Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)

Candy Tuft growing at Sensible Gardening and Living


Probably one of the most popular low growing perennials. Clear, bright white flowers completely cover the narrow leaves in the spring. The evergreen foliage stays looking good all season after the flowers have finished. It forms low clumps about 6 inches high and makes an excellent edger.

Candytuft / Sensible Gardening and Living
Candytuft / Sensible Gardening and Living

When in full bloom it is really spectacular and after blooming remains tidy and attractive.  You can grow candytuft in full sun or part shade. It will tolerate poor soil, prefers well drained soil and is quite drought tolerant.  Since it is an evergreen do not cut back the foliage, only shear off the top couple inches after blooming to prevent it from getting leggy. If you prune it too much you will spoil next years blooms and might also damage the plant.

Candytuft is hardy to zone 5 but appreciates snow cover in cold winters and protection as well from cold winds. Should plants die back from winter frost and turn brown, they will regrow from the base but will miss a years blooming.

Candytuft is very useful in rock gardens, edging sidewalks and borders, mass planted and grown on slopes and banks. You can divide your plants every 3 to 4 years. Some years your candytuft will lightly re-bloom in the fall.  My favorite cultivar is “ Little Gem” as it is very compact and loaded with flowers.

PRO: long season of bloom / evergreen foliage / brilliant blooms /  tidy habit / excellent edger / drought tolerant

CON: not deer resistant / slugs and snails may bother it / can be damagad by icy winds

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