where some protection from intense afternoon sun may be beneficial.

Soil: Choose a well-draining soil for planting Lamb's Ear. While it prefers slightly alkaline to neutral soil, it can adapt to a range of soil types, including sandy, loamy, or clay soil. Ensure that the soil is not overly compacted or prone to waterlogging.

Spacing: Plant Lamb's Ear with adequate spacing to allow for its spreading habit. Space individual plants about 12 to 18 inches apart to provide room for growth and airflow between plants.

Landscaping Uses: Lamb's Ear is versatile and can be used in various landscaping applications. It works well as a ground cover, edging plant, or border plant along pathways or garden beds. It also adds texture and interest to rock gardens, herb gardens, or cottage-style gardens.

Container Planting: Lamb's Ear can also be grown in containers or pots, making it suitable for patio gardens, balconies, or other small outdoor spaces. Choose a container with adequate drainage holes and use a well-draining potting mix.

Climate: Lamb's Ear is adaptable to a range of climates but generally prefers temperate regions with mild winters. It can tolerate heat and drought once established but may benefit from some protection in extremely hot or arid climates.

By considering these factors, you can select the best planting location for Lamb's Ear to ensure optimal growth and performance in your landscape.

Lamb's Ear is a low-maintenance and drought-tolerant perennial that is easy to care for. Here are some tips for caring for Lamb's Ear:

Sunlight: Plant Lamb's Ear in a location that receives full sun to partial shade. It prefers at least 6 hours of sunlight per day but can tolerate some shade.

Soil: Lamb's Ear thrives in well-draining soil. It prefers slightly alkaline to neutral soil but can tolerate a range of soil types, including poor or rocky soil.

Watering: Once established, Lamb's Ear is drought-tolerant and requires minimal watering. Water deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.

Pruning: Trim back any spent flower stalks to encourage new growth and maintain a tidy appearance. You can also prune back the foliage in the fall to tidy up the plant before winter.

Dividing: Lamb's Ear can become dense over time. To rejuvenate the plant and prevent overcrowding, divide clumps every few years in the spring or fall.

Pests and Diseases: Lamb's Ear is generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, it may occasionally attract aphids or spider mites. Monitor the plant regularly and treat any pest infestations promptly.

Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture and suppress weed growth. Avoid covering the crown of the plant with mulch to prevent rot.

Winter Care: In colder climates, Lamb's Ear may benefit from a layer of mulch or protective cover during the winter months to insulate the roots from freezing temperatures.

By following these care tips, you can enjoy healthy and vibrant Lamb's Ear plants in your garden with minimal effort.

Yes, Lamb's Ear has a tendency to spread, especially through its root system. It forms dense clumps of foliage and can gradually spread outwards over time. Additionally, Lamb's Ear can also self-seed under favorable conditions, further contributing to its spread in the garden. While its spreading habit can be desirable for filling in empty spaces or creating ground cover, it's important to monitor its growth and consider its potential for encroaching on other plants or areas of the garden where it is not wanted. Regular maintenance, such as dividing clumps and removing excess seedlings, can help control its spread and maintain desired boundaries in the landscape.

Lamb's Ear typically blooms once a year, usually in late spring to early summer. The plant produces tall spikes of small, purple to pinkish-purple flowers that rise above its fuzzy, silvery foliage. The bloom period can vary slightly depending on factors such as climate, growing conditions, and the specific cultivar of Lamb's Ear. After flowering, the spent flower stalks can be deadheaded to promote continued growth and prevent self-seeding, although the fuzzy leaves remain attractive even after the flowers fade. Overall, Lamb's Ear is valued not only for its flowers but also for its soft, textured foliage, which adds interest to the garden throughout the growing season.

Lamb's Ear generally benefits from some maintenance pruning in the fall to tidy up its appearance and promote healthy growth. Here are some guidelines for cutting back Lamb's Ear in the fall:

Remove Spent Flower Stalks: Trim off any spent flower stalks to encourage the plant to focus its energy on producing new foliage rather than setting seeds. This also helps prevent self-seeding, which can sometimes result in overcrowding.

Deadhead as Needed: If you notice any dead or yellowing leaves or stems, trim them back to the base of the plant. Removing dead or diseased foliage helps improve air circulation and reduces the risk of fungal diseases.

Trim Overgrown Areas: If your Lamb's Ear has become leggy or overgrown, you can trim back the outer edges or prune it back by one-third to one-half of its overall height. This helps maintain a more compact and tidy appearance.

Shape the Plant: Use hand pruners or shears to shape the plant as desired, removing any straggly or uneven growth. Lamb's Ear responds well to pruning and typically regrows quickly.

Mulch and Protect: After pruning, consider applying a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to help insulate the roots and protect them from winter cold. Additionally, if you live in an area with harsh winters, you may want to provide some extra protection, such as covering the plant with a layer of straw or evergreen boughs, to shield it from freezing temperatures and frost.

By performing these maintenance tasks in the fall, you can help keep your Lamb's Ear healthy and attractive, ready to flourish again in the spring.

Lamb's Ear is a versatile and attractive plant that can be used in various ways to enhance your landscape:

Groundcover: Plant Lamb's Ear in large groupings to create a lush, low-maintenance groundcover. Its dense, silvery foliage spreads quickly and effectively suppresses weeds, making it an excellent choice for filling in bare areas or covering slopes.

Border or Edging: Use Lamb's Ear along borders or edges of garden beds to provide a soft, textural contrast to other plants. Its compact growth habit and silvery leaves create a beautiful border that adds visual interest and definition to your garden.

Accent Plant: Plant Lamb's Ear as a focal point in mixed perennial or herbaceous borders. Its unique foliage texture and silver-gray coloration stand out against the backdrop of greenery and colorful flowers, adding visual appeal to your landscape.

Container Planting: Lamb's Ear can be grown in containers, such as pots or planters, either alone or combined with other plants. Its trailing growth habit makes it an excellent "spiller" in container gardens, softening the edges and adding a touch of elegance.

Rock Gardens: Incorporate Lamb's Ear into rock gardens or dry landscapes where its drought-tolerant nature and low-growing habit make it well-suited for thriving in rocky or gravelly soil conditions.

Pollinator Gardens: The small, inconspicuous flowers of Lamb's Ear are attractive to pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, making it a valuable addition to pollinator-friendly gardens. Plant it alongside other nectar-rich flowers to create a haven for beneficial insects.

Overall, Lamb's Ear is a versatile and easy-to-grow plant that offers both aesthetic and practical benefits in the landscape. Its adaptability to various growing conditions and landscape uses makes it a popular choice for gardeners seeking a low-maintenance yet visually appealing plant.

Lamb's Ear is drought-tolerant once established and generally does not require frequent watering. However, during periods of prolonged dryness or drought, it's recommended to water the plant deeply, ensuring that the soil around its roots remains consistently moist but not waterlogged. As a general guideline, water Lamb's Ear when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. In most cases, watering every 1-2 weeks should be sufficient, but adjust the frequency based on your local climate and weather conditions. It's essential to provide adequate drainage to prevent waterlogging, as Lamb's Ear is susceptible to root rot in overly wet soil.

Yes, Lamb's Ear is considered low maintenance. It's a hardy perennial plant that thrives in various conditions and requires minimal care. Its soft, fuzzy leaves retain moisture well, reducing the need for frequent watering. Additionally, Lamb's Ear is resistant to pests and diseases, making it an excellent choice for low-maintenance landscapes, borders, or ground cover. Simply provide it with well-draining soil, occasional watering, and some sunlight, and it will reward you with its attractive foliage year after year.

Our Process

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!