Lamb’s Ear, or Stachys byzantine, is a tough perennial native to Iran, Turkey, and the Caucasus. As you might imagine from its native range, it’s used to growing in dry conditions and so it’s a great addition to a garden in drought-prone regions.
You only need to water Lamb’s Ear plants when the soil has dried out to the depth of its roots. That may take a few weeks, even during a prolonged drought. Applying some mulch to the soil surface can help the soil from drying out in hot, dry conditions.
How to Tell if a Lamb’s Ear Needs Water?
During a prolonged period of drought, you may notice some of the lower leaves dying off. That can be a sign that you need to water, but first check the soil to see if it’s dry.
How Do You Know When Your Lamb’s Ear Plant is Sufficiently Watered?
If your Lamb’s Ear plant needs watering, don’t turn on the sprinkler, as you should try to keep as much moisture as possible off of the leaves. Instead, use a soaker hose or water by hand, pouring it on the soil surface rather than over the foliage. Aim for a cup of water for each plant.
Can You Overwater a Lamb’s Ear?
Lamb’s Ear plants will not tolerate excessive water soaking their roots. They need to be planted in loose, well-draining soil so that the roots can breathe; otherwise, they may develop root rot.
What are Signs of an Overwatered Lamb’s Ear?
If your Lamb’s Ear plant is overwatered, you may notice the leaves at the plant’s center start to rot, or that the stems become soft and mushy.
How Long Can a Lamb’s Ear Go Without Water?
A Lamb’s Ear plant can go for a few weeks without supplementary watering, even when there is no rainfall. Ideally, they should receive about an inch of water a week, but they will survive longer stretches of dry conditions.
Should Lamb’s Ear Soil Be Moist?
You do not want your Lamb’s Ear soil to stay consistently moist. Always let it dry out before watering.
Why is my Lamb’s Ear Turning Brown/Yellow?
Your Lamb’s Ear plant may eventually turn brown if it receives no water for an extended period of time. On the other hand, the foliage and stems of an overwatered Lamb’s Ear plant can turn first yellow and then brown as it dies from the root rot caused by sitting in wet soil.
Why is my Lamb’s Ear Droopy?
When a Lamb’s Ear plant is in consistently wet soil, it is likely to develop root rot, which will turn the stems soft and mushy, making them droop. It’s best to dig out the affected plants, amend the soil to be drier and better draining, and start again with fresh plants.
Does a Lamb’s Ear Need Fertilizer?
In their native environment, Lamb’s Ear plants grow in poor, dry soil, so they don’t require much in the way of fertilizer. Usually, a half-inch of well-rotted compost spread around the plants once in early spring will suffice. However, if the plants are not thriving, try 3 applications of a 5-10-5 fertilizer at 6-week intervals to see if that helps.
How Much Sunlight Does a Lamb’s Ear Need?
In cool climates, Lamb’s Ear plants will thrive in full sun all day long. However, in hotter regions, some filtered shade in the heat of the afternoon is beneficial.
Will Temperatures and Humidity Affect a Lamb’s Ear?
Lamb’s Ear plants don’t mind high temperatures, but humidity can create real problems for them. If you experience hot, humid summer weather, plant your Lamb’s Ear plants in a spot with good air circulation, and do not water them from above, since you want to keep the foliage as dry as possible to prevent the development of fungal infections.
Will a Lamb’s Ear Survive in the Winter?
Lamb’s Ear plants are reliably winter-hardy from zones 4 to 9. At the southern end of that range, they will stay evergreen throughout the winter, but further north the plant will die back to the ground when cold weather arrives.
Will a Lamb’s Ear Survive in Direct Sunlight?
Lamb’s Ear plants don’t usually mind being in full sun, and in fact, will not do well in full shade. However, where summers are really hot some afternoon shade is appreciated.
Lamb’s Ear plants are a reliable ground cover for even the driest climates, making them ideal to filling in a spot in your landscape where little else will grow. They do well in poor soil and will survive several weeks without watering.
Read our related watering plants articles:
- How Often Should You Water Peppermint Plants?
- How Often Should You Water Forsythia?
- How Often Should You Water Hostas?
- How Often Should You Water Lantana?
- How Often Should You Water Pachysandra?
- How Often Should You Water a Sempervivum?
- How Often Should You Water Indian Hawthorn?
Janice is a retired High School teacher who is spending her leisure years keeping busy with all sorts of projects. Aside from freelance writing, she’s an enthusiastic amateur chef, home wine maker, and tends a large raised-bed vegetable garden, while at the same time running a Bed & Breakfast.