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)


Alpines and Rock Gardens


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

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


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

San Antonio, Texas

Tremonton, Utah

Lexington, Virginia

Suffolk, Virginia

Bellevue, Washington

Indianola, Washington

Port Townsend, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Casper, Wyoming

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.