What happened to these Lamb's Ears?

KateinDC(7a)July 24, 2014

After looking nice in the spring and early summer, my Lamb's Ears always end up like this by July:

That is, part of the foliage matted on the ground and rotting. Is this just from the rainfall, or is it a disease? I'm ready to get rid of the plant if it always looks like this during the latter part of the season. Thank you in advance for any advice.

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GreenHearted(5a IL)

Is it very humid where you are? Stachys will "melt out" in humidity.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:36PM
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Thanks. Yes, the summers are horribly humid here... Oddly, I haven't seen this phenomenon with Lamb's Ears in other gardens around. Maybe there are more humidity-resistant cultivars? As it is, I think I will plant something else in that spot.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:56PM
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Just a suggestion: you might want to try Stachys byzantina/lamb's ear 'Helen Von Stein,' a non-flowering sterile variety that might perform better in your Z7a conditions. I find it to be zero-maintenance and zero-nuisance in my perennial beds. Might look a little crappy in January but seems to self-correct and look stunning the rest of the year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stachys byzantina 'Helen Von Stein'

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 9:36PM
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Thank you for the suggestion, I will consider it. The page you linked mentions the leaf rot for the species, and I think my problem is that they are not truly in full sun (just in one of the sunniest spots I have), which exacerbates the problem.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:30PM
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I have it's twin.

As an experiment, you might try planting some of the bits and bobs you pull up when cleaning, as an edging plant in a larger mixed planting pot. That's what I did a few years ago, and after the first year of not looking so great, mine has turned back into the beautiful plant I remember when I purchased it many, many years ago.

It could be many reasons mine has transformed, but I think the main thing it likes is the light potting mix, compared to actual soil that compacts over time. It's on the edge of a planted wheelbarrow, a pretty well drained spot compared to normal conditions here. A spot I previously had trouble with long term plantings due to getting too dry year round.

Worth a try.

This post was edited by plaidbird on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 22:34

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:33PM
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