Gray Santolina



Botanical Name   


Native to               












Gray Santolina; Cotton Lavender - or Lavender Cotton

Santolina chamaecyparissus




Southern Europe (Mediterranean region) and has been introduced worldwide

Medium to dry; water regularly to establish root system - then drought tolerant


Full sun


Light, sandy, average soil; well-drained

2 feet

3 feet 

3 feet

gray santolina.jpg


4" pots:  $2.20

6" pots:  $3.50

1 Gallon Root Pouch:  5.00


Clay pots and planters:  Prices vary


Gray Santolina is a highly aromatic, evergreen shrub with silvery-green, finely-divided leaves.  It reaches 2 feet tall and approximately 3 feet wide.  Its habit is mounding.  In mid to late summer, bright-yellow, button-like flowers appear on tall stalks.  Its scent repels most insects.  Santolina is often grown in herb gardens where it is pruned into tidy shapes.  If you prefer a more natural landscape, prune once a year in the Spring.  This will allow the plant to flower.  No serious insect or disease problems.  

Will Tolerate &

Keeping in Going

  • Santolina prefers light, sandy / gritty soil with excellent drainage.

  • It prefers poor soil.

  • It is drought tolerant once roots have established (water regularly during the first year).  Try not to water foliage until established. 

  • Plants can be grown in limey soils.

  • Deadhead flowers as soon as they fade

  • Cut back in spring to maintain compact shape and encourage new growth.

  • Flowers may not appear if plants are regularly trimmed/sheared.

  • No serious insect or disease problems, but blight and root rot may occur (overwatering).

Won't Tolerate

  • Avoid rich soil

  • Avoid prolonged exposure to wet soil - susceptible to root rot 

  • Fungal disease (blight) may occur in humid environments, ensure plants have adequate air flow.  



Points of Interest

  • Santolina has been mentioned in ancient Roman and Greek texts as a medicinal plant where it was prescribed as a remedy against poisonous bites and as a vermifuge.  In the 16th century, it was introduced to England where its silvery-gray foliage was prized as hedging in knot gardens.  

  • The foliage has been used as an insecticide and moth repellant.

  • Blooms bright yellow, globular flowers in mid to late summer.

  • It can be used in herb gardens, rock gardens, as edging, in border fronts, knot gardens, as ground cover, etc.

USES:  Aromatic

  • Dried leaves may be used is in sachets 

  • Although it was once considered a medicinal plant, it is no longer used in that capacity.


Information about this plant can be found here:  Missouri botanical garden plant finder