Alphabetical Plant Listing

Saponaria ocymoides (Rock Soapwort)

Rock Soapwort, Basil Soap-Wort, Tumbling Ted, Silene ocymoides


Saponaria ocymoides (Rock Soapwort) is a mat-forming semi-evergreen perennial boasting masses of bright pink flowers held in loose sprays at the tips of its many branches. Blooming in early summer, they smother the foliage of small, ovate, olive-green leaves. Vigorous, Rock Soapwort forms a pretty flower carpet and adds a splash of color for about 3-4 weeks. It climbs and clambers over rocks and is a terrific trailing plant for walls or raised beds. It works well in a rock garden, as a groundcover, or between stepping stones on a path. Easy to grow, extremely cold-hardy, Rock Soapwort does not perform well in hot, humid summers.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society
  • Grows up to 6-9 in. tall (15-22 cm) and 12-24 in. wide (30-60 cm). This plant will self-seed in the garden, but without being aggressive.
  • Performs best in full sun in average, medium to dry, slightly alkaline, well-drained soils. Drought tolerant once established.
  • Excellent choice for rock gardens, edging or as a ground cover. Lovely when trailing over a rock wall or container edge.
  • Generally disease free. Keep an eye out for slugs and snails. Deer resistant.
  • Cut back hard after flowering to maintain compact habit and encourage reblooming.
  • Propagate by seed and softwood cuttings. Clumps can be divided in spring or summer.
  • Native to the rocky, mountainous slopes of southwestern and south central Europe.

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Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early)
Height 6" – 9" (15cm – 22cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rocky Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Edging, Ground Covers, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden

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By Maxal Tamor, Sigur, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early)
Height 6" – 9" (15cm – 22cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rocky Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Edging, Ground Covers, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden

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