Fungal leaf spots disease is the main reason why Lamb’s ear plant dies. Snails and Slugs too can kill off the entire Lamb’s ear plant. Powdery rust is a common disease in Lamb’s ear plant that can seriously deter plant’s growth.
Lamb’s ear plant is also called Woolly hedgenettle. This plant’s scientific name is Stachys byzantina. It is grown in the garden for ornamental purposes.
The plants get their name because of the foliage which is velvety and silver in color. The leaves are covered in dense, silvery hairy structures making them look like lamb’s ears.
The plant works great as a ground cover. It creates a soft, fuzzy ground cover that looks super pretty.
Why is my lamb’s ear turning brown?
Summer heat is the main reason why Lamb’s ear plant’s leaves turn brown. Summer heat coupled with high humidity causes the leaves to turn brown.
Poorly draining soil and Fungal leaf spots also cause the leaves of Lamb’s ear plant to turn brown. Let’s see how to fix these issues.
Heat & Humidity
Expert gardeners are aware that Lamb’s ear is quite sensitive to overheat. This sensitivity shows itself in the summer.
The leaves turn brown as if they got a sunburn. If you live in an area with high temperatures make sure that your plant gets some shade every day.
Tip: Install artificial shade if necessary.
Does Lambs Ear need sun or shade?
Lamb’s ear plant thrives in full-sun conditions. It can tolerate some shade, so it’s better to plant in such a place so that it gets partial shade in summer.
Poorly draining soil
Heavy, poorly draining soil is not suitable for the growth of Lamb’s ear plant. Lamb’s ear plant prefers lighter, well-draining soil.
You can make the soil lighter by adding compost to it. Clay soil is the poorest draining soil, so you may want to add a good amount of compost to it.
Fungal leaf spots in Lamb’s ear
Several types of fungi can cause leaf spots in Lamb’s ear plant. These fungi reside on the leaf surface and grow dramatically when the leaves are moist enough.
Lamb’s ear plants are particularly prone to leaf spots disease because of the texture of the leaf. Lamb’s ear plant’s leaves hold moisture for longer than needed.
This is the main reason why Lamb’s ear easily contracts the disease. The disease causes transparent, brown, or black spots on the leaves.
These spots often fuse together to become a larger patch of dead tissue.
Treating Fungal leaf spots in Lamb’s ear
First, you should clear the dead leaf debris around the infected plant. This helps reduce the spread of fungal spores.
Dispose of these infected leaves carefully. Be careful when watering your plants, do not wet the leaves.
Spray the foliage with wettable sulfur in weekly intervals. This treatment works if you identified the infection early.
You should discard seriously infected plants as there’s no hope for such plants. Dig up the plant and dispose of it carefully. Replace the soil with fresh soil.
Keeping the garden area clean helps to prevent this disease. Clean up garden area in the fall season. Good air circulation around the plant helps prevent fungal infections.
Why is my Lambs ear turning yellow?
Powdery rust/Powdery mildew causes Lamb’s ear leaves to turn yellow. If it is the case you’ll see that the undersides of the leaves are powdery with spores of the fungus.
Nematodes also cause the yellowing of the leaves in Lamb’s ear plants. The plant becomes stunted and the roots become knotted.
Powdery spots on leaves
Rust diseases caused by several species of fungi damage the leaf by causing yellow spots on the uppersides of the leaf.
Undersides of the leaves become powdery due to the presence of the fungal spores. Infected stems and leaves will be seriously deformed.
The symptoms are hard to recognize on the lamb’s ear plant as the leaves are different. You may want to inspect the leaves closely to confirm this disease.
Treating Powdery rust in Lambs ear plant
- You can prevent rust by spraying vulnerable plants with wettable sulfur from time to time.
- Space the plants to improve air circulation among plants. Do not wet the leaves when watering your plants.
Tip: Clean the garden debris from time to time to prevent Powdery rust.
Nematodes on Lamb’s ear
Nematodes are unsegmented roundworms that live in the soil. They are microscopic and have sap-sucking capabilities.
Thus, they feed on the roots of the victim plant. Several kinds of Nematodes may attack the leaves and roots of Lamb’s ear plant.
Lambs ear plants infected by such nematodes look sickly and wilted. The leaves eventually turn yellow or bronzed.
Root development stalls and roots become knotted. Dig up those plants which are severely infected. Dispose of them carefully.
There are some varieties of fungi that like to feed on these pesky nematodes. You can encourage the growth of such fungi by adding compost to the soil.
If you see Nematodes regularly on your Lambs ear plants, try to plant them in a different place in your garden.
Why is my Lamb’s ear wilting?
Lamb’s ear plant wilts mainly due to overwatering. Wilting in the leaves of Lamb’s ear may also be seen due to overfertilization.
Overwatering causes waterlogged conditions around Lamb’s ear plant. These conditions lead to a disease called root rot.
The roots of such plants become rotten and thus can’t absorb sufficient water. Water Lamb’s ear plant only when the soil dries up.
Increased Nitrogen content in the soil hinders the absorption of water by the roots. This eventually leads to a lack of water in the plant.
The plant responds to these conditions by wilting/curling the leaves to reduce the area of evaporation.
How often do you water lambs ear?
Lambs ear is a drought-tolerant plant and it likes to live so. The plant needs only a little water to thrive.
Water the plant only when the soil goes dry. Make sure the soil has good drainage as the plant hates waterlogged conditions.
Lamb’s ear white spots
White spots on Lamb’s ear happen due to Mealybugs. Try washing those white specks off with a garden hose, if they disappear, it is just powdery mildew.
If the white specks stick around even after a garden hose spray, they are mealybugs. Mealybugs attack to stems and leaves to suck the sap out of the plant.
Spray the infected plant with insecticidal soap once a week to kill off these insect pests. You can dab on them with cotton buds dipped in rubbing alcohol.
The rubbing alcohol technique works only when the infestation is early. Check the other plants for mealybugs and act immediately to stop a large-scale infestation.
What is eating my Lamb’s ear plant?
Slugs and snails eat Lamb’s ear plant’s leaves. They are a great problem, especially in cold, wet conditions. They multiply rapidly.
They are extremely voracious and can devour the entire bed of plantlings overnight. They are capable of even killing entire mature plants.
Confirm their presence when you see mucus trails near your precious plants. Snails hide under leaves, boards, or cracks in the wall.
Keeping debris out of your garden helps deter snails.
Here’s how you get rid of snails on your Lamb’s ear
- If the infestation is early, handpicking those snails is the most efficient way. Drop them in a bucket of saltwater as soon as you pick them.
- Avoid mulching around vulnerable plants as mulch shelters these pests.
- Setting up barriers helps as well. Diatomaceous earth helps to deter snails. Copper strips work wonders to keep these pests at bay.
What animal eats lamb’s ear?
You’ll find that no animal is interested in eating your lamb’s ear leaves. This is due to the texture of the leaves of the plant.
The leaves are designed so that no animal would eat them. Snails and slugs are the most common pests of Lamb’s ear plant.
What bugs eat lamb’s ear?
There aren’t many bugs that infect Lamb’s ear plant. This may be attributed to the hairy texture of the leaves.
Little black bugs on lamb’s ear
Sehirus cinctus is a tiny, black bug that is a lamb’s ear-specific pest. The larvae and adults fancy eating the seeds of the Lamb’s ear.
They are not easily caught by the human eye. This is the reason why they grow in silence and suddenly you see ’em crawling everywhere.
You need not worry about these black bugs as they won’t harm the plant and can’t harm humans as well. Just wait and these bugs will be gone before you could notice.
Does lambs ear die back in winter?
Yes, Lamb’s ear plant does die back in harsh winters. The leaves will die back to the ground. There’s no way to avoid it.
The plant will recover on its own though, once the harsh weather passes. Just wait patiently and your plant will be back soon.
Happy Gardening 🙂