By Jessica W
Image source: Max Pixel
Having a backup plan for emergencies is essential, and this medicinal plant replaces many staples in the first-aid kit — in addition to some other sanitary necessities.
Commonly used to create textural interest in border flower gardens, wooly lamb’s ear is an adaptable perennial that is quick to spread to other areas of the homestead and is often labeled a weed in backyards across the country.
Each silvery-green leaf is covered with a light fuzz that is extremely soft. Pale violet flowers bloom late in the season, though they hold little to no medicinal value. (They do make a nice addition to floral arrangements, though).
Starting your own patch of wooly lamb’s ear is relatively easy. It can be started from seed in seedling pots or small containers, and can continue to grow to maturity in containers, provided they are thinned out regularly and are stored in a sheltered area over the harshest winter month.
In a garden or raised bed, plant seedlings 12 inches apart in a partly shady spot. Lamb’s ear prefers six to eight hours of sunlight. It is hardy, tolerating most well-drained soils, but is prone to wilting in the hottest days of the year. Equally important, the plant is drought-tolerant and deer-resistant. It will easily spread to the surrounding areas and should be regularly thinned.
Wooly lamb’s ear is harvested at various stages of development, which should be based on its intended purpose. Plucked from the ground, leaves can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator or other cool container for a few days at the most. In most cases, leaves of any size are fine to use. At the end of the long-growing season, leaves can be dried for use in the winter Click to see the original article