Lambs Ear question

bgaviator(7)May 29, 2012

I have a co-worker who said she would give me some of her Lambs Ear to plant. I do love the feel of the leaves, but the more I read about it, it seems a lot of people hate this plant. It sounds very invasive. If I do get some I am not sure where to plant it. I have a newly planted Knock Out Rose bush....would it look good around that? I also have a small perennial garden I am trying to establish. Would it be good in that, or would it take over everything?


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if it were me.

i would just plant it.. and observe..

and if in a year or two.. it gets out of hand.. i would thin it..

or just get rid of it ...

we should probably start with a full ID ... since the link shows a couple different plants called lambs ear.. including rose champion.. or lynchis ... which is a biennial ...


ps: who cares ===>>> it seems a lot of people hate this plant.

life it too short to care about that.. IF you like the feel of it ...

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:28AM
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Nevermore44 - 6a

I used to have a batch of these... the do spread, but no so much or quickly that you can't control it. They aren't deep rooted by any means, so you just pull them as needed.

I would say that if i get more, i would get the type that don't flower. The blooms on the standard type aren't my cup of tea.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 11:13AM
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MollyDog(6 PA)

They also tend to melt in heat and humidity...rake them out and you will get a nice second flush.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 11:53AM
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If by 'invasive and out of control' you mean that you turn your back and it jumps on you from behind, then it is not. I consider it a typical beginner plant, when one is in the process of learning how to plant and care for the plants(it can't fail, unless you drown it). Sooner or later you will get bored of it and replace it with something more spectacular. But until then- just try it and see for yourself.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 1:06PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I love the feel of the leaves but I shovel pruned it and have been pulling up seedlings for years now.

It falls apart and looks nasty after blooming and seeds all over.

I would only take one of the non flowering cultivars.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 1:46PM
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I enjoyed it in years when I had more time to garden, in terms of deadheading it to keep it from reseeding and dividing it every year to keep it from spreading too much. Also, I enjoyed the color more when it was in full-blasting sun as it was more silver and better behaved.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 2:04PM
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I have the 'Big Ears' variety that doesn't bloom. It does expand, but is easily controlled by pulling out or digging for transplant.

The silver foliage is great to complement purple, blue, red or deep pink blooms of other plants. Until recently, I used it as an edger in one bed--that has now been redesigned and the individuals were transplanted in other spots where I wanted the foliage.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 4:26PM
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jan_on zone 5b

I have the old variety - willing, ratty after blooming, but easy to control. Like others I dead head the blooms, whack back the plants when they get tired, pull out handfuls when they get out of bounds, transplant bits wherever I want the wonderful colour contrast, and just let them be when they volunteer in an interesting new spot.I have never wanted to ban them from my garden, but I don't think it would be much of a chore if I did - they are so visible, not at all like chasing most plain green villains and easy to root out. Just enjoy them!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:54PM
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Thanks everyone! I am not sure which variety she is going to give me. I guess they don't really sound hard to control from some of your responses.
Do you think they would look good alongside my knock out rose bush?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 5:40AM
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I would grow the nonflowering kind again, but I have been pulling seedlings of the flowering kind for years and can't really recommend it. It seeds into the lawn and under shrubs and it is just a pain to get rid of.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 5:27PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

I think lamb's ear is a great plant - the silvery leaves really makes deep- or rich-colored flowers stand out, particularly deep purples (heliotrope next to lamb's ear is smashing!). I have "Helen von Stein" aka Big Ears - she does not flower (well, I take that back - I got one, at the most two, flowers in the past 13 years I've had her at this house), and the leaves are large. Super easy to grow in hot, dry, full sun locations. It does spread but I wouldn't consider it aggressive, and, like someone above mentioned, easy to control - just give a yank or cut off the runners with a spade/shovel.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 9:19AM
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