Saponaria Plant


Saponaria Plant – The common names of Saponaria (Soapwort, Bouncing Bet) are a guide to some of its  properties. Stir a handful of cut leaves in a bowl of water and the lather produced reveals why it is called Soapwort. Leave a clump  to grow undisturbed in the border for a few years and the sight of  its stems springing up amongst other plants reveals why it is also called Bouncing Bet.

It is really too invasive for the choice border,  but it remains a charming cottage garden plant. The erect stems  bear lance-shaped leaves and in summer a terminal cluster of  flowers. It is completely trouble-free – merely out down the  stems to ground level in the fall. 

Saponia officinalis

Varieties of Saponaria

Thespecies grown in gardens is Saponaria officinalis (height2-3 FT,  spacing 2 ft, flowering period  JuIy – September). The pink single- flowered species is one of our native flowers, found wild in hedges and  woodland, as well as being a popular plant in cottage gardens, but it has now been largely superseded by the double-flowering varieties  –  ‘Rosea Plena’ (pink), ‘Rubra Plena’ (red) and ‘Alba Plena’ (white).


Saponaria officinalis

Site and soil

Any reasonable garden soil will do — thrives in sun or light shade. 

Propagation

 Divide clumps in fall or spring.    

Saponaria ocimoides

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