The plant genus Lysimachia has produced many beautiful species. Of these, the snowflake area is one of the most attractive variants, because with its 30 cm long, curved, lush white inflorescences it is an asset to any garden. With a height of 70 cm to 100 cm, the perennial forms a decorative contrast on the edge of the wood or in front of fences. With the help of underground runners, the Lysimachia clethroides spreads rapidly in the garden. A quality that hobby gardeners are sometimes divided on. If you pay careful attention to the following information on care and cutting, you will know how to use the snow field in such a way that it becomes an effective addition to your individual garden design.


Despite its Asian origins, the white flowering perennial is largely hardy and does not require excessive care:

  • Spring is the best time to plant.
  • Planting is also possible in autumn.
  • A sunny to partially shaded location is ideal.
  • Humous, fresh, slightly moist soil offer perfect conditions.
  • Preferably sheltered planting site.
  • Planting distance at least 40 cm.
  • Incorporate compost as part of the planting.
  • Mulching every spring protects against moisture loss.
  • Fertilize with garden compost once a year.
  • Water regularly, but avoid waterlogging.
  • Weed every few days.
  • Check for diseases and pests.

If snowflake is planted in front of a high background, such as trees, fences or house walls, the perennial receives the desired ‘protection’ in this way, should it be stormy. Nevertheless, it is advisable to drive a stick into the ground for support when planting. If the young perennials get into the ground in autumn, light winter protection in the form of fir branches, brushwood or straw is advisable. Adult snowflake, on the other hand, is hardy to well below -20 ° Celsius and only needs light winter protection in extremely cold winters.

To cut

As a typical member of the native perennial family of the primrose plants, the herbaceous, perennial Lysimachia clethroides continually forms further runners that diligently sprout again. They are therefore an indispensable part of a natural, fertile and varied garden, where perennials have always played a key role. An annual cut is required so that the duckbill felberich can also do justice to this task. Then it blooms again next year from June to September without ceasing:

  • Immediately after flowering, cut to 5-10 cm above the ground.
  • Dispose of clippings on the compost
  • Cutting prevents unwanted self-sowing
  • Lifespan of the snow field increases
  • Promotion of vital new growth in the next year
  • Varietal purity is retained
  • Cutting prevents fungal growth

Before the clippings on the compost are disposed of, they should be thoroughly examined for diseases and pests. Even with the smallest signs, the experienced gardener will prefer to burn it or dispose of it in the garbage can so as not to infect the entire compost heap.

Prevent unwanted growth right from the start

The snowflake area is undoubtedly one of the perennials that close gaps in the ornamental garden within a short time with their elegant flower candles, decorate dreary woody edges and develop lushly in perennial borders. This property also means that Lysimachia clethroides tends to proliferate. Those who are already aware of this at the time of planting will not let it get to the point where this nature of the plant becomes a nuisance. Experienced gardening enthusiasts keep the duck-billed whitefish in check with the following measures:

Root barrier film

The remarkable urge to spread of the snow field through its foothills can be controlled by a plastic film, which is available in various sizes in specialist shops. The foil is placed around the plant like a ring, whereby the gardener has the choice of allowing the perennial to spread out to a certain extent or keeping it as narrow and limited as possible. When buying the film, environmentally conscious hobby gardeners make sure that it does not contain any artificial plasticizers that could contaminate the surrounding soil over time. The root barrier is closed with a splint, which should be included in the scope of delivery. Anyone who uses the inexpensive pond liner to contain the overgrowth is saving in the wrong place, because the foothills of the duck-billed whitefish do not stop there.

An important note when laying the root barrier film is to have it peek 3 cm to 5 cm out of the earth, otherwise the foothills will simply spread over it. With regard to the depth of the root barrier, 60 cm should be sufficient, as this perennial is a shallow root.

Bottomless pot

If working with a root barrier film is too time-consuming and expensive for you, you can keep the spread of the snowy area under control if the plant is planted in a pot without a soil. With this variant it is also important to ensure that a few centimeters of the edge of the pot look out of the earth. So that the root system of the perennial can develop sufficiently, the pot should be at least twice as large as the root ball.

Take the energy source from the foothills

If the Lysimachia clethroides has already spread unwantedly in the garden, this can be stopped and prevented. The rooted areas are simply covered with black foil or thick cardboard, where they remain for about 2 years. In this way, the runners are literally exhausted without the actual plant being damaged. If the runners were simply lifted out of the ground with a digging fork and cut off, the entire supply system of the perennial could be damaged and the plant could die. The cover can now easily be covered with substrate and planted so that there are no bare spots in the ornamental garden.

The timely cutting of the duckbill celeriac immediately after flowering is also one of the effective methods of preventing unwanted spread. Therefore, the experienced hobby gardener pulls out the knife before the seed heads are mature and can be scattered by the wind.

Diseases and pests

Unfortunately, it is an undeniable fact that young snowflake in particular is one of the favorite foods of the nudibranchs. The voracious pests attack the defenseless plants and eat them bald in no time. It is therefore important to initiate countermeasures in good time so that it does not get that far in the first place:

  • Place a ring of sharp gravel around the perennials as a walking barrier.
  • Water plants only in the morning hours.
  • Lay out boards as shelter and collect the snails there in the morning.
  • Coffee powder and coffee grounds are deadly to snails.
  • Apply snail nematodes before planting.
  • Keep beds fine-grained and avoid cavities.
  • Chickens peck at the snail eggs hidden in the ground.
  • Build up a snail fence in combination with a beer trap.
  • Put up snail collars to protect individual plants.

If you design your garden to be inviting for the natural enemies of snails, you will receive effective support from birds, hedgehogs or frogs. However, these beneficial insects only eat the garden slug. The Spanish nudibranch, which spreads explosively, is at the top of the menu for the cute Indian runner ducks. If all biological and mechanical means of control do not bring the desired success, all that remains is to reach for the slug pellets. So far nothing is known about other diseases and pests in the snow field.

Propagate snowfields

Garden enthusiasts who do not want to leave it to the Lysimachia clethroides where it otherwise settles, take the propagation into their own hands.

Multiplication by division

This method works easily and safely. In spring, a strong plant is lifted out of the ground with the aid of the digging fork. Use a sharp knife or spade to cut it into several pieces. It is important that each section has several buds. On this occasion, the plant parts are carefully cleared of all weeds before they are planted in their new location. The planting hole should be about twice as large as the section. It is also advisable to enrich the soil with a little garden compost, manure or horn shavings before the young plant gets into the ground. At the end there is plenty of watering so that the young roots can spread out well.


When the gardening season draws to a close, the duck-billed whitefly is one of the last remaining flowering shrubs. Just before the flowers wilt and the pruning is done, the ripe seeds can be harvested. The weather should be warm and dry when the seed pods are cut off with a sharp knife. They come inside the house to dry because they would lose their ability to germinate under the intense autumn sun. After a few days the seeds will dry out and you can keep them in a dark, cool and dry container until next spring.

From February or March you can soak the seeds for a day in lukewarm water before spreading them in a seed tray with a nutrient-poor substrate. When the first seedlings appear, the strongest of them are pricked out and cultivated in individual pots until they are planted in the bed from April or May. Alternatively, direct sowing is also possible, which is associated with less effort, but whose seeds are quickly picked up by birds of all kinds.


In addition to propagation by division, the snowflake area can be multiplied by cuttings without any problems. For this purpose, the tips of the non-blooming shoots are cut off in late summer so that they have at least 3 pairs of leaves. The lowest pair of leaves is removed and the cutting is placed 3 cm deep in a small pot with potting soil. This is followed by a good dose of water before the whole thing is covered with a plastic bag or cling film. The high humidity created in this way promotes the formation of roots in the cuttings. However, the risk of mold and rot growth increases at the same time. Therefore, cuttings showing such signs are removed immediately.

The use of a propagation box is more promising for this form of propagation, because it is easier to use. In any case, it is important that the growing containers are regularly ventilated and placed in a warm place that cannot come under direct sunlight. After about 6 weeks, numerous strong roots have formed and it is time to cut off the tip of the shoot to start further branching. If several cuttings have been planted in a nursery pot, now is the time to prick them out. Until the young perennials come into the bed next spring, the substrate is permanently kept slightly moist.

The popularity of the snow field with the botanical name Lysimachia clethroides is only slowly growing. This perennial is an indefatigable permanent bloomer all through summer into autumn. Especially in front of the dark background of large trees or on high fences, the snowflake area with its countless small white flowers attracts everyone’s attention and creates a picturesque contrast. When the flower candles bend down elegantly, they are reminiscent of a gooseneck. If the foliage changes color in autumn, the decorative play of colors is complete and gardening enthusiasts will wonder why they haven’t settled this undemanding plant long ago.

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