Plants of the Stachys genus are hardy perennial or half hardy perennial spreaders and sub-shrubs that range from 15 to 90 cm in height.
Many Stachys members have attractive lobed shaped silver fuzzy leaves, while others have heart shaped leaves.
They bloom from spring through summer and have spikes of lipped and hooded, purple colored, flowers.
Common names for members of the genus include Bishop's Wort, Betony, Lamb's ears, Lamb's tongue, Woundwort, and Donkey's ears.
Stachys macrantha - Big Betony by Kaunda.
The seeds of Stachys members such as Bishop's wort and Lamb's tongue can be grown from seed outdoors by sowing in early spring or early autumn; lightly cover the seed once sown. The spacing depends on the species: 20 to 30 cm apart (small varieties); 30 to 45 cm (medium species); 45 to 60 cm (large species). Plants are able to grow in both sunny and partially shaded locations and will grow in most soils; for best results grow in a rich soil.
If starting indoors then begin about two months before planting outside. It will take about two to four week for seeds to germinate at 21 to 24 degrees centigrade. Hardy Stachys should be transplanted outdoors in autumn or before the last frost of spring, whereas half-hardy varieties should be put into the garden a few weeks after the last frost of spring.
It is easy to look after Stachys plants. Once they have finished flowering remove the stems. To maintain vigorous growth divide the plants every four years. If you require more plants then they can be propagated by division in the spring or autumn.
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