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.
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 (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.
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.