Lamb's Ear Plant Facts: Benefits, Caring, And Habitat | Kidadl


Lamb's Ear Plant Facts: Benefits, Caring, And Habitat

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Lamb's ears are a plant from the mint family.

They mainly grow in Turkey, Iran, and Armenia. They can survive in even harsh weather.

They are drought-tolerant and can rot if you give them too much water. They don't like humid conditions, as this can lead to fungal diseases in the plant. The plant is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic, so they work wonders as makeshift bandages in the wild.

Keep reading to learn more lamb's ear plant facts about this fascinating plant!

Life Cycle Of Lamb's Ear Plant

Lamb's ear plant is an attractive woolly plant, that grows in some Middle Eastern and Asian countries. These plants can live for a long time and can stay alive even in harsh climates.

Lamb's ear plant, or woolly hedgenettle, is scientifically known as Stachys byzantina. It is a flowering plant that belongs to the mint family, mainly seen around parts of some Asian and Middle Eastern countries, particularly Turkey, Iran, and Armenia.

These perennials can live for over two years and their flowers bloom year after year on their own. Their long life is owed to the roots of the flowers that reach far into the soil. This leads to the entire plant being able to access more nutrients from the soil than other usual plants, which helps them live longer.

These plants usually grow up to about 23.6 in (60 cm) tall. When the plants are young, their oval leaves are usually bright green-colored. As the plant matures, dense hair matter, otherwise known as trichomes, starts to grow on the stems and leaves, and depending on their density, the foliage becomes either white or silver-green when they mature. The fall color might indicate its dried foliage and relieve the tree from them. The flowers usually bloom in red, purple, pink, or white color, and are 12-18 in (30.5-45.7 cm) tall. The bloom time of flower stalks is around late spring to early summer. The flowers are usually borne in clusters and then produce nutlet fruits. However, occasionally, there are flowers that will rarely bloom.

Lamb's ear plant gets its name from the shape of its leaves, which are usually covered with silver-white or gray-colored silky hairs. They have a curved shape and are coated with furry soft and white hair, which looks and feels like the ears of a lamb. The hairs make them thick and they are also somewhat wrinkled. The leaves are covered on both sides, where the lower surface is more silvery-white colored than the upper surface. The 2-4 in (5-10 cm) long hairy leaves are usually arranged on the opposite sides of the stems. The leaf petioles are arranged in a way that their bases are wrapped about halfway around the stems. The creeping stems of the plant spread their root into the ground with time. Their flowers are usually not very showy, but as many gardeners don't like these flowers because they block the ground cover effect, they tend to remove the flowering stems.

The plant is not only drought-tolerant, but it can also survive during harsh winters, and generally thrives during summer. In warm climates, foliage is evergreen and flowers also bloom during this time, while the foliage depreciates in the winter.

Habitat And Growing Conditions

Lamb's ear plants don't need a lot of care, as they can survive in harsh weather. To thrive, they need moderate water, full or partial sun, and well-draining soil. Here are a few planting tips for lamb's ears:

Planting: If you're planting a baby lamb's ear plant, as you take the plant, remove the wilted, dead parts of the roots, and separate the clump of lamb's ear plant into sections, each with plenty of fibrous healthy roots. Plant each of them about 18 in (45.7 cm) apart. If you are planting seeds, then the best time to plant the moistened seeds is either, indoors in winter, about 8-10 weeks before the last frost, or outdoors when the last frost has occurred. Plant the seed by pressing it onto the soil, but not under the soil, as they require light to germinate. The germination process takes about 30 days.

Humidity and Temperature: Lamb's ear plants can withstand a range of hardiness and various temperatures. However, it's not a plant for humid weather and in such conditions, it will be prone to fungal diseases. In mild climates, the plant will stay evergreen and in colder areas, the leaves die and fall to the ground and regenerate during spring.

Light: Lamb's ears need partial sun in high-heat and desert areas and need full sun in colder areas. Too much heat from the sun in dry climates can scorch the plant's leaves.

Fertilizer: Your new plants or old plants don't need fertilizer because they don't require rich soil. However, you can put compost into the holes before planting new plants, or add thin layers of compost during spring to help with their growth.

Soil: Lamb's ears grow better in soil with a good drainage system and a little acidic pH. It needs the same kind of care as any other plant in the Mediterranean climate. Take soil of poor quality with some organic matter before planting lamb's ear, because it will improve the soil's drainage system.

Water: Lamb's ears don't need a lot of water, in fact, too much water can actually kill the plant. Only water the plant if you feel that the soil is dry, otherwise, give it about 1 in (2.5 cm) of water once every week. Try not to water the top of the plant as the leaves might develop powdery mildew or fungal leaf spots, or they might simply rot. The plant is hardy and drought-tolerant, but during dry spells, it may lose some of its older leaves. Leaves near the ground will decay faster due to the moisture, so put a little mulch just beneath the leaves.

Lamb's ear plants can help to keep deer away from your garden.

Usage Of Lamb's Ear Plant

There are many cultures of lamb's ears and they can be used in many ways. They have antibiotic qualities with soft, beautiful foliage, which become a factor in their usefulness. The three main cultures of lamb's ears are:

Cotton Ball: These plants sometimes produce woolly formations on their stalks where flowers should appear. This is where these plants get the name, Cotton Ball.

Silver Carpet: These plants get their name owing to their ground cover. They usually don't produce flowers, don't grow taller than about 4-6 in (10-15 cm), and spread about 9-18 in (23-45.7 cm) on the ground.

Helen von Stein or Big Ears: Big Ears is one of the most popular cultures, with comparably bigger leaves, that can live for many years without incurring diseases.

Lamb's ear plants are mainly used for ornamental purposes. They are grown primarily for their beautiful silver-gray, velvety leaves, that will spread and make a soft and perfect edge for your garden bed. Their silvery color works best with bright pink or purple flowers and they can help hide unattractive, knobby shrubs and canes of roses. They will also keep animals, such as deer, away from your garden because they don't like the texture of the plant. It's also used to decorate potpourris, wreaths, and other floral arrangements.

Many people have used the plant as a natural dye in the past for wool. They boil the leaves of the plant and add a mordant, to produce a yellowish, creamy beige color. The plant can also produce a light mauve, by using the flower spikes in place of the leaves.

The entire lamb's ear plant has some excellent medicinal qualities. They are vermifuge, styptic, hypotensive, diuretic, astringent, antiseptic, antibacterial, vulnerary, tonic, stomachic, febrifuge, carminative, antispasmodic, antipyretic, and alternative, along with being extraordinarily soft.

The plant helps blood clot quickly and also absorbs easily. That is why throughout the ages, soldiers have used its leaves as makeshift bandages. It has also been used on its own, or along with other herbs, to reduce the swelling from a wasp sting or a bee sting. Long ago, women used it for centuries, as a helpful product in cases of nervous tension, menstrual flow, skin aid, birthing, or hemorrhoids.

Lamb's ear plants are also edible and you can chop the fresh leaves, or dry or powder them, to make tea. You can make a great taste out of the tea if you choose young leaves. This tea can help with internal bleeding, candida overgrowth, diarrhea, staph infections, weakness of the heart and liver, sore mouth or throat, fever, and many more diseases.

The powdered leaves mixed with cold water can help with eye problems. Some people also enjoy eating the leaves in their salads or mildly steaming them for their fruity taste.


Q: What is the lamb's ear plant good for?

A: Lamb's ear plant can be good as makeshift bandages and for other medicinal uses.

Q: Is lamb's ear plant poisonous?

A: Lamb's ear plant is not poisonous to humans, but it can cause stomach issues in pets if ingested.

Q: Does a lamb's ear plant need a lot of sun?

A: Lamb's ear plants need part shade to full sun.

Q: Does a lamb's ear plant spread?

A: No, lamb's ear plants don't spread.

Q: What does a lamb's ear look like?

A: Leaves of a lamb's ear plant are small, fuzzy, and soft in texture.

Q: How do you dry a lamb's ear?

A: Dry the leaves of a lamb's ear plant by putting them between newspapers.

Q: What is a lamb's ear plant?

A: A lamb's ear plant is a flowering plant that belongs to the mint family.

Q: Why is lamb's ear so soft?

A: Lamb's ear has a hairy texture which makes it very soft.

Q: How to take care of a lamb's ear plant?

A: A lamb's ear plant should be planted in dry soil, with a little mulch around it, kept in full or partial sun, and watered a little, but not too much.

Q: What is growing on my lamb's ear plant?

A: Insects and fungus can grow on lamb's ear plants.

Written By
Joan Agie

<p>With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.</p>

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