The candytuft belongs to the genus of the cushion perennials and can be approx. 30 to 40 cm high, it is usually 1-2 years old. Due to its small size, the lovely flower is planted in many places with the aim of covering the ground. However, it is also used in pots and flower pots for terraces and balconies.


Its flowers are approx. 5 cm in size and consist of many small individual flowers, here the colors pink, red and white dominate, some varieties have a striking purple color. The candytuft forms fruits that look like small pods. If the plants can develop their fruits unhindered, however, uncontrolled and extensive self-sowing must be expected, so that the flowers quickly populate the entire garden. There are around 30 different types, the evergreen candytufts, which are popularly known as snow pillows, are particularly popular, and their leathery leaves remain green even in winter. The flower is also used in natural medicine as an effective medicinal plant. It is a welcome nutrient plant for the native bumblebee and bee colonies.

Optimal location, plant substrate, planting and transplanting

The candytuft prefers a location with a lot of sun, in a position that is open on all sides. Because of its origin, warm rock and stone soils are ideal, which is why it is often planted in rock gardens. Sunny embankments and open perennial borders suit her as well.

The evergreen varieties also thrive in partial shade and develop beautiful flowers and solid leaves here. The flowers do not make particularly high demands on the quality of the soil and also develop on a poor and nutrient-poor plant substrate. The more nutrient-rich the soil, the more luxuriantly the plant will bloom and thrive, so that overgrowths can occur. The soil should be permeable to water and dry, and it should also have little humus. Planting is unproblematic, as is transplanting. The planting distance should be at least 25 cm. If the candytuft is kept as a container or pot plant, it is possible to move to the garden area in the spring and summer months, whereby the roots must not be damaged when excavating. Transplanting is not recommended in autumn.

  • Partly shady to very sunny location, depending on the variety
  • The more hours of sunshine a day, the more luxuriant the flower develops
  • Can also cope with nutrient-poor plant substrates
  • In nutrient-rich soil, stronger growth occurs, which tends to overgrowth
  • Water-permeable and humus-poor soil, which is mainly kept dry
  • Problem-free planting and transplanting, whereby the roots must remain intact

Adequate watering and fertilizing

The plant does not need a lot of water, even prefers dry periods between watering and tolerates them very well. A drying time of approx. 1-2 weeks is ideal, then pour with a small amount of water. If the candytuft is watered more often and more extensively in spring, it will bloom later, but with much larger flowers. When watering, waterlogging must be avoided at all costs, the plants do not value this at all and tend to rot if it occurs continuously. With a layer of compost between the flowers, the moisture is better retained and there is less watering, especially in summer. During the vegetation period, a mineral fertilizer is appropriate, which is added about twice during this time, lime can also be added. Conventional liquid fertilizers from the trade are completely sufficient. If the stems are cut back after the first flowering period, additional fertilization is required in case a second flowering period is desired.

  • Moderate watering with a small amount of water
  • Compliance with drying times between the pouring processes
  • Avoid waterlogging, for example by incorporating compost
  • Mineral fertilizer with a little lime
  • Fertilizing time is the growing season, two fertilizing is sufficient during this time
  • For a second flowering period, fertilize again after pruning the first flowers

Cutting and wintering properly

The candytuft must be pruned for healthy and respectable growth. In spring, after the winter season, the dried shoots and leaves must be cut off. After the flowering period, the shoots of the plant are cut back by half to a third, depending on the size and condition of the lignification. At least 10 cm of the plant should be left standing. The more lignified the candytuft, the less deep it is allowed to cut. If you prune in autumn after flowering, it will rejuvenate and thrive better the next season. Plan this cut early and carry it out before the first frosty nights.

In the case of disturbing growths, pruning is urgently necessary to prevent undesired spread. In this case, it is a good idea to pick the flowers for bouquets. If young shoots are picked, they will only bloom in the living area and the bouquet will last for an extremely long time.

  • After winter, the plant should be pruned in spring; pruning is possible until autumn
  • Do not prune in late autumn, as the candytuft cannot recover properly until the onset of winter
  • If the plant spreads across the board or populates unwelcome locations, it will have to be pruned or even relocated
  • If it spreads too far, bouquets of flowers can be picked
  • Dead, rotting and brown leaves must always be cut off

The candytuft is extremely hardy and can withstand temperatures down to approx. -15 ° C. Therefore, it usually does not need additional winter protection. However, if it is kept in a region with persistent freezing temperatures and permanent snowfall, preventive protection is advisable and helps prevent damage. Coniferous sticks are a good help in this case, they should be distributed in such a way that the plant is not crushed and there is still space between the sticks and the beginnings of the shoots. If the plant is in a place that is flooded in winter, this can lead to a stunted growth in the next year. This factor should be considered and avoided when planting.

  • Hardy plant that can withstand freezing temperatures without damage
  • For regions with extremely cold winters, frost protection with coniferous branches is ideal
  • Avoid flooded locations in winter

The multiplication of the candytuft

The plant is self-sowing and will proliferate diligently if left. Due to its frugality, it populates all the sunny corners of the garden, it grows even between stone joints. When it comes to self-sowing, flowering will occur a little earlier than with traditional growing methods. When replanted, it can either be grown from seeds or cultivated by planting cuttings. Both can be carried out relatively easily and quickly. In the case of propagation by seeds, these are sown in March or April at the desired locations. For this purpose, furrows are made about 1 cm deep, with a distance of about 15 cm from one another. Scatter the seeds thinly in these furrows and cover loosely with plant substrate. After two to three weeks the seedlings appear, thin them to a distance of approx. 10 cm. Only leave the very strong seedlings, they have the greatest chance of survival. Propagation with cuttings should take place in the summer months, these are cut from the plant at the fork and best placed in a flower pot with ideal growth conditions. The cuttings take root quickly and can then be planted in the garden.

  • Self-sowing, should be controlled, otherwise it will lead to rampant growth in undesirable locations
  • Uncomplicated propagation through seeds and cuttings possible
  • Make furrows in the flowerbed and scatter seeds here, after sprouting thin out the seedlings
  • In summer, cut cuttings from the mother plant and let them take root, then plant them in a suitable location

Flowers, flowering time and maximum height

The candytuft has become a popular summer flower in the local latitudes due to its brightly colored inflorescences and the fact that it is very easy to grow. The flowers are lush and shine in lavender, purple, white, red and pink, making the plant very suitable as a cut flower. For a bouquet, the not yet fully developed flowers are best cut off in the early morning hours and placed in a sufficiently large container with plenty of water. The plant usually blooms from May to the end of August, with many dainty flowers. In the white-flowered varieties, these look like little snow flakes. The candytuft can be up to 40 cm high, but a normal height of about 30 cm is. It grows quickly if it is allowed to stand in sunny places. Then it can even spread across the board. To extend the flowering period, the summer flower must be cut back after the first flowering period.

  • Colorful and luscious flowers in lavender, purple, white, red and pink
  • The flowering period is from May to the end of August
  • The flowering time can be extended until early autumn by pruning
  • Beautiful cut flower, ideal for a bouquet
  • The maximum height is between 30-40 cm

Diseases and pests

The candytuft is quite robust, so diseases only occur sporadically and it is hardly attacked by voracious pests. Aphid infestation is possible, however, especially if neighboring plants are affected. Another evil is a fungus that spreads underground and permanently damages the roots. This leads to the destructive “fall sickness” in which the plants simply fall over without warning and then die. The infected plant stocks must be removed immediately; as a result of this fungal attack, new planting may no longer take place at this location.


  • Aphids are common on outdoor plants
  • Rinse the plant completely with water, if necessary wipe off the aphids with your hands
  • Wash off the affected areas with a moderately dosed detergent solution and a suitable sponge

Fungal attack

  • The fungus spreads underground and permanently damages the roots
  • The affected plants fall over and then die, which is why the term “fall disease” has become common
  • Remove fallen plants and no longer use this location

The candytuft has gained a high degree of popularity in domestic gardens due to its frugality and the beautiful and colorful flowers. The Mediterranean mountain plant is ideal for a sunny rock garden and can cope well with prolonged periods of drought. The evergreen leaves are hardy and the dainty flowers were allowed to be tender. The flowering period extends from late spring to the beginning of autumn and can be extended by pruning back in good time. The plant is easy to propagate from seeds and cuttings. Due to the abundant self-sowing, however, sprawling growth is possible, which not every gardener likes. In this case, the reproduction of the plant must be strictly controlled.

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