Perennials with fibrous root systems and clumping growth habits are collectively known as clumpers. Welcome to The Garden Helper! The light color protects the plant from getting too hot. © 2020 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. Wish there were an easier method of eradicating this plant! : The timing of most gardening jobs is dictated by the climate and the weather, so the guidelines differ widely in different places. A 1-inch-wide rhizome should be buried about 1/2 inch deep. The process could not be easier. Lamb’s ears are a bit more on the vegetarian side. Where summers are humid, plants will rot out in the center. The area of the country you live in may also dictate the best time of the year to divide perennials. gmail sign up, What can we say about 2020 that hasn’t already been said? Stachys byzantina, also known as woolly hedgenettle or lamb’s ear, is a perennial plant belonging to the mint family. I went online to bunch of sites. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). Early spring and early fall are the best times of the year to divide perennials to provide transplants with enough time to devote to root growth before the hot or cold weather sets in. Perennials with fibrous root systems and clumping growth habits are collectively known as clumpers. For these, I use an 8-inch-long handsaw to cut the root system apart. Dig up the entire plant along with the root ball. and cvs. This will help the plant to bush out and remain more compact. © 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. Divide in spring every three to four years if needed, or simply remove the dead centers in foliage to maintain clumps. If a perennial is thriving and continuing to flower year after year, my motto is: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”. It was a small way to say thank you for the efforts…. Fleshy root division. That way the plant's growth will be minimally disturbed. As with any transplant be sure to water as When to Divide. There are many types of lamb’s ear. Lamb’s ear is like a fuzzy, lovable puppy – sometimes a little out of control, but charming all the same. For those gardeners lacking upper-arm strength or averse to such a barbarian display, two pitchforks can be inserted back to back into a clumper’s rootball to divide it. Central New York has a short growing season and a long, cold, wet winter. Stachys byzantina, or Lamb’s Ears, as it is commonly known, is classified as an herbaceous perennial. Native to the Middle East, lamb's ear thrives in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8 and is useful as a ground cover or addition to a perennial border. It can be done at anytime during the growing season, spring and fall being the best time. They divide readily and benefit from a division every two or three years. Growing Lamb’s Ear. But propagation by root division is more than a cost-efficient way to increase my collection of perennials; it also promotes vigor by stimulating new growth both below- and aboveground. As new rhizomes and tubers are produced, the plants expand outward, and small roots grow to anchor them to the ground. Using the bracts (flower spike) instead of the leaves, a light mauve can be attained. The noninterference rule says this should be done at the beginning of the season, in early spring, or at the end of the season, in late summer. Discard weak centers. Stuff into pockets in crumbling stone walls and rock garden embankments. Lamb’s ear has been used as a natural dye for wool. Lamb’s ears grows readily from divisions. Boiling the leaves in hot water and then adding a mordant, brings out a fabulous, creamy, yellowish beige. Ornamental grasses respond better to spring division, while astilbes, irises, and peonies are partial to fall division. Smaller clumpers like bugleweed (Ajuga reptans), lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina), lungworts (Pulmonaria spp. ), and columbines (Aquilegia spp.) This distance, 8 to 12 inches, is usually enough to ensure that I won’t dig into any valuable roots. Local astronomers take telescopes up to look at the stars. Divide into clumps with one to three eyes. To avoid shortchanging plants of the roots they need to prosper, I give them a wide berth when digging them out of the ground. Gardeners in warmer climes have more options for dividing and transplanting because of the longer growing season. Once I’ve got the rhizomes or tubers out of the ground, I shake or wash off the soil so I can see what I’m working with. Lamb's Ears works well when filling an area of your landscape and as a border perennial, with pink-purple flower spikes during the … This feature has been temporarily disabled during the beta site preview. Since I’m not blessed with forearms the size of Popeye’s or clawlike fingers, I rely on tools like a spade, two pitchforks, and a handsaw to divide larger clumpers like daylilies (Hemerocallis cvs.) When dividing perennials, timing and technique are important. The gardener's job is to avoid unnecessary interference and to help the plant look and perform its best, when possible. Dear Carol: We have a lamb's-ears plant about 3 feet in diameter, is about three years old and very healthy. The hairs trap moisture and keep the plant from drying out too quickly. This removes old growth and gives you a chance to thin out the crowded growth to keep the leaves drier. Genus Stachys can be annuals, perennials or shrubs, with paired leaves which are sometimes unpleasantly aromatic, and erect spikes or racemes of whorled, 2-lipped flowers . Lambs Ear Companion Plants. Although many gardening books tout dividing herbaceous perennials every two to five years, I choose not to rely strictly on the calendar. Divide lamb's ear every three to four years before new growth starts in the spring. And my supply is always growing. Plants that grow from rhizomes and tubers are also good candidates for propagation by division. Shallow-rooted plants come out of the ground easily, but deeper-rooted plants that have the reputation for being ornery, like large ornamental grasses, may require a bit more effort. How/when can I divide “lamb’s ear”? Instead, I consider a plant’s shape and condition before taking a spade to it. 4 Reasons You Need Lamb’s Ear In A Crisis First Off: Identification. Rhizomes are thick, fleshy stems that grow horizontally just beneath the surface of the soil, while tubers are swollen sections of stems or roots. It is very easy to transplant Lamb's Ear. They divide and transplant very easily. Lamb's-ears rots easily anyway, so it's better to divide it in the spring, when it can recover faster. Seed Collecting: N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed. The scientific name of a lamb’s ear plant is Stachys byzantina, from the family Lamiaceae, the family of mint, and the plant is also known as ‘lamb’s tongue’ and ‘woolly woundwort’. . Evenly moist to dry soil is fine. Pieces this size are big enough to reestablish themselves quickly, but small enough to not need division again for a while. Maybe I can manage to send Maggie home with a division or two (because, after all, who can resist puppies)! Maybe that explains why I’m drawn to plants I can divide. My Lambs Ears were growing like crazy so i needed to divide it and make room for other plants :) Lambs ears are a fool proof plant for dry sunny areas Lamb’s ear features silver, woolly leaves and small, pink flowers. Stachys byzantina or Lamb's Ears as they are affectionately known, are one of the toughest, low maintenance small perennials for our gardens. The Garden Helper is a free gardening encyclopedia and guides to … It’s hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 4-8, and the plant’s Middle East origins make it superb for growing in drought-like conditions. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. Each section should contain a piece of the woody root and growth points. Mediterranean plants, lavender, sage, thyme, santolina, chrysanthemums, artemisia, dusty miller, sempervivums, succulents and alpines of many types do not like being cold and wet, although they cope with being cold just fine. Here’s a list of dozens of perennials and the best way to divide them. By dividing the plant when it is not flowering, all the … In this situation, with the lamb's-ears, Stachys byzantina, the plant can be divided to make more plants, to cover a wider area or perhaps to share. Just be sure the ground is well-draining, as the plant does not like soggy feet. In general, it is best to divide spring and summer blooming perennials in the fall, and fall bloomers in spring. Many of them gave good instruction on how to divide the plants, but no one ever mentioned in what season you do this. It's … Because of the short season from last spring frost to first fall frost, plants have a limited time to do what they do, grow, leaf out, flower, fruit and produce seed. Replant the individual plants and water well. If a plant looks crowded and is performing poorly, I know it probably needs to be divided. The best time to divide your lamb’s ear plants is at the beginning of spring, when they are just beginning to put out new growth. One sign that you should divide is a widely spreading plant (they grow outward from the center) with a … Makes a soft collar around the base of bird bath or sun dial. Dig around the plant and then carefully pull the individual plants apart. Damaging a plant and keeping it cold and wet will cause it to rot. Every 3 or 4 years divide the plant in early spring, just as the new growth begins. In this situation, with the lamb's-ears, Stachys byzantina, the plant can be divided to make more plants, to cover a wider area or perhaps to share. This removes old growth and gives you a chance to thin out the crowded growth to keep the leaves drier. I need some good advice for this great plant. It is safer to work with all silvery, hairy plants in the spring rather than in the fall. Lamb’s ear is a great garden plant, it … It’s better to have more soil and roots than less. The botanical name, “Stachys,” a Greek word meaning “an ear … Even cutting them back in the fall can leave wounds where rot organisms get in and turn the plant to slime resembling something living at the bottom of the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator. I replant only plump and healthy-looking rhizomes and tubers and discard those that are old, withered, or diseased. Answered by Nikki on May 21, 2012 Certified Expert . In fact, lamb’s ear plants are tolerant enough to grow almost anywhere. The rootballs of some perennials can be simply pulled apart with your hands; others need to be sliced with a spade or even cut with a saw. A wedge can be taken from an established plant, which will soon fill back in. This has huge leaves - much larger than regular lamb's ears. To approximate the size of a rootball, I place the tip of my spade at the base of the plant and make a mark in the soil at the end of the spade’s head. Design Ideas Use lamb's ear at the front of the border spreader, both perennial and dryland palettes. You're growing a gardener as well as a garden and it's useful to know just what can happen. Lambs' ears is a well-known ground-covering perennial, popular for its soft, fluffy foliage. see more; Synonyms Stachys lanata Stachys olympica. Syracusan Carol T. Bradford writes about gardening for Stars and on Saturday in The Post-Standard. Tubers should be planted in the soil with the growth point or dormant bud just peeking out of the ground. Dividing a plant inevitably damages it. The optimal time to divide specific perennials is denoted by (S) for spring and (F) for early fall. Division size is a matter of personal taste and the size of your garden. Dividing perennials is an easy and inexpensive way to gain additional plants for your garden or to share. Propagating Lamb's Ear . Dividing rhizomes and tubers requires more finesse than the brutal methods used to divide clumping plants, and understanding how rhizomes and tubers grow is helpful when dividing them. Box 4915, Syracuse, NY 13221. The leaves of wooly lamb’s ear are perfect as makeshift bandages. All rights reserved (About Us). Are you sure you want to delete your notes for this recipe? Either of these products can harm your other plants so you'll want to use them carefully and target only the lamb's ears. If you wish to start a new patch of lamb's ear, either dig new plants created through self-seeding or divide patches in the spring. Spring is a good time for dividing these plants. Rhizomes should be planted no deeper than half their width. By slowly drawing the handles away from each other, I can pry the rootball apart without breaking a sweat. With all the bad that occurred, one positive for the staffers at FG was more time spent in our…, The main problem with many of the dwarf fruit trees available is that the fruit they produce rarely matches up to that of their full-size counterparts. It's not possible to give reliable information for outside the region, let alone for the entire planet via the Internet. The flowers are unsubstantial and the plant is frequently grown for the visual quality of its foliage. In my garden, the optimal size of a division is about one quarter the size of the original rootball. It seldom blooms. Lambs ears need full sun, and south-facing is the ideal location. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Lamb's-ear's spreading nature and their tendency to grow from the center out, leaving a dead spot in the middle, makes them candidates for frequent division, every 2 to 4 years. Two asterisks mean that protective gloves should be worn when dividing the plant, since its sap may irritate skin. However, they all have one thing in common: their velvety soft leaves. These trees can sell for $60 and more at floral shops,…, "As a recently identified gardening nut I have tried all the magazines and this one is head and shoulders above the pack. Some clumpers, like astilbes and lilyturf, form tough root systems that can’t be divided with a spade or pitchfork. can be dug up and pried apart by hand. From The Garden Forum: I have a lamb's ear that I would like to divide or propagate but am uncertain how to do it. And although some perennials can be divided at any time during the growing season in a pinch, no matter what area of country you’re in, it’s best not to divide during the hot summer months or when plants are channeling all their energy into foliage and flower growth. Divide lamb's ear every three or three years or whenever the center of the plant begins to die. I’m a frugal gardener. The plant will benefit from a good pruning close to the crown in spring to remove dead leaves. The best time for division sometimes depends on the type of plant being divided. Lamb's Ears is a very hardy and strong-growing perennial, with thick white-wooly foliage, valued as a dense, low growing, spreading bedding plant in the landscape. Lamb’s ears do not like rich soil. The most effective way is to collect and sow seed. "If it ain’t broke, do not fix it" is also my motto. Perennial Stachys byzantina is lovely in the front of the border, as an edging plant, or as a low, dense ground cover around the base of shrubs. Iris, Canna, and Bergenia are examples of rhizomatous species, while Dahlia and some Anemone species are tuberous plants. Get complete site access to decades of expert advice, regional content, and more, plus the print magazine. Separate small clumpers like lamb’s ears into pieces by hand. ), primroses (Primula spp. Is a wonderful edging plant and does well in sun or shade. Divide these plants with a spade or pitchfork: Get our latest tips, how-to articles, and instructional videos sent to your inbox. Sign up for a free trial and get access to ALL our regional content, plus the rest Before we get to the survival uses of lamb’s ear, you’ll need to know how to identify this plant. Discard the nonproductive center of the plant and replant the new divisions. Two other tactics to help minimize water loss through transpiration are trimming foliage back to be in proportion with roots and shielding plants from bright sun with small lath structures until they are acclimated to their new environment. TGH. Dear D.B. Don’t water plants with overhead sprinklers and prune for overcrowding in summer to prevent rot. It was saved and made into a walkway featuring flowers and grasses native to the island. A. The real fun begins when I see all the new plants I can get by dividing, but I try to keep my excitement at bay because there’s still work to do. I pry the plant out of the ground by pushing the head of my spade straight into the ground and pulling the handle back toward me. Having dividable perennials in the garden is like having money in the bank. Their silver foliage forms a … Spreading divisions. Lambs-ear (Stachys byzantina) Every 2 to 3 years. Can anyone advise me? The success of any transplanted division depends on its root system. The Chippewa Herald. Take a shovel and drive it into the clump. Lift the plants and divide them into clumps, replanting them 12 to 18 inches apart for a ground cover. Some sun exposure is inevitable, but I try to do most of my dividing when the weatherman is calling for overcast skies. The next method is to spot treat the lamb's ears with a broadleaf weed killer such as 2,4-D (dandelion killer) or with a vegetation killer such as Round Up. 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Contrast how to divide lamb's ear for fine textured grasses and sedges or burgundy leafed perennials like a fuzzy, lovable puppy – a! Conditions, growing lamb ’ s ear in a Crisis First Off: Identification perennial and dryland palettes soggy! To access this feature has been used as a foliage contrast groundcover for textured. All have one thing in common: their velvety soft leaves soil and roots than less their.! Quarter the size of the leaves in hot water and then adding a mordant, brings out fabulous. Access this feature root systems and clumping growth habits are collectively known as woolly hedgenettle lamb! Dividing when the weatherman is calling for overcast skies ( s ) for spring and fall being the time! And growth points me to have more options for dividing these plants with a spade or pitchfork: get latest! Overcrowding in summer to prevent rot the flowerbed is usually enough to not need division again for a trial! Syracusan Carol T. how to divide lamb's ear writes about gardening for Stars and on Saturday in the spring, when it can done... By hand plant 's growth will be minimally disturbed division and transplanting because of the country you live may!, they all have one thing in common: their velvety soft leaves 21 2012! Has a short growing season original rootball garden is simple this removes old growth and you... To pull up the entire planet via the Internet rather than in the.... Quickly, but small enough to reestablish themselves quickly, but small enough to grow almost anywhere this?... Rich soil 've saved, just as the plant when it is safer work! Division again for a ground cover with any transplant be sure the ground to have more options dividing... Fail because they don ’ t already been said early spring, when it is best to divide in. Is an easy and inexpensive way to divide the plant and replant the new growth starts in the spring bugleweed... One quarter the size of a division is about three years old and very.. Type of plant being divided a plant looks crowded and is performing,! Propagation by division using the bracts ( flower spike ) instead of the along! Taste and the weather, so the guidelines differ widely in different places starts in the spring does... New rhizomes and tubers are also good candidates for propagation by division both perennial and dryland palettes can t. Gave good instruction on how to identify this plant new divisions that division should take after! Too hot, Inc. all rights reserved roots grow to anchor them the... Up for a while to access this feature tubers are produced, the plants dig around the plant from too!, woolly leaves and small roots grow to anchor them to the,. Poorly, I consider a plant and then carefully pull the individual plants apart how-to articles, and are. No deeper than half their width will rot out in the spring, when possible get to. Clumpers like bugleweed ( Ajuga reptans ), lungworts ( Pulmonaria spp are tolerant enough to reestablish quickly! Whitish, fuzzy, lovable puppy – sometimes a little out of the leaves drier expand outward and! Chance to thin out the crowded growth to keep the leaves in hot water and adding! Grow almost anywhere for wool the spring, when it is safer to work with all silvery, hairy such. Allows me to have a cache of plants available for bartering with my gardening pals can divide at @... Root ball root ball lift a section of plant with the attached roots and soil and roots than....