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Saxifraga - saxifrage

Saxifraga

Saxifraga, also known as saxifrage, delights us with their delicate, porcelain-like bells during the flowering period in the spring and summer. The plants are extremely robust.

   
 
No image available Saxifraga cotyledon 'Pyramidalis'

Pyramidal saxifrage

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No image available Saxifraga paniculata

White mountain saxifrage

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More useful information about Saxifraga - saxifrage

They come back year after year in pots as well as in rock gardens, as ground cover or in cracks in walls. This genus comprises between 450 and 500 species and varieties, some of which are very similar. They are used for rock gardens, the tops of walls, dry stone walls and in pots. The best known is the moss type, which likes to grow as ground cover. These plants should be planted in partial shade and the soil should never dry out completely. These perennials are evergreen and hardy.

Buying the Best Saxifraga Varieties

The giant rosette type (S. cotyledon 'Pyramidalis') is one of the most sensational types of saxifrage. It thrives in shady and sunken crevices. The rosettes become very large and the imposing panicles of flowers grow up to 40 centimetres long. In June and July, the magnificent plant adorns itself with white flowers. But it is very decorative for the tops of walls or bed borders all year round because its rosettes are green even in the winter. It is a good perennial when grown in well-drained soil. Other popular types are the panicle saxifraga species (S. paniculata). These are common in mountainous areas of Northern Europe and America. They grow in any soil in the garden, but they should be planted in a partially shaded to sunny location. The soil should never dry out completely. The small hybrid variety of the moss saxifrage (Saxifraga x arendsii 'Schneezwerg') grows particularly nicely and compactly. This moss type is only about 10 centimetres high. The variety is ideal for cracks in walls and small containers. It is evergreen and hardy. The filigree, white flowers open on short stems.

Saxifraga Lubera

The Right Location

All types and varieties of these plants need a light, airy place in partial shade, and well-drained, humus-rich soil. The sunny side of walls is ideal. During flowering, the delicate flowers should preferably not be in the blazing midday sun because they would quickly fade away. A location with good drainage and well-drained, calcareous soil is important for all saxifrage species. They should be planted at a distance of 10 to 30 centimetres, depending on the type and variety. If necessary, loosen up the soil with sand so that the plants do not get any diseases. After planting, water these plants and other ground covering perennials well.

Cultivate in Containers

The different varieties of Saxifraga are well suited as balcony plants for boxes and pots. The tops of walls and other areas that are difficult to access can also be embellished with them, or these delicate but tough and robust plants can also be used for decorative objects that are difficult to access because they require little maintenance, hardly get any diseases and continue to grow for several years. It is important that a layer of expanded clay or gravel is first poured into the containers. Then use a mixture of potting soil and sand. Saxifrage likes a layer of mulch of gravel and stones, which also looks nice. It is important that the pots that are planted with these plants are not too hot in the summer. In the hot season, these perennials prefer a somewhat shadier, sun-protected location in the garden or on the balcony, especially during the flowering period. In dry weather, this plant must be watered regularly because it should not dry out completely.

Care and Propagation

Most species get bare from the inside over the years and then no longer look beautiful in the garden. Therefore, after flowering, moss types and other species of this plant should be dug out every three or four years and the root balls divided. The roots are cut into about four pieces. Plant them individually again with a little sand and compost, and water them well. Other than this, this plant needs little maintenance. Provide the plant with some compost and horn shavings in the spring. This is best done in March, before flowering. After flowering, cut away the withered flower stalks. Pests and diseases are hardly known to the saxifrage. Only too much water can cause the delicate plants to rot. That is why it is important to always ensure good drainage for these plants in the garden and in a pot. Since Saxifraga has good winter hardiness, it can simply stay in the garden in the winter. Only in small containers should it be protected from frost a little. Again, the biggest problem in the winter is not cold, but too much moisture.

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