Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Rock Soapwort
Saponaria ocymoides

Family: Caryophyllaceae (kar-ree-oh-fil-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Saponaria (sap-oh-NAIR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: ocymoides (ok-kye-MOY-deez) (Info)

7 vendors have this plant for sale.

23 members have or want this plant for trade.

Alpines and Rock Gardens

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)
USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)
USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From softwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 20 photos.
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3 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive whereforart On May 3, 2009, whereforart from Cincinnati, OH wrote:

I've had soapwort in my garden for almost 10 years and it's one of my favorite ground covers. It keeps weeds out very well, and the lovely pink flowers in spring draw attention and compliments. It does reseed quite easily, but I have never had any problem keeping the plan under control. It does best with south or west exposure, and looks wondering tumbling over rocks, a slope or a retaining wall. I have it sitting next to beds of light blue phlox and white candy tuft. The blooming time is staggered for each, but the color palate is gorgeous during the week or so where all 3 are blooming at the same time.

Positive Simon321 On Feb 18, 2009, Simon321 from Bethlehem, PA wrote:

This plant was great in an urn in a hot, sunny dry part of my yard. After 2 - 3 weeks of beautiful blooming, I cut it back hard and the leaves filled back in for the rest of the summer and well into fall. It takes very little care.

Neutral onewish1 On May 18, 2008, onewish1 from Denville, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

not real thrilled with it and it did not stay evergreen here... I had to cut back a bunch of browned growth in early spring

Positive jhyshark On Jun 28, 2004, jhyshark from Scottville, MI (Zone 4b) wrote:

Yes, it can be agressive, but it's easy to rip out chunks where you don't want them, and so pretty for 2-3 weeks. The foliage looks fine the rest of the season too.

Neutral uofagirl On May 31, 2004, uofagirl from Orrville, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Very prolific bloomer the second year established, but becomes leggy when downtrodded by harsh rains in the spring.

Neutral lupinelover On Jan 21, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This makes a great nursery plant for areas where other, slower growing groundcovers are to be grown. It spreads very rapidly, preventing weeds while new plants are establishing. It can be difficult to eliminate, though.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Sahuarita, Arizona
Maumelle, Arkansas
Calistoga, California
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Loveland, Colorado
Danbury, Connecticut
Ridgefield, Connecticut
Seymour, Connecticut
Lewiston, Idaho
Albers, Illinois
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Plainfield, Illinois
Rockford, Illinois
Bremen, Indiana
Greenville, Indiana
Kimmell, Indiana
Atalissa, Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
Urbandale, Iowa
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Newtonville, Massachusetts
Blissfield, Michigan
Scottville, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Billings, Montana
Wolf Point, Montana
Swanzey, New Hampshire
Denville, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Chittenango, New York
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Dundee, Ohio
Fremont, Ohio
Lima, Ohio
Orrville, Ohio
Williamsburg, Ohio
Bend, Oregon
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Crossville, Tennessee
Greeneville, Tennessee
Amarillo, Texas
Hereford, Texas
Tremonton, Utah
Lexington, Virginia
Suffolk, Virginia
Bellevue, Washington
Indianola, Washington
Port Townsend, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Casper, Wyoming

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