A native of the European Alps, rock soapwort is a low growing plant that scrambles over rocks and trails over walls. It’s semi-evergreen foliage forms dense mats and can be used in rock gardens or between stepping stones to advantage. This easy to grow plant is excellent as a ground cover or edging too. The leaves provide an olive green background for the pink flowers that are produced in loose clusters in late spring to late summer. A close haircut after flowering keeps the plant tidy and vigorous. True to their alpine heritage, rock soapworts like cool temperatures and die out in humid areas so it is not a plant for areas south of zone 7. The common name soapwort comes from the fact that the leaves of a closely related plant, common soapwort, produce a thick juice that can be used to make soap.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Loose clusters of small pink flowers are produced in late spring to early summer.

Foliage: Flat, one inch long, olive green leaves are semi-evergreen.

Size: 6-9” H x 7” W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Lean to average, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 2-7

Care: Prune hard after flowering

Pests and Diseases: None of significance; plants do not tolerate winter rains

Propagation: Seed (stratify seed for 4-6 weeks at 40 F); terminal cuttings, division

Companion plants: Artemesias, speedwells, daylilies, yarrows, sedums.

Outstanding Selections:

    var. alba (pure white flowers)
    var. splendens (large, rose flowers)

Plant profiles pointer

By Karen