Cotton lavender

Santolina chamaecyparissus

Cotton lavender

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

  • Botanical name: Santolina chamaecyparissus
  • Common name: Cotton lavender
  • Family: Asteraceae

Cotton lavender is the common name of Santolina chamaecyparissus, a popular and easily grown small shrub that has attractive silvery foliage and masses of bright yellow flowers in summer. Despite its common name, this plant is no relation to lavender or cotton. Forming a compact, bushy mound of evergreen foliage, cotton lavender is ideal for border edges and raised beds, and also makes an excellent dwarf hedge. The leaves are finely divided to give a feathery appearance and are aromatic when bruised. The button-like flowers are up to 2cm across and borne individually on straight slender stems.

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How to grow cotton lavender

Santolina chamaecyparissus originates from the Mediterranean and, like most plants from this region, needs soil that is well drained and doesn’t remain moist, particularly in winter. Plant Santolina chamaecyparissus in autumn or early to mid-spring, depending on location. Plant in spring in colder areas so as to become well established before winter. In milder areas, autumn is the best time to plant. Water during dry spells for the first growing season, until established.

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Pruning twice during the year is important for Santolina chamaecyparissus, otherwise plants become leggy and flop open to reveal bare, woody stems. Cut back hard in mid spring, reducing growth by at least half, cutting back to where new shoots are starting to emerge. Then, once flowering has finished, in late summer, take off the dead flower stems as low down as possible, and lightly trim the whole plant at the same time.

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Advice on buying cotton lavender

  • You can buy cotton lavender as pot grown plants all year round from nurseries, garden centres, or online
  • Always check plants for signs of disease or damage before buying or planting

Where to buy cotton lavender

How to grow Santolina chamaecyparissus

  • Plant size

    50cm height

    90cm spread

  • Aspect

    South facing, west facing

  • Position in border

    Front

  • Sun exposure: Full shade
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Chalky / alkaline / well drained / light / sandy

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Cut back
Cut back

Do not Cut back in January

Do not Cut back in February

Do not Cut back in March

Do Cut back in April

Do not Cut back in May

Do not Cut back in June

Do not Cut back in July

Do Cut back in August

Do not Cut back in September

Do not Cut back in October

Do not Cut back in November

Do not Cut back in December

Santolina chamaecyparissus and wildlife

Santolina chamaecyparissus has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Santolina chamaecyparissus poisonous?

Santolina chamaecyparissus has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People