Growing Lambs Ear in Pots 2023 Guide - Shiny Plant

Growing Lambs Ear in Pots

Lamb’s ears are a sun-loving perennial plant known for soft, fuzzy, pale-colored foliage.

The plant is grown mainly for its foliage, used for garden borders, or in containers. This plant is often recommended in children’s schools because of its soft leaves and texture, so named lamb’s ear.

Whether you want to grow this plant in the garden bed, border garden, or in a container. Here, you’ll learn about Growing Lambs Ear in Pots. 

Quick Guide

Common NameLamb’s ear or Woolly Hedgenettle
Scientific NameStachys Byzantine
Plant typeHerbaceous perennial
Mature Size6 to 8 inches taller, 12 inches wider
Sun ExposureFull sun to part shade
Soil TypeDry to medium moist, well-drained soil
Soil pH6.0 to 6.5 (slightly acidic)
Bloom TimeLate spring to early summer
Flower ColorPurplish-pink 
Hardiness Zones4 to 8 USDA 
Native AreaTurkey, Iran, Armenia

Lamb’s ear

Growing Lambs Ear in Pots

According to Wikipedia, its scientific name is Stachys byzantine, also commonly named Woolly Hedgenettle, a flowing species in the mint family Lamiaceae, native to Turkey, Iran, and Armenia.

It does produce pinkish-purple or white bloom on tall stalks in the late spring to summer. Some gardeners find the flower stalks striking while others snip off to redirect energy to grow more leaves, as we do with hosta and other foliage plants. If you are interested in growing bright colorful foliage plants then; check our article on the 19 Most beautiful Foliage plants To Grow.


Lamb’s ear can be very invasive in warmer climates and be very difficult to eradicate. Before planting check your local Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) or Cooperative Extension.

Growing Lambs Ear in Pots

Lamb’s ears are very easy to grow in pots. The condition it needs, full sun and well-drained soil. Otherwise, it’s very difficult to kill them. It does well when you prune or trim them occasionally, it is very invasive and can take up whole in the garden. 

You can propagate from seeds but some cultivars and hybrids like ‘Helen von Stein’ do not grow from seeds. This is because when different species are bred with each other, they won’t be able to self-seed. If you try to grow them from seeds they might not grow or not like the parent plant. But, you can propagate these cultivars with nursery plants or by division.

When To Plant

Ideally, spring is the best time to plant lamb’s ear, so that it gets established during cooler weather. When propagating from seeds, start planting six to eight weeks before the last frost date; they can take up to a month to germinate. Once the frost gets over, transplant it in the garden or relocate the pot outdoors for full sun.

Where To Plant

You can plant lamb’s ears in the garden bed, garden borders, or container. Plant where it gets full sun to part shade and good drainage. In the garden, plant where water does not get stuck for too long. Soggy soil will damage its roots, leading to improper growth due to diseases like root rot.

Do not grow them as a specimen plants. Use it as a rambling ground plant or for soft edging. As an edger, keep them inside the boundary, they look striking with silver leaves and purple flowering. Besides spreading by roots, the flowering lamb’s ear variety can also spread through self-seeding, but you can control that by deadheading flower stalks. 

Propagating Lamb’s Ear from a leaf

They can be propagated from seeds, cuttings, and division. However, the best and easiest way to propagate them is through division. You can divide a mature plant into 3 to 4 parts to grow individually in different locations. Below are steps to divide:

  • Take a gardening shovel, and dip up the mature plant with its roots. The plant should be at least 5-6 inches taller in height.
  • Shake soil from the roots and locate its root ball.
  • Cut the roots attached to leaves in different sections with the help of a gardening shear.
  • Plant these cuttings in good soil and sunny area.
  • Water to keep the soil moist.

We will discuss all required conditions in detail in the care section:

How to care for lamb’s ear plant indoors

Lamb's Ear


Lamb ear plants like to thrive in average, well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH. However, the plant is fussy about the pH level of the soil. But, they must need good drainage soil. 

If your soil retains water for too long, add some organic matter to it. This will improve water flow inside the soil and make it more fertile.


This perennial plant likes to grow in the full sun. However, if you live in a hot region or during a hot summer, afternoon shade will be appreciated. The plant can suffer from leaf burn in hot summer with no water for too long. Ideally, plant where it gets early morning sunlight and afternoon shade. 


This plant is native to south-central Asia, and it grows well in relatively dry to medium moisture conditions. When water is too much, it gets infected by fungal diseases and rot. To be safe, water one or two times a week.


Some growers find lamb’s ear flower stalks tall in appearance. If that is also your opinion, then just prune flower stalks. Deadheading will keep the plant tidy and encourage new leaf growth. Also, remove deadhead leaves to prevent pests like sowbugs.


The plant does not like rich soil, it prefers average soil with some organic manure (used tea, banana pill).

Temperature and humidity

The plant grows well in USDA zones 4 to 8. In the hot climate, it will need more shade. The plant will not be suitable for various humid locations where fungal leaf spots are frequently a problem. 

Varieties of lamb’s ear

There are many cultivars and hybrids of lamb ears. Below are some recommended varieties.

Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’: this cultivar is non-blooming, only producing colorful leaves.

Stachys byzantina ‘Helen von Stein’: this plant is called ‘Big Lamb’s ear’, and it grows 10 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide.

Lamb’s Ear Cultivars

The cultivar “Big Ears,” also known as “Helen von Stein,” is notable for its bigger leaves, which measure up to 10 inches long and 4 inches wide! plus the absence of flowers. It may reach heights of 8 to 10 inches. It thrives in hot southern gardens and is more disease-resistant.

In a comparative examination of several cultivated stachys, the Chicago Botanic Garden studied a number of cultivars, including “Big Ears,” “Wave Hill,” “Cotton Boll,” “Primrose Heron,” and “Silver Carpet.” They observed that “Cotton Boll” indeed contain flower clusters that looked like cotton.

Byzantina S. Big Ears and Silver Carpet are regarded as nonflowering varieties that don’t need deadheading. In my garden, ‘Big Ears’ does, sometimes, produce a few flower spikes. In order to promote additional leaves, I eliminate them.

The good choice “Silver Carpet” doesn’t produce flowers but has lovely silvery leaves that grow quickly as a groundcover. Just around 6 inches are covered. It is indigenous to the Middle East and thrives in U.S. Zones 4 through 8.

Giant betony (S. macrantha), which blooms in the late spring, is prized for its many blossoms. Compared to S. byzantina, this cultivar does not get as much usage nationwide since it thrives in milder areas. Huge betony looks best when grown in large groups and can tolerate mild shade.

The rose-pink blossoms of the plant variety “Robusta” are what make it stand out in the garden. It stands two feet tall. It is a Middle Eastern native and resilient in U.S. Zones 2 to 8.

Common pests and diseases

Lamb’s ear deters pest diseases but often suffers from rotting problems because of its close sit leaves. Mulching under leaves will help to keep leaves dry and be sure to give good drainage. Over-watering and too close leaves cause problems like powdery mildew and slug feed. if your plant is infected with powdery mildew; Read our article How To Get Rid Of Powdery Mildew.


Is Lamb’s ear toxic to cats?

It might not toxic to pets like dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses. However, when ingested excessively it can cause digestive upset.

What can I plant next to Lamb’s ears?

You can plant Yarrow, Nepeta, and Salvia next to the lamb’s ears. these are low-water plants that share the same growing condition. Plus, they look like striking companions with silver-colored foliage.

Is lamb’s ear deer resistant?

Deer do not like soft textures, and pale-colored foliage and stay away from this plant.

Is lamb’s ear a pollinator?

Lamb’s ear produces striking pinkish-purple to white flowers in the late spring to summer and attracts many pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Is lamb’s ear edible?

Lamb’s ears are used medically as well as edible. Many people like to eat gently steamed lamb’s ear leaves in a salad with a combination of pineapples and apples. You can also prepare tea by steeping dried leaves in boiled water.

Can you grow a lamb’s ear from a leaf?

Yes, you grow a lamb’s ear from a leaf. I explained this process in propagating Lamb’s Ear from a leaf section in this article.

Did I Miss Anything?

Now I’d like to hear from you: Have you found this article useful? Yes, then do share with your friends and family, or If not then, suggest to me some points to add on. Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

5 thoughts on “Growing Lambs Ear in Pots”

    • Hii Melissa,
      Thank you for visiting our site. Here’s what you need to do.
      Do not take a clip. Instead, Dig out an entire or a cluster of lambs ear from the ground using a shovel. Its roots are deep in the soil, so you have to dip a large area around the plant.
      Once the plant tosses out from the soil. Divide the plant into groups and plant it in a different location.
      You can read in more detail – in the “Propagating lamb’s ear” section of the post. 🙂

  1. Thank you for all the great information! I love my Lamps ear! I have mine in pots outside. Can I leave them out for the winter? I live in East Tennessee. Also is there a wild plant that looks just like lambs ear? I have always heard it called wild tobacco. I have it it a lot on my property.
    Again Thank You!

    • Hi Carolyn,

      Yes, you can leave Lamb’s ear outside in the winter. Lamb’s ears are hardy in Zone 4a to 9a. You are located in hardiness zone 7a.
      Lamb’s ear will stay green unless the winter is especially harsh.
      Also, Rose campion and Mullein are some plants whose foliage looks similar to lamb’s ear.
      I’m not sure about the wild plant on your property. However, you can find out the plant’s name by using google lens.

      Thank you for visiting my site. 🙂

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