Home Gardening Cotton Lavender: A Comprehensive Growing Guide for Beginners

Cotton Lavender: A Comprehensive Growing Guide for Beginners

by Gregory
2 minutes read

Cotton Lavender: A Guide for Gardeners


Cotton lavender (Santolina chamaecyparissus) is a popular small shrub known for its attractive silvery foliage and masses of bright yellow flowers in summer. Despite its name, it’s not related to lavender or cotton.


Cotton lavender forms a compact, bushy mound of evergreen foliage. Its finely divided leaves give it a feathery appearance and are aromatic when bruised. The button-like flowers are up to 2cm across and borne on straight, slender stems.

Growing Conditions

  • Sunlight: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained, chalky, alkaline, light, or sandy
  • Planting: Autumn or early to mid-spring in colder areas, autumn in milder areas
  • Watering: During dry spells for the first growing season, until established


  • Pruning: Twice yearly – cut back hard in mid-spring and remove dead flower stems in late summer.
  • Other: Check for signs of disease or damage before buying or planting.


  • Drought tolerant
  • Non-toxic
  • Ideal for border edges, raised beds, and dwarf hedges

Additional Information

  • Plant calendar: Plant in March, April, May, or September. Flowers from May to July. Divide in March, April, September, or October. Cut back in February or March.
  • Wildlife value: No known particular value to wildlife in the UK.
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic to humans, animals, and livestock.


Cotton lavender is an easy-to-grow shrub that adds beauty and texture to any garden. With its attractive foliage, bright flowers, and low maintenance requirements, it’s a great choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.

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