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Santolina

Santolina spp.

Santolina are evergreen shrubs, occurring in dry rocky habits in the Mediterranean. They are grown mainly for their ornamental and aromatic foliage. Grey or green bushes grow slowly to form mini clouds in the garden. Santolina species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species. Prune after flowering to prevent the plant from becoming 'leggy'. The perfume industry extracts oils from the plants for use in making perfumes and the yellow flowers can be boiled to make a bright yellow dye.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Fruiting time
Summer

Harvesting

Harvest flowers or branches as needed, leaving at least 5cm of the stem below the cut to allow for regrowth.

Propagation

Cuttings
Root semi-ripe cuttings with bottom heat in late summer.
Seed
Sow seeds in trays in autumn or spring.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
Attracts butterflies, their larva feed on the plants.
Repels harmful insects
Some people put a few of the stems in chests of drawers and cupboards where they effectively repel moths.

Geography

Origin
Europe, Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Personality

Family
Asteraceae
Flower colour
Yellow, white
Scent
Mild

Problems

Generally trouble free.

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