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Rock Soapwort

Saponaria ocymoides

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Rock Soapwort (Saponaria ocymoides) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Saponaria ocymoides flowers

Saponaria ocymoides flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 inches

Spacing:  15 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  2a

Ornamental Features

Rock Soapwort is smothered in stunning pink flowers at the ends of the stems from mid to late spring, which emerge from distinctive rose flower buds. Its round leaves remain emerald green in color throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Rock Soapwort is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading

Rock Soapwort is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Rock Soapwort will grow to be only 6 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 18 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 15 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Rock Soapwort is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Rock  Edging  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Texture 
Ornamental Features