Saxifraga - the saxifrage - is the largest genus in the family Saxifragaceae, with more than 400 species of perennial plants, native to subarctic regions.
Most species are small plants with leaves growing close to the ground, often in a rosette. The leaves may be succulent, needle-like or even hairy. The inflorescence or single flower clusters rise above the main plant body on naked stalks, mostly white, but red to yellow in some species.
Numerous species and cultivars are cultivated in the ornamental garden as a groundcover, or as a cushion plant in rock gardens. S. × urbium - London pride - is a hybrid between Pyrenean saxifrage (S. umbrosa) and St. Patrick's cabbage (S. spathularis), and commonly grown as an ornamental plant. Some wild species are also used in gardening.
Saxifrage is a perennial herbaceous perennial herb. A long bloom from June to September gives small flowers in panicle pink, veined with dark. The semi-evergreen foliage gives a dense tuft, it is a beautiful groundcover for the garden!
Plant my saxifrage
The saxifrages support a dry and well drained ground: they are perennials of rockery! Dip the clumps in a tray filled with water to moisten them well. Plant them when the water is no longer flowing out of the bucket.
Prepare the soil: make holes, leaving a spacing of 20 to 30 cm per foot, and mix the soil with potting soil, sand and peat dust. Place at the bottom of the planting hole an amendment like dried blood or dehydrated horn.
Put the plants in there.
Cover with soil by tamping gently to avoid air around the roots, then water.
Weed my saxifrage
In perennial species, weeding also means working your flowerbed – don't let anything develop too quickly to the detriment of others.
Water my saxifrage
Water the first weeks after planting, then during the summer period. Water without excess, once a week if it is very dry, rather in the morning and sparing the leaves.
Fertilize my saxifrage
With a respectful approach to soil life, it's always better to fertilize a little in advance with organic material that will decompose; spread out a compost that isn't entirely decomposed, with well decomposed manure at the plant's base, and incorporate over 10 cm with a hoe. This operation is carried out in winter so that earthworms and bacteria have enough time to do their job.
Propagate my saxifrage
You may divide the plant in autumn.
Choose an older plant, that no longer flowers well, but that still looks healthy enough - don't wait until it's too late !
Dig it up with a pitchfork or a spade - drive the pitchfork into the centre of the clump to divide it in half, in one good cut. Replant the two parts of the plant immediately.
Mulch my saxifrage
Mulch the saxifrages, it will prevent you from watering and weeding in summer, and - even if they are rather rustic: it will protect the roots of the cold in winter.
Cut down my saxifrage
After flowering, cut back your plant to a compact shape.