Despite this perennial's rather
unattractive common name (dead nettle), Lamium is a very nice looking, soft leafed ground
cover that spreads by running stems called stolons. Some are very vigorous and can
be invasive if left unchecked. Lamium plants themselves are only 6 to 8 inches tall but
can quickly spread to widths of 6 feet in very warm climates where growing seasons are
long. The variegated forms are the most treasured by gardeners for their beautiful
leaves that can be splashed, speckled or spotted with shades silver and cream.
Flower color varies among cultivars from shades of pink and purples to whites
and creams. The dainty flowers appear from mid-spring through late summer. Plants
are evergreen in milder climates.
Lamium plants are very easy to grow and prefer to be in partial shade or even full
shade. It will tolerate a wide range of soils but does its best in a soil that is
rich in organic matter and drains well. It does not however like dry soils and will
often barely survive if allowed to suffer through extended periods of dry weather.
Mulch plants to help keep the soil evenly moist and to prevent the roots from drying out.
Lamium is not considered to be a heavy feeder and will only need to be lightly fed in
early spring with a top dressing of compost. Shear plants in spring to stimulate
new, heathy growth.
>> While some catalogs and gardening resources say that Lamium
can be planted in full sun we do not recommend it. You will find yourself constantly
watering the plants during the heat of summer. Plants that are growing in dry soils often
die out in the middle.
Zones: 3 - 8
Propagation: division and stem cuttings
Problems: None known
Notes: Light pruning and pinching may be required to keep the
plants within their bounds.