Lavender Cotton (Santolina Chamaecyparissus)
The Santolina is a beautiful plant that, in addition to having an interesting ornamental value , has medicinal properties that can not be ignored. It is very easy to take care of and to maintain , so much so that it is not only suitable for beginners but, if it is planted on the ground, from the second year it will hardly need attention.
If you are liking what you are reading, you have to know that there is still more. This wonderful plant keeps secrets, but they will all be revealed to you in this special article.
Origin and characteristics of Santolina
Our protagonist, whose scientific name is Santolina chamaecyparissus , is a sub-shrub belonging to the Asteraceae family. Probably, this name does not sound like much, but perhaps these tell you something else: female abrotano, cipresilla, lombriguera grass, box, wardrobe, manzanillera, ontina of heads, tea of Aragon, or chamomile of Mahon.
It grows naturally in southern Europe, northern Africa and in North America, on clay or stony slopes. It is an easy to distinguish plant: it grows to a height between 20 and 70cm, and has numerous thin stems that grow leaves, which are greenish gray . These are narrow, linear, divided, and very aromatic. Its smell is similar to that of chamomile, although it is not very unpleasant. During the summer, hemispherical heads grow with yellow flowers.
To have a perfectly healthy Santolina, you have to take into account the following:
It is important that you give sunlight directly , if possible throughout the day. In semi-shade it could have poor growth. It is also not recommended to have it inside the house, except if you have a room with plenty of natural light.
Soil or substrate
Regardless of whether you want to have it in a pot or in the garden, the earth has to have good drainage . In the event that this is not the case, that is to say, that the water that we spend more than 2 minutes in filtering, has to be mixed with perlite , pomice or any other similar material in equal parts.
Infrequent. It will be enough once or twice a week . If we have a dish under it, we will remove the water that is ten minutes after watering.
As it is a plant that can be used as a raw material for edible products, it is advisable to fertilize it using organic fertilizers , such as guano , manure or humus . If it is in a pot, we recommend using them in liquid format so as not to hinder drainage.
Time of planting or transplant
In spring , when the risk of frost has passed.
You have to remove the withered flowers , and go trimming the branches so that the plant can look very pretty.
If we want to obtain new specimens, we can do it from tender cuttings in spring and mature cuttings in autumn . We impregnate the base with rooting hormones, and plant them in a pot with porous substrate, like black peat mixed with pearlite in equal parts.
It is susceptible to attack by aphids , which can be treated with neem oil .
Resistance and Resilience
It can be cultivated without problems in the outside in those areas where frosts of up to -5ºC occur .
Uses of santolina
The santolina has several uses for the human being, which are:
It can be planted in the gardens , either to delimit roads, along with other plants that grow to the same height, or to give a different color. In pot you can have decorating the terrace, the balcony or any corner.
The following is according to WebMD website. This is a very interesting plant that helps us to protect our health, for example by fighting vermin infections.
In addition, it can be used as a complementary treatment for anorexia, since it is aperitive . It also prevents wounds from becoming infected , serving as a cure.
Another of the medicinal usage, always following WebMD, that it has is like decongestant and expectorant . All an ally when we have a cold . But there is still more: it helps regulate menstruation and reduce the pain of the periods, this last because it has a mild sedative effect.
If we have vision problems, such as eyestrain, conjunctivitis or inflammation, we can use it to improve.
How is it used?
It can be used in three different ways, depending on what we need it for:
- Infusion : 5 to 8 flowers are boiled in a cup of water. To improve digestion and as a dewormer, up to 3 cups a day have to be taken.
- Essence : 3 to 4 drops have been taken in a small spoonful 3 times a day. It is the best to eliminate internal parasites.
- External use : 5 to 8 flowers are boiled in a cup of water, a cotton swab is moistened and then it is well drained to later place it on the inflamed areas or on the eyes.
Does it have side effects?
A high consumption can cause poisonings . The recommended doses should not be exceeded according to WebMD.
And with this we end the special on santolina. Did you find it interesting? Please let us know your opinion in the comments.
I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide. I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.