SAPONARIA Rock Soapwort

The Soapwort grown in the herbaceous border is S. officinalis, an upright and invasive plant which has long been popular in cottage gardens . The Rock Soap-wort is also wide-spreading, but it is a low-growing carpeting plant – a splendid choice for covering rocks or tumbling over walls. As you would expect from a perennial which grows wild in the Alps, its two enemies are shade and poor drainage – avoid these and it is trouble-free.

VARIETIES: The basic details of S. ocymoides are height 3 in., spread 1.5 ft.

Flowering period: July-September. The flowers are pale – for richer pink blooms choose the variety ‘Splendens’. The varieties ‘Compacts’ or the red-flowering ‘Rubra Compacta’ are useful where a smaller plant is required – or you can choose the bright pink S. ‘Bressingham’ (height 1.5 in., spread 9 in.

Flowering period: May-July

SITE AND SOIL: Requires well-drained soil in full sun.

PROPAGATION: Sow seeds under glass in spring or plant non-flowering cuttings in summer. |

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