Santolina Lavender Cotton
USDA Zones: 6 - 9
Height: 12 - 24 inches
Bloom Season: Summer
Bloom Color: Yellow
Environment: Full sun
Soil Type: Dry to medium, well-drained soils
Deer Resistant: Yes
Latin Name: Santolina tomentosa
Average Germ Time: Mix seeds in a moist growing medium, place in a freezer bag, then refrigerate for four weeks. Then plant seeds for germination in 7 - 21 days
Light Required: Yes
Depth: 1/8th inch
Sowing Rate: 2 - 3 seeds per plant
Moisture: Keep seeds moist until germination
Plant Spacing: 20 inches
Lavender Cotton (Santolina tomentosa) - Also called gray santolina, this yellow flowering plant is a semi-woody, tender plant with aromatic, evergreen, silver-gray foliage. It will most often grow in a mound reaching up to two feet tall and three feet wide. Leaves have a rough texture and musky fragrance. Bright yellow flowers approximately 3/4 inches across adorn these plants which have a button-like appearance. It is a member of the aster family and blooms during the summer months atop stalks rising well above the foliage to 6 inches tall. If for some reason you do not want flowers, they will not appear if you keep the plants trimmed. Plants are often grown in herb gardens as the foliage has historically been used as an insecticide and moth repellant.
Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. In fact, these drought tolerant plants are dry, poor soil lovers which is perfect for rock gardens! As with most plants, they appreciate regular moisture during establishment, but tolerate drought once roots are established. Plants perform well in soils with a high pH. Avoid rich, wet soils as they roots need drainage. Lavender cotton dislikes humid weather where they are more susceptible to fungal diseases and tend to lose compact shape by opening up in the center. Deadhead spent flowers as soon as they fade. In zones 6, you may consider mulching during the winter months as it is not particularly winter hardy. Cut back in spring to maintain compact shape and encourage new growth. This plant may be grown as an annual.
Used in dried arrangement, potpourris and as an accent plant. It is utilized as groundcover in massing, edging beds, planters, rock gardens, rock walls, on pure sand.