Lavender Cotton Santolina pinnata subsp. neapolitana

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
rosemary-leaved lavender cotton


The plant, commonly known as green santolina, is characterized by its compact, rounded shape resembling a small shrub. It displays intricate branching that gives way to a dense foliage of narrow, green leaves. These leaves possess a fine texture and are feathery in appearance, contributing to the plant's delicate and soft aesthetic. The edges of the leaves exhibit a slight serration, and the foliage exudes a pleasant, aromatic fragrance when brushed against or crushed. Throughout the blooming season, green santolina presents an eye-catching array of small, button-like flowers perched atop slender stems, which rise just above the foliage. The flowers are typically a bright yellow, creating a stark and spectacular contrast against the green leaves. This splash of color adds to the ornamental value of the plant, making it an attractive choice for gardens. The overall visual effect of green santolina is one of a textured, mounded form with a tapestry of vibrant green leaves punctuated by cheerful, yellow flowers. Its aesthetic allows it to serve various landscape purposes such as a ground cover or a low hedge and can even be shaped and maintained as a part of decorative knot gardens. The pleasing scent and rich coloration of the green santolina make it a beloved addition to aromatic gardens, rock gardens, and borders where visual appeal and fragrance are a priority.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Neapolitan Santolina, Sicilian Lavender Cotton

    • Common names

      Santolina neapolitana, Santolina pinnata var. neapolitana.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Green Santolina, another name for Santolina pinnata subsp. neapolitana, is not commonly known to be toxic to humans. However, as with many plants, individual sensitivities can vary, and it is always advisable to avoid ingesting plant material that is not known to be edible. If a person were to ingest parts of the Green Santolina and experience adverse reactions such as gastrointestinal discomfort, allergic reactions, or other symptoms, they should seek medical attention. Caution is recommended as specific toxicity data for this subspecies may be lacking, and it is always better to err on the side of safety with unknown plants.

    • To pets

      Green Santolina is not widely documented as being toxic to pets. However, pets sometimes have different sensitivities than humans to plants, and the lack of specific toxicity data means caution should be exercised. If a pet were to ingest parts of the Green Santolina, it is important to monitor them for any signs of distress or illness such as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, or changes in behavior, and contact a veterinarian if any such symptoms arise. It is always prudent to keep pets from ingesting unknown plant materials to prevent potential adverse effects.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (0.61 meters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (0.61 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Landscape Design: Santolina, commonly known as Lavender Cotton, can be used as a low hedge or border due to its compact, dense growth habit.
    • Drought Tolerance: Lavender Cotton is highly drought-resistant once established, making it ideal for xeriscaping and water-wise gardens.
    • Low Maintenance: This plant requires minimal care, thriving in poor soils and rarely needing fertilization.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: Lavender Cotton produces attractive yellow flowers and has silver-green foliage that adds color and texture contrast to garden designs.
    • Pest Resistance: It is resistant to most pests, reducing the need for chemical pesticides and being beneficial for creating a more sustainable garden environment.
    • Deer Resistance: The aromatic foliage of Lavender Cotton is often avoided by deer, making it a good choice for gardens in areas with high deer populations.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Santolina neapolitana, commonly referred to as Lavender Cotton, can be used as a natural dye, imparting a yellow or green tint to fabrics depending on the mordant used.
    • In gardens, Lavender Cotton can be planted as a companion plant to vegetables like tomatoes to help deter pests with its strong scent.
    • The dried foliage of Lavender Cotton is often used in potpourri for its aromatic properties, contributing a pleasant, long-lasting fragrance to the mixture.
    • Essential oil extracted from Lavender Cotton can be used in perfumery, lending a warm, herbaceous note to fragrance blends.
    • Lavender Cotton's dense growth habit makes it useful for creating low hedges or borders in landscaping, providing structure and texture to garden designs.
    • The silver-gray foliage of Lavender Cotton can be included in floral arrangements as a foliage filler, adding contrast and interest to the composition.
    • This plant can be used in xeriscaping, a landscaping method that reduces the need for irrigation, due to its drought tolerance and low water requirements.
    • Lavender Cotton can be used as a living mulch, helping to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture when planted densely in garden beds.
    • The strong aroma of Lavender Cotton can be used as a natural moth repellent by placing dried sprigs in closets or drawers.
    • Insect-loving birds may be attracted to gardens featuring Lavender Cotton due to the presence of small insects often found around the plants, thus supporting local biodiversity.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Lavender Cotton is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Lavender Cotton is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Protection: Santolina pinnata subsp. neapolitana, commonly known as Green Santolina, has a strong scent and was historically used in sachets to protect against moths. This has extended symbolically to denote protection in general.
    • Healing and Health: Green Santolina is also known for its medicinal properties, representing healing, especially as it was used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments.
    • Purity: With its bright green foliage and tidy form, Green Santolina is often associated with cleanliness and purity, symbolizing a fresh start or a clean slate.

Every 1-2 weeks
10000 - 20000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Green Lavender Cotton should be watered moderately, aiming for 1 to 1.5 gallons per week during the growing season, and reducing watering in the winter. It's important to allow the soil to dry out between waterings as this plant is drought-tolerant and sensitive to overwatering. A deep watering method is recommended, where water penetrates several inches into the soil, to encourage deep root growth. During periods of extreme heat or drought, additional water may be necessary. However, always check the top few inches of soil for moisture before watering again to prevent waterlogged conditions.

  • sunLight

    Green Lavender Cotton thrives in full sun conditions, where it can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. The ideal spot for this plant is an area with unobstructed access to sunlight, such as a south-facing garden bed. While it can tolerate partial shade, too much shade will lead to leggy growth and fewer flowers.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Green Lavender Cotton is suitable for growth in USDA hardiness zones 6-9 and can handle temperatures as low as 10°F and as high as 90°F. It prefers a moderate climate and grows best when daytime temperatures are between 60°F and 75°F. Always ensure the plant is not exposed to prolonged frosts, which can damage the foliage and stems.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Green Lavender Cotton is important to maintain its compact shape and encourage bushy growth. The best time to prune is in early spring, after the last frost but before new growth begins. It should also be lightly pruned or deadheaded after flowering to remove spent blooms and prevent the plant from becoming woody. Prune up to one-third of the plant's size annually, using clean, sharp shears for clean cuts.

  • broomCleaning

    Not needed

  • bambooSoil

    Green Santolina prefers well-draining soil with a mixture of sandy or gravelly components; aim for a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5 for optimal growth conditions.

  • plantRepotting

    Green Santolina should be repotted every 2-3 years to refresh the soil and accommodate root growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Green Santolina thrives in low to moderate humidity conditions, typically those found in Mediterranean climates; avoid high humidity environments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Green Santolina near a sunny window in well-draining soil.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Green Santolina in full sun with well-draining soil; drought-tolerant.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Santolina pinnata subsp. neapolitana, commonly known as Neptune's santolina, typically begins its life cycle as a seed, which germinates in late winter or early spring under appropriate moisture and temperature conditions. After germination, it develops into a seedling with a basic set of leaves to perform photosynthesis. As the plant matures, it grows into a small evergreen shrub with finely divided, aromatic leaves and forms a bushy structure through the vegetative growth stage. During the reproductive stage in summer, Neptune's santolina produces small, yellow flower heads at the tips of the stems, which attract a variety of pollinators. After pollination, the flowers develop into seeds which disperse naturally or can be collected for propagation. The plant then enters a period of dormancy during the colder months, although as an evergreen, it retains its leaves and will resume active growth with the return of warm weather.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • Propogation: Santolina pinnata subsp. neapolitana, commonly known as Green Santolina, is typically propagated by softwood cuttings. This allows gardeners to achieve a clone of the parent plant. The best time to take cuttings is during late spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. Cut a 4 to 6-inch (10 to 15 cm) stem, strip the lower leaves, and dip the cut end into rooting hormone powder. Then, insert the stem into a pot with well-draining soil, ensuring that the nodes where the leaves were removed are buried. The cutting should be kept moist and in indirect sunlight until roots have developed, which usually takes a few weeks. Once the cutting has rooted and shows growth, it can be transplanted into the garden.