How to Grow Stachys Plants

Guide to Growing Woundwort, Betony, and Heal-all

Plants of the Stachys genus are hardy perennial or half hardy perennial spreaders and sub-shrubs. They range from 15 to 90 cm (6 to 36 inches) 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
Stachys macrantha - Big Betony by Kaunda.

Stachys Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: Woundwort, Betony, Chinese artichoke, heal-all, self-heal, Lamb's ears, Hedgenettle.
  • Life Cycle: Hardy perennial. Half-hardy perennial.
  • Height: 16 to 72 inches (40-180 cm).
  • Native: World-wide, except Antarctica.
  • Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10.

  • Flowers: Spring through to summer.
  • Flower Details: Large variation. Purple, clustered. Lipped. Hooded.
  • Foliage: Large genus with much variation: Herbaceous, shrubs. Silver, Green. Simple. Opposite. Woolly. Triangular to Oblong to cordate.

  • Sow Outside: Cover seed. Start of spring or the beginning of autumn.
  • Sow Inside: Germination time: two to four weeks. Temperature: 70°F (21°C). Two months in advance. Transplant hardy varieties outdoors before the last frost or towards the end of autumn. Transplant half-hardy species a few weeks after the last frost. Space at 8 to 30 inches (20—75 cm).

  • Requirements and care: Full sunlight or partial shade. Good drainage. Rich soil Drought tolerant. Deadhead blooms to maintain appearance. Divide every three or four years to maintain vigor. Propagate: by dividing in the spring in cooler areas or the autumn in warmer areas.
  • Family: Lamiaceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Mint, Sage, Lavender, Perilla.
  • Miscellaneous: Named after the Greek word for ‘an ear of grain’ (stachys). Stachys sylvatica (Hedge woundwort) was traditionally used as an herbal remedy in the middle ages in Europe to treat wounds and other ailments.

How to Grow Stachys Plants

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 / 8 to 12 inches (small varieties); 30 to 45 cm / 12 to 18 inches (medium species); and 45 to 60 cm /18 to 24 inches (large species).

Plants are able to grow in both sunny and partially shaded locations and will grow in most soils. For the 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 (70 to 75°F).

Hardy Stachys should be transplanted outdoors in autumn, or before the last frost of spring. Whereas the half-hardy varieties should be put into the garden a few weeks after the last frost of spring.

Caring for Stachys

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.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Stachys plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Physotegia and Aconitum plants.