Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Plant of the Week: Saponaria x lempergii 'Max Frei'

Want a long-blooming, low-growing easy-to-grow, winter-hardy perennial? Look no further than Soapwort, Saponaria x lempergii 'Max Frei'.

You may already be familiar with the spring-blooming Rock Soapwort (Saponaria ocymoides). I grew it years ago and loved its warm, pink flowers. But, as things go, I got rid of it. I don't remember exactly why. 

Saponaria ocymoides

Back in 2013, while perusing Digging Dog Nursery's website I found 'Max Frei.' I liked that it was a summer bloomer instead of spring and I knew exactly where I wanted to grow it.

I have it cascading over a small rock wall, with a similarly colored hardy Fuchsia called 'Pink Rain' nearby. 

The most challenging thing about this plant is trying to get my camera to capture the right color of the flowers. They're a more on the cool side. 

'Max Frei' starts blooming in early July and goes until late summer. It doesn't need deadheading. It just blooms and blooms.

When it's finally finished, I just cut the whole plant back.  Missouri Botanical Garden's website lists 'Max Frei' as being hardy in Zones 3-7 but I'm in Zone 8b and it does fine for me. I have it planted in morning sun and afternoon shade and I supply it with regular water. 

Are you growing this sweet plant?