Foliage: Evergreen. Green, grey-green, silvery. Fine leaves. Aromatic. Wiry stems.
Sow Outside: Seeds: 1/8 inch (3 mm). Start of spring or towards the end of autumn
Sow Inside: Germination time: two to three weeks. Temperature: ~68°F (20°C). First mix seeds in a moist growing medium, place in a freezer bag, then stratify by refrigeration for four weeks. Transfer to pots. Transplant outdoors before the last frost or at the end of autumn. Space at ~20 inches (50 cm).
Requirements and care: Full sunlight or partial shade. Good drainage. Poor soil. Dry soil. Water during prolonged dry spells and in the first year. Can tolerate dry soils once roots are established. Deadhead. Tidy dead leaves and flowers (cut back to about 5 inches (12 cm)). Propagate: by taking cuttings at the end of summer or in the autumn.
Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Closely Related Species: Chamomile, Sunflowers, Daisy, and Aster.
Miscellaneous: The moth Bucculatrix santolinella feeds exclusively on Santolina chamaecyparissus. Other members of the genus attract Case-bearers. The leaves are often used as a repellent for other kinds of moths.
How to Grow Santolina Plants in the Garden
When growing Holy Flax and other Santolina members outdoors from seed then sow at a depth of 3 mm (1/8th inch). This can be done either at the start of spring or start of autumn.
Ideally the seeds should be sown and the plants grown in a poor dry soil. Sow into either a sunny or partially shaded part of the garden.
If you plan to first grow indoors, then start about two months in advance. T seedlings can be transplanted out in either early spring or late autumn.
The seeds should be put into soil, placed in a plastic bag, and then put in the fridge for about three weeks.
Following this, place the seeds at a temperature of about 18 to 20 degrees centigrade (64 to 68°F). It should take about three weeks for the seeds to germinate.
They should be sown outdoors with a spacing of 50 to 60 cm (20 to 24 inches).
Caring for Santolina
It is fairly easy to look after Santolina plants such as Lavender Cotton, they should be watered in extremely dry weather, and cut back to about 15 cm (6 inches) in height once flowering has occurred.
If you require more plants then they can be propagated by taking cuttings in autumn.