onesies (Stachys ‘Bella Grigio’)

I had the best time nursery hopping over the weekend, looking for my mom’s summer tomato plants and gleefully indulging in a practice we’re always sternly advised against:
Never buy one of this and that. Always plant in threes and fives. Make sweeps, make waves, go big or go home, etc., etc.
Well, I had a sweep of agastache, but one plant didn’t make it through winter, leaving a hole for a onesie. That’s the excuse I’m sticking with, anyway.
Besides, somebody has to trial plants for those eventual great sweeps, right? So you’re welcome.

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And what a onesie it is. Stachys ‘Bella Grigio.’

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At the nursery it drew me in from quite a distance, the slim, tapered, silvery leaves fooling me for a moment into thinking a New Zealand celmisia like C. densiflora had wandered into a Los Angeles nursery. Fat chance. I haven’t seen a celmisia since Dunn Gardens in the Pacific Northwest and won’t likely see another until a return visit to the PNW. This stachys would seem to be a sure bet for sun and dry soil, a new tissue-culture lamb’s ears, tallish to a foot and a half. And if it’s as vigorous as its reputation, I’ll have a sweep out of this onesie in no time.

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10 Responses to onesies (Stachys ‘Bella Grigio’)

  1. I’m commenting here on your winter walk post since I couldn’t find a place to comment there. I loved the parklet concept for cities. As for this post, rules are made to be broken.

  2. Kris P says:

    I use that “trial” justification for my onesie plant selections all the time. Interestingly, my friend picked up the same Stachys on our nursery tour this weekend but, unsure how it would do, she put it back – I’ll be interested to see your update on its performance. BTW, the Digiplexis I picked up at your instigation in the fall, has the start of a flower spike!

  3. ks says:

    Hey, when you get the Onesies , just call it a ‘specimen’.

  4. Denise says:

    Sarah, I started closing comments down after 2 weeks due to spam, but I’m so glad you persisted!
    Kris, I’ve got two spikes out now. Now I’m seeing digiplexis everywhere. For a brief moment, we were a select group!
    Kathy, how could I forget the “specimen” dodge?

  5. Scott says:

    It fooled you alright, along with the renaming ploys of the Dutch floral company marketing this plant. No it doesn’t seem to to be a Celmisia. But it sure as hell is no Stachys either, in fact not even a member of the Lamiaceae, as foliage is rosulate, not oppposite. How has it done in your garden? Has it revealed its true identity with an attempt at flowering?

  6. Denise says:

    Wow, Scott, what chicanery! How it’s done is died, and quite soon after it was planted. But I’d try it in a pot this year in a heartbeat if it appears in local nurseries again.

  7. JAN says:


  8. Denise says:

    Jan, I wouldn’t know, but I don’t think so — my question has been: DOES IT LIVE?
    Good luck!

  9. Marty Anne says:

    I’ve had one for about three years and it has never bloomed but it has gotten much larger around. Very beautiful and so luminous white.

  10. Denise says:

    Marty Anne, that’s good to know this stachys has some longevity somewhere.

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