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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - May 17, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Transplants
Title: Division of non-native Lamb's Ear plant in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a lambs' ear plant that has gone wild, and I would like to divide and transplant part of the plant. Advice? Live in Austin, TX. 78757

ANSWER:

Stachys byzantina, Lamb's Ears, is usually sold where herbs are sold, is used widely in informal gardens, but is not native to North America. It originates in Iran, Turkey and the Caucasus and grows in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 10. It probably needs more shade in the higher zones.

From About.com: Landscaping, this article on Stachys byzantina answers your questions, including dividing it and discarding the wilted, ugly parts in the center about every 2 to 4 years. Another source recommended you let it bloom and then cut off the dead blooms before they set seed, or your lamb's ears will take over.

Pictures of lamb's ears from Google.  

 

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