Plant and care for saxifrage

Plant and care for saxifrage

Plant saxifrage properly

For the heralds of spring among the Saxifraga, planting time is in autumn, while an autumn-flowering plant is preferably planted in April / May. Regardless of the season, the planting of saxifrage proceeds according to the following pattern:

  • Dig small pits at a distance of 30 to 40 cm with 1.5 times the volume of the root ball
  • If necessary, improve the excavation with sand, fine-grain chippings (€ 12.80 at Amazon *) or compost
  • Place the potted plant in the middle to fill the cavities with substrate up to the lower pair of leaves

also read

  • Plant the saxifrage properly in the garden
  • Proper care for the saxifrage
  • The best location for the saxifrage in the garden

Finally, pour on the Saxifraga and spread a layer of mulch. Depending on the type and variety, organic materials such as leaves or grass clippings as well as inorganic chippings or gravel are suitable.

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Care tips

If a saxifrage plant finds optimal site conditions, the maintenance program demands little from the gardener. A start fertilization with compost and horn shavings (€ 6.39 at Amazon *) in March paves the way for a blooming season. It is poured when it is dry, without standing puddles of water. For a neat appearance, simply cut off the withered flower stems with electric lawn shears. On evergreen or wintergreen Saxifraga, leave the foliage until spring. Explicit winter protection is not necessary. Only in the year of planting does a layer of foliage protect the young flower from seasonal stress.

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Which location is suitable?

In partially shaded locations, warm and protected, but without the blazing midday sun, Saxifraga are in top form. This can be a mighty wood under a canopy, on the east or north side of the rock garden or in the shady area of ​​a dry stone wall. If the soil is sandy, humic and calcareous, the plant is completely satisfied.

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What soil does the plant need?

For saxifrage to meet expectations as a lushly blooming ground cover, the soil should primarily be loose and permeable. A fresh, moist and humus-rich structure perfectly accommodates the wishes of this busy flower in order to develop an abundant carpet of flowers. As a substrate in the planter, compost-based potting soil meets the requirements, optimized with a handful of sand or lava granules. (€ 10.95 at Amazon *)

When is the flowering time?

The species-rich Saxifraga genus brings us splendid specimens with different flowering times. To give you an insight into the large selection, we have listed a selection of common varieties here:

  • Moss saxifrage (Saxifraga arendsii ssp.): Flowering period from April to May / June
  • Cup saxifrage (Saxifraga cotyledon): Flowering period from June to August
  • Autumn saxifrage (Saxifraga cortusifolia var. Fortunei): Flowering period from September to November

At the end of the heyday, the floral fireworks of a saxifrage are far from extinguished. The succulent or fine leaves in divergent hues adorn the plant without ceasing for the rest of the year.

Cut saxifrage properly

So that the withered flower carpets do not impair the decorative effect of the evergreen or wintergreen foliage, cut them off. This is very easy with the help of electric lawn shears, as this work with secateurs turns out to be quite laborious and time-consuming. The leaves do not have to be cut off, especially as they adorn the otherwise dreary garden through the winter. For the few species that move in the leaves in autumn, we recommend pruning close to the ground before the first frost.

Pour saxifrage

Within the Saxifraga genus there are species and varieties with different water requirements. Therefore, when purchasing, find out exactly to what extent your new favorite flower needs to be watered. The rule of thumb for every plant is that waterlogging inevitably means the end of a saxifrage plant.

Fertilize saxifrage properly

A start fertilization in March with compost and horn shavings covers the nutrient requirements for the entire season. Saxifrage species and varieties that thrive on rocks or dry stone walls are not fertilized. If you cultivate Saxifraga in a bucket or balcony box, apply a liquid fertilizer every 30 days from April to August.


The majority of saxifrage plants are hardy, so no precautions need to be taken before winter. Only in the year of planting do we recommend light winter protection in the form of a layer of leaves. So that the roots in the pot or balcony box do not freeze to death, wrap the vessels with bubble wrap to be on the safe side and slide a block of wood under them. A parking space in front of the south wall of the house is particularly advantageous during winter.

Propagate saxifrage

In order to keep other copies of your Saxifraga favorites, you can choose from the following propagation methods:

  • Division of the root ball in spring
  • Cutting runners or daughter rosettes in order to plant them in the new location
  • Cut off cuttings in summer and let them root in a pot with poor substrate
  • Sow the seeds behind glass in February after they have stayed in the fridge in damp sand for 4-6 weeks

The division of the root ball at the same time rejuvenates the plant, as it tends to shed in the middle over the years. Take the opportunity to cut out the aging pieces before planting the segments in the new location.

Saxifrage in the pot

The hanging saxifrage (Saxifraga stolonifera) has made a name for itself as a houseplant in a pot. In order for the plant to thrive in the traffic light, a well-drained, nutrient-rich and slightly acidic substrate should be used. The following maintenance measures are easy to manage:

  • Water the plant moderately once the substrate has dried
  • From 20 degrees room temperature, spray every 1-2 days with lime-free water
  • Apply liquid fertilizer every 30 days from March to September
  • From October to February place cooler at 8 to 13 degrees Celsius
  • Water less and do not fertilize during the rest period

Every 2 to 3 years repotting in early spring benefits the beauty and vigor of the indoor plant.


A record that has never been surpassed conveys a robust plant that finds its way into your garden with a Saxifraga. The opposed saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia) thrives up to an altitude of 4507 meters. No other flower has ever been documented in a higher or colder location in Europe. The abundantly blooming specimen was spotted in a mountain range in the Valais Alps, almost 40 meters below the snow-capped summit.

Nice varieties

  • Carpet of flowers: Abundant flowering of flowers in bright crimson red covers stone plants and beds; Height of growth 15 cm
  • Sleeping Beauty: hardy moss saxifrage with bright red flowers over evergreen leaf rosettes; Height of growth 15 cm
  • Black Ruby: Pretty autumn flower that sets the scene with pink flowers over dark red leaves in autumn; Height of growth 15 cm
  • Pyramidalis: white flowering premium variety that is also suitable as a flower in the vase; Height 5-40 cm
  • Rubrifolia: The plant impresses with white veils of flowers in autumn over red-brown, shiny leaves; Height 10-30 cm