Rock Soapwort in bloom in May

Plant Pick: Rock Soapwort or Saponaria

Rock soapwort is a perfect flowering plant for hypertufa.

The real scientific name is Saponaria ocymoides and since it needs well-drained soil, it is a winner for hypertufa pots. This plant is a beautiful flowering and cascading plant for one of my hypertufa troughs or bowls. The particular variety I have is a pink one and it is perfect this spring. I already have it growing from past years, and this year I am being rewarded with a whole lot of blooms on the new ones I planted last year from seed. It does take a second season to bloom.

If you are looking for a plant that the deer are less likely to eat, this is a candidate. As we all know, if a deer is hungry, it will eat anything, but at least this particular spring-blooming plant is apparently not as scrumptious as some of them. Good!

Here are some statistics for the rock  soapwort:

  • zone 2-9  (remains evergreen except in coldest zones)
  • height 6-8″ prostrate
  • spread 12-24 inches
  • full sun exposure
  • deer resistant, not invasive

Soapwort is a sprawling or cascading plant and will dangle over the edge of a trough nicely. In the spring time it is covered with the pink flowers which are visually just as stunning as the creeping phlox you see all over.  But the plant remains a tidy plant for the rest of the year. You can cut it back but if left alone, it will reseed and spread into a larger clump. But I have not found it to be invasive at all.

Be sure to check out all my other posts on my Backyard Flower Garden here.

image of blooming rock soapwort

But this plant is one you can grow from seed. Just spend a few dollars for a packet of seeds and you will have enough for many stone planters. I have a link to it on Amazon here and if you should make a purchase, I could receive a small commission.  [easyazon_link identifier=”B017UEJG12″ locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”thehypegard0d-20″ cloak=”n”]Rock soapwort[/easyazon_link] would also be wonderful cascading over rock walls too. I can pair it with taller varieties of plants. It is good for well-drained neutral or alkaline soil, so what could be better than my hypertufa garden planters! Any cement or concrete garden planter makes for a great garden ornament.

Seedheads of the rock soapwort

After flowering, the seed heads dry out and will reseed around. If you don’t want it to spread, you can trim it back by give it a “haircut” and discarding the cuttings.  But it is not a type of plant that will takeover the garden. I find a sprig here and there in my garden every year. I started with some seeds about 5 years ago and it is still growing and coming back nicely.

What plants are you planning for your spring garden? I love seeing all the rock soapwort I have blooming this year!


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