Phlomis is a genus of about 100 species of herbaceous plants, perennials, and shrubs that belong to the mint family Lamiaceae. Phlomis are all native to the Mediterranean region and spreading east across central Asia and China.
Phlomis shrubs have grayish green leaves that are slightly hairy and they are known for their whorls of yellow, white, or lilac flowers. The flowers generally consist of two-lipped corollas with calyces which are often spine-tipped. Their tall stature and interesting blooms make them great for bordering flower beds and other landscaped areas. Small species of Phlomis are also useful in rock gardens. Two of the common names of Phlomis include Jerusalem Sage and Lampwick Plant.
Phlomis varies depending on the specific type but generally the plants grow up to 3 to 4 feet (90 to 120 cm). They can be quite useful in the winter because their tall stalks and seed heads have a sculptural quality to them. Phlomis stalks produce small seedlings which can gradually spread out over an area. They are easy to control, though. You can just pull them up and relocate them to another area if you wish.
Growing in a Container
If you wish to plant Phlomis in a container, make use of a large one filled with compost with a soil foundation. Try not to be too generous in feeding and watering your plant as it actually grows well in drought. Once your Phlomis begins to form flowers, you may need to do some trimming as it has a tendency to grow uncontrollably. Trimming it back will put a limit to this. When winter comes, keep the plant protected in a cool area. Always remember that you should water it as minimally as possible.
Selecting Seeds and Transplanting
For propagating purposes, select seeds of medium size preferably during autumn. Make use of plug or seed trays, covering them with a thin coating of compost. Place them in a cool area. The germination process can be quite swift. As soon as your seedlings are big enough, you may begin to transplant them into an area of your garden that is safe from the frost.
For garden cultivating, plant you Phlomis into your seed beds after all the dangers of frost have passed. Place them in groups of about 3 to 4 seeds separating them from each other by 24 to 30 inches (60 to 75 cm). Keep them under full sunlight and partial shade. They survive drought during the milder climates of summer and will only require minimal watering when the weather is extremely hot.
Maintaining Plant Health
To properly maintain Phlomis, you may divide the plants that are completely established when necessary during the season of spring. Come summertime, start trimming after the flowering stage to help retain the plant's shape. Autumn is always the best time to start planting your seeds. During the cold winter, make sure that your plant is protected, especially those that are grown outdoors.