About Pussytoes: The dense, whitish foliage of Pussytoes makes an excellent native ground cover in hot, rocky, dry locations or in dappled woodland areas. Children love its unique furry “flowers” that look and feel like a kitten’s toes. As well as being attractive, the fuzz is necessary to reflect heat and light to keep the plant cool in the heat of the sun. In the past, the plant was used for treatment of bruises and snakebites as well as for numerous other complaints.
Pussytoes Germination: This seed must be stratified before planting to break its dormancy. The most natural method of doing this is direct sowing in the fall. For spring planting, mix the seed with damp sand and keep it in the refrigerator for 60 days before direct sowing on the surface of the soil. This plant prefers dry, poor soil in full sun or dappled shade; it will tolerate shade if the soil is dry. Germination may be slow, usually taking place within 2-3 weeks. Space seedlings to 9-12" apart.
Growing Pussytoes Seeds: This plant tolerates heat and drought, thriving in rocky soils; it will even grow in cracks or crevices, but not in moist, rich soil. It will not tolerate competition, and must be kept weed free until established. Mature plants spread quickly by roots and reseeding, and form a dense mat of attractive foliage that acts as a ground cover; the leaves grow to only a few inches in height, while the flower stalks reach 12”. In winter, cover the plant with mulch to protect it from the cold. Pussytoes attracts butterflies, especially the American Painted Lady, but deer and rabbits avoid this plant since parts of it can be poisonous to them.
Harvesting Pussytoes: These flowers dry well for decorative purposes. Cut the stems as soon as the soft, fuzzy clusters develop and hang them upside down to dry.
Saving Pussytoes Seeds: Pussytoes seed is very tiny, and can be found connected to the fuzz on the heads. Gather the fuzz as soon as it can be easily removed. Since it will fly away on the wind when fully ripe, it must be carefully watched to avoid losing the seed. Store the seed material in a cool place for up to 5 years.
Detailed Pussytoes Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Plantain-leaf Pussytoes, Woman's Tobacco, Everlasting, Mouse Ear Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Spring-Early Summer Height: 6-18 inches Spacing: 9-12 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Dry USDA Zone: 3-9 Seeds Per Oz: 275,000 Produces a plant with silvery green oval leaves, and clusters of fuzzy white ¼” inch flowers at the top of each stem.