Lamb Is An Ideal Ground Cover For A Shady Flower Garden. Types And Varieties, Cultivation. Photo

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Lamb Is An Ideal Ground Cover For A Shady Flower Garden. Types And Varieties, Cultivation. Photo
Lamb Is An Ideal Ground Cover For A Shady Flower Garden. Types And Varieties, Cultivation. Photo

Video: Lamb Is An Ideal Ground Cover For A Shady Flower Garden. Types And Varieties, Cultivation. Photo

Video: Lamb Is An Ideal Ground Cover For A Shady Flower Garden. Types And Varieties, Cultivation. Photo
Video: Groundcovers for Shade 2023, December

There are popular plants that can be found in the shady corners of almost every garden. But, unfortunately, for some reason, the yarn is not one of them. Many gardeners have never even heard this name. Nevertheless, the lamb is a very unpretentious and spectacular plant, which must definitely find a place in shady flower beds. Once, having got acquainted with the Yasnotka, I issued her a permanent residence permit in my garden. And I never regretted it. I will tell you in my article how to grow a lamb and which varieties to give preference to.

Lamb is the ideal ground cover for a shade flower garden
Lamb is the ideal ground cover for a shade flower garden


  • Description of the plant
  • Ornamental types and varieties of yasnotka
  • My experience of growing a lamb
  • Plant care and reproduction
  • Lamb in garden design

Description of the plant

Lamb (Lamium), due to the similarity of the leaf blades, is also popularly called "deaf nettle". In the wild, it is found in Europe, North Africa and Western Asia. In total, there are about 50 species of lamb. Most of the members of the genus are perennial ground cover plants. They usually grow only 15-25 centimeters high and have a bush 45-60 cm wide. However, they can spread over considerable distances with the help of long creeping stems, which easily root in the ground, forming a dense mat.

The leaves are opposite, with jagged edges, pointed, they vary in shape from oval to triangular or cordate, sometimes they can reach a length of more than 7 centimeters, but usually not too large. The foliage of all species of lamb has pubescence and emits a rather unpleasant odor when damaged. But if you just stay close to the plant, then there is no smell.

Mainly, lamb is grown as an ornamental plant due to very beautiful leaves with a variety of patterns - contrasting sweeps, blotches, edging, central stripes, venation, a combination of several colors on one sheet. Basically, the patterns are silver on a green background, but there are also golden variations and their combinations.


In late spring or early summer, the cleaver is decorated with pretty flowers of a relatively small size. They are located in the axils of the leaves, but peduncles do not appear on all stems. Each inflorescence consists of 2-8 flowers of white, yellow, purple or various shades of pink. During flowering, lamb attracts bees, but especially bumblebees like to visit its flowers.

In shape, the flowers of the cleaver are very reminiscent of a miniature snapdragon. The upper lip of the flower has the shape of a hood or helmet, which hangs like a roof over the stamens with orange pollen, while the lower lips are doubled. The name of the genus, due to the characteristic appearance of the corolla, comes from the Greek laimos or lamos, which means “throat”.

The flowering time is about a month, but when pruned, it can periodically repeat during the summer or resume by the fall. In place of flowers, small invisible fruits appear, hidden behind leaflets. They are green at the beginning, then turn brown, each fruit consists of four tiny nuts.

The plants grow vigorously under optimal growing conditions, but are easy to control and not considered overly aggressive.

The flowering of zelenchukovaya is not abundant, but very pretty
The flowering of zelenchukovaya is not abundant, but very pretty

Ornamental types and varieties of yasnotka

Despite the abundance of species of lamb, only two of them are most widespread in ornamental gardening.

Yellow lamb, or zelenchuk

Yellow dead-nettle, or zelenchukovaya (Lamium galeobdolon) most often in the gardens presented grade Variegatum» (Variegatum). But few people know this varietal name; among gardeners, she is usually heard either as a simple yarn, or she is called zelenchuk.

The foliage of this lucid is impossible to confuse with anything; it has a wide wavy pattern of silver-gray color in the center of a bright green leaf, as well as expressive veins. Blooms in mid-late May with yellow flowers. The stems are creeping, root easily, the bushes grow rather quickly. Under ideal conditions, this claw can become too aggressive, but it is easy to restrict it by a haircut, and in mixed flower beds it is easy to dig in the restrictive tape.

In nurseries you can also find another varietal variation of this Hermans Pride. It differs from the variety "Variegatum" in a more unusual pattern on the foliage, almost the entire leaf blade is silvery. Against this background, bright green veins look very impressive, which seem to break the leaf into silvery islands. The leaves are narrower and strongly serrated. The main advantage of the variety is its compact growth.

The bushes have a spherical habit and do not scatter in all directions, but at the same time it is also an excellent ground cover. Even after five years, it will be in the same place where you planted it. It blooms with yellow flowers in June.

Yellow lamb, or zelenchukovaya (Lamium galeobdolon)
Yellow lamb, or zelenchukovaya (Lamium galeobdolon)

Speckled lamb

Speckled lamb (Lamium maculatum) differs from the previous species in smaller foliage with a greater proportion of silvery on the leaf blade. And this shade is so light that it seems almost white. The color of flowers in speckled lamb is usually presented in various shades from pale pink to purple-purple, but there are also white-flowered varieties.

Dead-nettle Golden Anniversari» (the Golden Anniversary) - one of the few three-color varieties Lamium maculatum. Due to its strong external similarity, it can be easily confused with Coleus. The main advantage of the variety is golden yellow edges against the background of dark green leaves, decorated with a white central stripe. The wavy and brightly colored foliage of this lucid is a godsend for the landscape designer, because it combines interesting texture and vibrant color.

The flowers are dark crimson in color, bloom profusely in spring, but flowering in individual inflorescences continues until autumn. This variety has been found to be a natural mutation. Also, the resistance of this plant to burns when planted in the sun is noted.

Deadnettle "Golden nuggets" (Golden Nuggets) - one original grade and double room "Krapivka" (Coleus). This cultivar is truly unique due to the fact that there is no green color in the color of its foliage. The leaves of this lamb are bright yellow with a pure white stripe in the middle and light veins. Leaves are cordate with a wavy edge. It blooms with delicate lavender flowers with darker lower lips. The color of the flowers is ideally combined with the shade of the foliage.

Dead-nettle "Orchid Frost" (Orchid Frost) has a nice "frosty" leaves a very light silver color, trimmed with a narrow green border. At the end of spring, such a "snow" carpet is very impressively colored by small orchid-colored flowers (deep crimson) with a hood. This attractive groundcover, even when not in bloom, creates a bright spot in the shady corners of the garden very effectively.

Lamb "White Nancy" (White Nancy) from most varieties of speckled lamb, having flowers of pink-raspberry scale, differs in that it dissolves delicate clusters of milky-white flowers. Flowering time is late spring, but individual flowers may bloom from time to time throughout the summer and early fall. The variety makes silvery leaves with green edges attractive. White Nancy is more compact than other varieties, but its foliage can burn when planted in full sun.

Deadnettle Chikers» (Checkers) allocated more modest coloring foliage compared to other cultivars. Its leaf blades are predominantly green, but are decorated with a thin silvery-gray stripe in the center of the leaf, which is also found in natural species, so it is ideal for natural gardens. The flowers are purple, blooming in June-July. The height of the bushes is up to 25 centimeters.

Speckled lamb (Lamium maculatum), variety "Golden Anniversari" (Golden Anniversary)
Speckled lamb (Lamium maculatum), variety "Golden Anniversari" (Golden Anniversary)
Speckled Lamb (Lamium maculatum), variety "Orchid Frost"
Speckled Lamb (Lamium maculatum), variety "Orchid Frost"
Speckled lamb (Lamium maculatum), variety "White Nancy"
Speckled lamb (Lamium maculatum), variety "White Nancy"

My experience of growing a lamb

I bought the lamb in small pieces, which grew well over time. The main long-liver of my garden is the species green grass, which has been growing in one place for more than 10 years. During all this time, the plant receives practically no care except for watering in drought, and has never been subjected to division. Also, no significant damage from pests and diseases was observed in the plant.

The growth rate of this lamb is average. Over the long years of her life, she formed a dense variegated carpet, but at the same time did not turn into an aggressor. Trees and shrubs do not bother her in any way, and neighboring perennial plants - hosta, garden tradescantia and ferns - also find a common language with her and successfully share a shady flower garden.

Outside the flower garden, the lamina never crawled out, and I also never found its shoots in other parts of the garden, although she regularly sets seeds. So it also does not give aggressive self-seeding. In May, it is very gratifying to observe her yellow cheerful flowers, which resemble the snapdragon, dearly loved by me.

It comes out of winter not so lush, but it is gaining mass literally before our eyes and already in May it turns into a full-fledged ground cover. It is also noteworthy that the leaves preserved after winter have a more interesting color with a burgundy center.

The speckled lamb in my garden proved to be a more demanding perennial and periodically dropped out after several years of life for various reasons. For example, it did not get out of winter or was soaked after prolonged rains, it was also affected by leaf spot. But this can be partly explained by the fact that my garden is located on a place with a high groundwater table.

In my flower garden, I planted various varieties of crimson and white flowers. Sometimes I used lamina in container compositions in combination with various flowers, where it grew very quickly and turned into a spectacular ampelous plant. In the fall, she planted the lamb back in the garden.

The species is found in flower beds as a cute, non-malicious weed
The species is found in flower beds as a cute, non-malicious weed
Lamb is ideal for greening near-trunk circles and suppresses weed growth well
Lamb is ideal for greening near-trunk circles and suppresses weed growth well

Plant care and reproduction

Lamb grows best in moderately moist but well-drained soils. Usually prefers to grow in partial shade, but in temperate climates can be grown in full sun with regular watering. Some varieties will even tolerate a fairly strong shade, but silver-leaved cultivars usually need more light to keep their color as bright as possible.

In terms of soil type, she likes acidic loams, but she also tolerates neutral or alkaline soils and can grow on sandy soils. But on compacted or poorly drained soils, many varieties suffer from fungal diseases, because the lamb does not like too moist soils, especially in winter.

Also, the plant can experience stress at too high temperatures and high humidity. It is best for the claw when the soil surface is cool. In the summer heat, especially in hot and humid climates in the middle of summer, the foliage of the speckled speck may fall off, exposing the bush at the base and forming ugly bald patches. If this fall occurs in mid-summer, the plants may be trimmed or trimmed short to stimulate new foliage growth.

It is also recommended to trim the claw after the first flowering to promote more compact growth. In some varieties, leaf burns can occur if the plants are grown in too bright sun, especially if the soil dries out too much.

Lamb is a cold hardy plant that overwinters well in the middle lane, since it can be grown in USDA zones 2 to 9. Lamb will be evergreen in warm climates, and in temperate latitudes behaves like a semi-evergreen plant. That is, in winter, only part of the leaves is preserved, but most of the vegetative mass grows in spring. It is recommended to trim the bushes after winter in order to stimulate the growth of the cleaver.

Usually, the lamb does not have serious damage from pests, but sometimes slugs and aphids can visit its foliage, however, they usually do not cause too serious damage to the plant. As for diseases, speckled mottled may be prone to leaf spot damage, and on poorly drained and moist soils, it may develop root rot.

Reproduction of lamb

Lamb divides easily as needed in the spring or fall. Also, this plant is easy to propagate by cuttings from basal non-flowering stems at any time during the entire growing season. Given that the stems quickly take root where they come into contact with the ground, as soon as this happens, they can be cut from the mother plant and easily transplanted.

It is fully propagated by seeds, but seedlings of varietal specimens do not always retain their parental qualities. If the lamb is self-seeding, then the seedlings that have not retained the desired color should be removed immediately, since they may be more active and displace their varietal parents.

Lamb can be used as an ampel in hanging baskets or containers, or tubs in mixed compositions
Lamb can be used as an ampel in hanging baskets or containers, or tubs in mixed compositions

Lamb in garden design

The variegated, medium-sized, jagged foliage gives an interesting texture to the garden, the lamb is ideal for creating dense vegetation in shady areas. She decorates curbs, slopes and natural gardens. Its light foliage makes it visually brighter in shady flower beds, and because it adapts to different light conditions, it is ideal for use in the transition zones between shade and sun.

It is also effective as an edge of flower beds, but its distribution in this case must be controlled. Lamb is great as an accent plant in shady areas, try using Lamb alone by planting several varieties with different patterns and foliage colors side by side. She can easily create unique tapestries under small trees and shrubs (such as hydrangeas).

Also, the lamb may well be planted among plants that can compete with this active ground cover. Lamb perfectly complements other, larger or vertically growing perennials - ostrich fern, dicentru, hellebore, volzhanka, brunner or medium and large host varieties.

Since Clay is a relatively fine texture, it is most effective to combine it with large-leaved plants for textural contrast, or with dark-leaved companions - various varieties of Heuchera or Black Cohosh with purple foliage - to create color contrast.

However, in any case, when planting together, it is often necessary to cut or tear off wayward stems throughout the growing season so that they do not interfere with the growth of their neighbors. It is often recommended to trim the claw after the first flowering to promote more compact growth.

The lamb "works" well as a plant that masks the dying foliage of bulbous, and during their flowering serves as an excellent background, while preventing the growth of weeds. It can be used as an ampel in hanging baskets or containers, or in tubs in mixed compositions, because the lamb grows well in one season.