Gardening Articles: Flowers :: Perennials

Dead Nettle

by Paul Simon


Lamium maculatum

Lamium is an excellent ground cover perennial for shady areas, grown largely for its spreading foliage and colorful flowers.

About This Plant

Lamium thrives in shade but will grow in sun when provided with moist soil conditions. It is hardy in zones 3 to 8. Different varieties offer a range of flower colors in white, purple and pink and silver- variegated leaves. All have a low-growing, creeping habit that make them widely adapted as ground cover or for mass plantings.

Special Features

Lamium maculatum 'White Nancy' has silvery leaves and dense clusters of white flowers.

Lamium maculatum 'Wootton Pink' bears pale pink flowers in late spring to early summer above striped variegated leaves.

Lamium maculatum 'Orchid Frost' has blue-green foliage and purple blooms April-June.

Site Selection

Lamium grows best in shade to part shade in moist, well-drained soils. It spreads vigorously, but is not invasive.

Planting Instructions

Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot the plant is in. Carefully remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly.

Care

Cut back after flowering to maintain form and appearance. You can propagate and divide spreading runners that begin to take root in spring. Cut back after the first flush of bloom to maintain a compact growth habit.
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