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5 Texture Plants That Are Fun to Touch AND Grow

You can grow plants that look beautiful, smell terrific or taste great. Why not select texture plants you want to touch, too? After all, touching certain plants also can contribute to the overall sensory experience of your garden. Read on to discover five texture that are fun to touch.

1. Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina)

Lamb's ear is a fun plant to touch with velvet-soft leaves

Lamb’s ear leaves photo via Proteinbiochemist

Thick wooly-white leaves on lamb’s ear plants are soft as velvet. Give this hardy perennial full sun and well-drained soil in the garden. Easy to grow, this plant is tolerant of poor soil. Ideal USDA growing zones are 4 to 7. Divide lamb’s ear every 3 to 4 years in spring.

A bee with lamb's ear flowers

Flowering lamb’s ear photo via w4nd3rl0st (InspiredinDesMoines)

The little flowers on lamb’s ear are rather insignificant; it’s the plant foliage that draws most of the applause. But bees like the flowers, as you can see above, and the blooms are good for attracting pollinators to your garden.

2. Chenille (Acalypha hispida)

Chenille is a fun plant to touch with long red furry catkins

Chenille photo via Hickoryrose

Who wouldn’t want to reach out and touch these furry red cattails? Chenille is hardy only to Zones 10 to 11, so most gardeners grow this attractive, touchable plant as a houseplant. The stunning plant thrives in full to partial sun. Give chenille a rich, moist soil for best results, and consider growing this beauty in hanging baskets.

3. Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis)

Hyacinths have star-like flowers that are fun to touch

Hyacinth photo via dog.happy.art

It’s easy to love hyacinth’s vivid colors and heavenly scent. But the star-like flowers seem to scream “please touch me too.” These bulbs are planted in fall, and require dormancy in chilled conditions to bloom in spring. Hyacinth flowers bloom best in full sun, but can also be planted under deciduous trees as long as the bulbs have 3 to 4 hours of light after tree leaves grow back.

4. Pussy Willow (Salix discolor)

pussy willow is a fun plant to touch

Pussy willow photo via tombarta

The soft, furry catkins on this pretty member of the willow family make pussy willows another “please-touch” plant. Appearing in late winter, the catkins later become leaves and flowers. These plants thrive in full sun to partial shade with regular to moist soil. Consider growing them near streams or ponds. Prune annually, soon after the flowers have faded.

5. Scented Geranium (Pelargonium)

LIme geranium is fun to touch, because the leaves are scented

Lime-scented geranium photo via Tracy27

The best part of touching scented geraniums is that the foliage leaves a delicious aroma upon your fingers, from lemon and lime to rose, apple and more, depending on the variety. Full sun is best for this fragrant plant, but they will tolerate partial shade. Most are only hardy to Zones 10 to 11, but scented geraniums overwinter well indoors. The leaves and flowers are edible, and can be used in baked goods or herbal teas.

What are your favorite texture plants to touch?

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