- a large genus of wildflowers native to the Old World (Europe) and Asia with flowers in shades of pink and white.
Preferred growing conditions
Plant in most soil types including clay. Saponaria prefers to be planted in a full to partial sun location. In hot climates, afternoon shade is best.
Saponaria need regular watering to establish new transplants. But established plants are generally xeric (waterwise) and only need a good soaking every few weeks when conditions are dry. Rainfall is generally all they need in moister Eastern climates.
Mulch with common mulching materials except in moist climates where plants should remain unmulched.
Deadheading is recommended. Shear back the tops of the plants lightly to remove faded flowers and pinch the new grow to thicken up the plants. When using Saponaria. ocymoides as a large scale groundcover (lawn substitute), it can be deadheaded using a lawn mower set on high to keep the foliage looking tiding after blooming is done.
Fertilize lightly in the fall with a half and half blend of Yum Yum Mix and good quality compost.
These are typically long lived perennials that don't need dividing.
Saponaria 'Max Frei' has a enormous thick roots that don't respond well to being divided or transplanted. Leave standing over the winter and cut back to just above the ground in early to mid-spring.
Saponaria ocymoides and cultivars are semi-evergreen and should be left standing over the winter months. Cut back any winter-killed branch tips in mid-spring leaving green stems and leaves.
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