Walton's Plant Library

Dwarf Cotton Lavender

Santolina chamaecyparissus 'var. nana'

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Dwarf Cotton Lavender (Santolina chamaecyparissus 'var. nana') at Walton's Garden Center

Dwarf Cotton Lavender flowers

Dwarf Cotton Lavender flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Dwarf Cotton Lavender (Santolina chamaecyparissus 'var. nana') at Walton's Garden Center

Dwarf Cotton Lavender

Dwarf Cotton Lavender

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  12 inches

Spread:  12 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  5b

Other Names:  Gray Santolina


This fine textured dwarf variety produces spectacular silver foliage with a hint of gray-green througout, and bright yellow button flowers in summer; presents a dense small rounded habit; perfect in the rock garden, containers, or as a garden accent

Ornamental Features

Dwarf Cotton Lavender features showy spikes of lightly-scented yellow button flowers at the ends of the branches from early to mid summer. The flowers are excellent for cutting. It has attractive silver evergreen foliage. The fragrant narrow leaves are highly ornamental and remain silver throughout the winter.

Landscape Attributes

Dwarf Cotton Lavender is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a more or less rounded form. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which should be used to full effect.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Dwarf Cotton Lavender is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Dwarf Cotton Lavender will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 inches. It has a low canopy. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Dwarf Cotton Lavender makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers and foliage against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Rock  Edging  Garden  Groundcover  Container 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features