Lamb’s Ears Care & Uses
Lamb’s Ears How To Grow – Uses Of Lamb’s Ear Plants
Lamb’s ears or Stachys byzantina are small perennials with soft textured and silver coloured foliage. This is a low maintenance plant and is believed to have come from Iran. They are suitable for ground cover or as border edges. They are highly invasive and self-seed faster, this makes it is necessary to remove the spent flowers. The mature height of the plant comes to about 30 cm and flowers are produced during mid summer. The shape of the leaves is similar to lamb’s ears and the plant produces pink or purple flowers on spikes. This plant grows well in drought like conditions and can tolerate even poor soils.
Lambs Ear Plant Uses
Though it is an ornamental plant with attractive grey woolly velvet looking foliage resembling the outline and appearance of a true lamb’s ears, has so many uses. This plant is low-growing and the foliage makes a good mat or ground cover. They are ideal plants for rocky areas. The leaves can be harvested before the flowering begins and are dried and used for making refreshing tea by boiling the leaves in water. They can also be used as a flower border in gardens as they produce mauve flowers on spikes that come to a height of 2-3 feet from the base. These evergreen plants are also suited to plant in containers. The stalk of flowers can be used in dry or fresh flower arrangements. If you want to give contrast and texture to your garden, you can use lamb’s ears plant.
Lamb’s Ear Medicinal Purposes
Lamb’s ears are considered as a medicinal herb and the leaves were used as a wound dressing for centuries. The juice of the leaves has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial properties and it is also called as ‘Wooly Woundwort’. Water infused with fresh or dried leaves is used as an eyewash to treat pinkeye and sties. The medicinal tea prepared using the leaves can be taken as a treatment for sore mouth, sore throat, fever, etc. Applying the juice of the plant reduces the pain and swelling caused by wasp or bee stings.
Is Lamb’s Ear Plant Edible?
Though the plant is edible and has a fruity taste and smell, not many people like to eat it. Some people use the fresh leaves of this plant in salads or are consumed as greens after steaming the leaves. Other uses are it can be used for preparing tea just like you prepare chamomile tea. If you are taking the leaves for an edible purpose you need to select small and healthy leaves. The dried leaves are also used in making a medicinal tea.
Lamb’s Ear Plant Winter Care
Though the plant can withstand a mild winter climate, they are prone to some cold climate damages. You can remove the damaged areas of the plant in spring. If the foliage gets damaged by trapping moisture during rain, you need to shear the foliage to prevent further rotting of leaves. To avoid dead centres over the years, you can divide the plant during spring or autumn in every three years. Any brown leaves of the lamb’s ears plant have to be removed when needed as they do not look pretty.