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Santolina Chamaecyparissus - Cotton Lavender
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Santolina chamaecyparissus is also known as the Cotton Lavender. This is a typical drought tolerant Mediterranean plant, so a very useful plant if you have dry conditions. It has pretty silvery leaves so it copes well in warm dry conditions and prefers very well draining even dry soil conditions. Santolina Chamaecyparissus has scented leaves and produces small yellow flowers during summer months.
Grown in the UK since the 1500s, Santolina Chamaecyparissus is native to the Mediterranean. Like so many plants from this region, this low-growing Cotton Lavender shrub is well-suited to dry, sunny conditions. Its narrow, fragrant, silvery-white evergreen foliage provides consistent cover throughout the year. In summer Cotton Lavender produces 2 cm bright yellow button-shaped flowers.
Hardy in most places in the UK, even in severe winters, Santolina Chamaecyparissus will grow to a mature height of 10 to 50 cm and spread of 0.5 to 1 metre in 5 to 10 years. Cotton Lavender plants should be cut back to within 2.5 cm of old growth in early spring to encourage flowering and dense growth, and old flowers should be removed in autumn. For planting as ground cover or in a hedge, space plants 60 cm apart. Plant Cotton Lavender in full sun in well-drained sand, chalk, or loam soil in a sheltered south or east-facing exposure. Deer and rabbit resistant, it is suited to country gardens, and as it is tolerant of salt, pollution, and drought, it will adapt to many different locales within the UK.
Santolina Chamaecyparissus is an excellent plant for low-maintenance purposes. It will thrive if planted in the right spot with little care aside from the occasional pruning. It is well-suited to gravel or Mediterranean-themed gardens. As a container plant it fits in well on rooftop terraces or in a sunny spot on a patio. It makes an excellent low hedge to divide a garden space, and will provide good ground cover on a dry, sunny slope. The versatility of Santolina Chamaecyparissus as a ground cover, hedging, or specimen plant gives you many options in including it in your landscape plans, and the low level of care needed makes it a great choice for gardens large or small!
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