Santolina chamaecyparissus nana –
DWARF LAVENDER COTTON
Yellow billy buttons float atop a compact mound of neat silver foliage. Santolina chamaecyparissus nana is the dwarf version of the old favourite “Lavender Cotton”, long treasured for it’s aromatic and insect repelling dome of foliage. The dward makes a particularly neat, round and compact dome. 30cm. Full Sun. Thrives in hot and dry positions. Suitable for seaside planting, and in sandy, poor or stony soil. Frost hardy. drought tolerant. very water-wise plant. Traditional companion plant for roses, fruit and vegetables reputed as an aid in repelling sucking insects and flies.
Insect repelling aromatic foliage
The foliage of Santolina chamaecyparissus nana gives off a fresh scent like camphor, making it highly and very pleasantly aromatic for we humans.
But the camphor scent is also repellent to pesky insects.
So it helps deter pests from hovering around your vegetables, fruit trees, the BBQ, and back door.
Therefore Santolina has always been a valued and useful companion plant in the kitchen garden, and traditionally dried for making moth repellent sachets.
Useful pot to chase the insects
Santolina is such a hardy, tough grower, it is perfect to grow in a pot – and then so handy for moving around to wherever you want to deter the buzzing insect pests. Add the neat, rounded, compact shape and you have the perfect pot specimen.
Growing Santolina chamaecyparissus nana
DWARF LAVENDER COTTON:
– Height with flowers: 30cm. approx. Neat, compact rounded shape.
– Width: 30cm. approx.
– Position: Full Sun to Part Shade, but must be very well drained.
Lovely scent and easy to grow
– Soil: Not a bit fussy although prefers sandy, rocky, gravel and poorer soils but must be well drained. Soil pH can be acid or alkaline. Very tolerant of lime soils. Do not give generous fertilizer. Prefers to be lean and mean and also performs better.
– Fragrance: Wonderful aromatic foliage of fresh camphor.
– Frost: Very frost hardy to well below -10C.
– Growth: Neat, compact, rounded, evergreen shrub in the shape of a cushion.
Environmentally friendly companion plant
– Beneficial to wildlife and an environmentally friendly companion plant: Bees make great use of the lemon button flowers. They gather nectar and pollen over summer, While at the same time reportedly repelling other unfriendly sucking insects.
Used to make tea but not for pregnant women
– Beware: Santolina has been much used for traditional herbal medicine in village life around the Mediterranean. The flowers are also popular to make herbal tea. However ladies who are pregnant or breast feeding are advised not to take any Santolina products, as it has apparently been linked to miscarriage.
– Care: Very hardy, easy low maintenance. However a shear after flowering helps to keep a nice and compact shape as well as encouraging nice, fresh growth.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: A very resistant plant to these pests because they loathe the camphor taste.
– Origin: Native to arid regions all around the Mediterranean Sea, including North Africa. Whereas the name Santolina comes from ancient Greek.