Saponaria officinalis ‘Rosea Plena’ (Bouncing Bet) [15 Seeds]

$3.95

Germination Information: I recommend these seeds for experienced seed-sowers, because they may require patience and experimentation. One approach is to surface-sow them in a pot in fall to midwinter. Set the pot outdoors and the seeds will germinate when conditions are right in spring. (Last year, I sowed on January 5, and the first seedling appeared on April 5. Your experience may vary.) The plants can flower the same year you sow the seed.

If you sow much after midwinter, set the pot in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for about a month before moving it to a bright place for germination. (Remove the bag if the pot will be exposed to any direct sun.)

It’s possible that these seeds could sprout if you start them in warm, bright conditions. But if you try that and no seedlings appear after 4 weeks or so, then try the refrigerator-chilling approach mentioned above.

Note that this information will not appear on the seed packet you receive.

Please read the description as well before ordering.

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Description

This classic cottage-garden perennial is often commonly known as soapwort, but I prefer the quirkier, old-fashioned name of bouncing Bet. The species, Saponaria officinalis, produces upright stems topped with clusters of single, evening-scented, light to medium pink flowers through much of the summer, and even into fall. ‘Rosea Plena’ is similar in all ways, except that the petals have a split appearance, giving the blooms a quaint, ruffled look. The height is usually around 2 feet: shorter in poor, dry soil and taller (to around 3 feet) in moist, fertile conditions.

Be aware that all forms of bouncing Bet spread by rhizomes, so I don’t advise adding it to a typical perennial border with loose, rich soil. Save it for a more-casual, less-prime spot where you can let it romp, perhaps with other lovely thugs, like bee balms (Monarda). Soapwort has long been used as a gentle, natural soap substitute, and folks who work with natural-dyed fabrics or who want to experiment with making natural shampoo or body wash may want to have lots of the stems and roots available for harvest. (If you’re interested in learning more about that, here’s an informative video I found on YouTube: Bouncing Bet: Nature’s Gentle Detergent.) Full sun for best flowering, but even partial shade is ok. Perennial; Zones 3 or 8.

Collected in September 2020. At least 15 seeds.

Cannot ship to CO.

Please read the germination information as well before ordering.

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