Lady's mantle is an old-fashioned perennial herb that's best grown in a shade garden. It produces tiny, chartreuse flowers that can be used in fresh or dried arrangements. Its leaves and stems are covered with tiny hairs that catch the morning dew, giving the plant a magical, mystical appearance. Although it was used in the past for medicinal purposes, today the leaves are used primarily for cosmetics, and the dried flowers are used for craft projects.
Choose a site to grow your lady's mantle. In cool, northern climates, it will grow best in full sun to partial shade. In hot, southern climates, it does best in partial shade--or at the very least, shelter from the mid-day sun. The plant requires rich, fertile soil in a location that stays evenly moist. It does not tolerate dry soil.
Add soil amendments. Improve the soil by adding 2 to 4 inches of peat moss and 2 to 4 inches of compost to the surface of the growing bed. Turn the soil over with a shovel and rake the area smooth with a garden rake.
Sow seeds less than ¼ inch deep, 2 to 3 inches apart. Gently firm the soil over the seed bed. Mist the surface with a hose-end sprayer set to a fine mist. Check the seed bed daily and mist as needed to keep it moist until germination occurs in about 7 to 14 days.
Thin the tiny plants when they are 2 to 3 inches high so they stand 12 to 18 inches apart.
Mulch the area around the lady's mantle with a 2-to-3 inch layer of shredded leaves or partially decomposed compost.
Provide lady's mantle with the equivalent of 1 to 2 inches of rainfall per week.
Apply a 4-inch layer of mulch on the plants in late fall to protect the roots from freezing and thawing winter temperatures. Remove mulch in early spring.
Top dress in spring with compost. Pull back the mulch. Apply a 2-to-3 inch layer of well-rotted compost in an 8-to-10 inch circle around the plants. Replace the mulch.
Dig up and divide the plants every 5 to 6 years. Set the plant on a hard surface and drive a sharp spade through the roots to divide it. Each root division should have one or two growth stems. Replant divisions 3 inches deep, or discard.