Cerastium tomentosum a.k.a. Snow-in-summer is a super adorable species of herbaceous flowering plants. This plant is a member of the large Caryophyllaceae family. It is native to the alpine regions of Europe, with the widest distribution in southeastern parts, Italy, and the Caucasus.
Snow-in-summer is one of the most popular ornamental garden plants worldwide. And the reasons are more than obvious. Not only does this flower look truly marvellous, but it is also very easy to grow and care for. As long as you are growing Snow-in-summer in full sunlight, relatively cool temperatures, and well-draining soil, it will perform well with minimal effort on your part.
We know that Snow-in-summer has already everything it takes to be your next companion, but this does not end here! This plant is full of surprises, as it comes with additional varieties to choose from. The most charming cultivars are ‘Bridal-wreath Spiraea’, ‘Columnae’, ‘Melaleuca decora’, ‘Silberteppich’, ‘Silver Carpet’, and ‘YoYo’. Make sure you check these out too!
About Cerastium Tomentosum
- In cultivation, Cerastium tomentosum goes by several common names. Some of these are Snow-in-summer, Snow plant, Jerusalem star, Dusty miller, Wooly mouse-ear chickweed, or Silver carpet.
- The plant gets its common name “Snow-in-summer” from its blooming habit. It produces lovely blankets of white flowers throughout the summer that look very similar to a fresh snowfall.
- Snow-in-summer has a reputation for being an invasive species, especially in those areas that suit its environmental preferences. Because of this, it is best to plant more specimens in your garden at a distance of at least one foot (30 cm) one from another.
- The leaves of Snow-in-summer plants are fragrant and play a big part in aromatherapy. Many specialists create aromatic flower beds known as sensory gardens to help wheelchair users or people with Alzheimer’s disease. These help them cope with their everyday struggles by activating their senses.
- Cerastium tomentosum is a wonderful choice for various landscape decorations. This plant will look absolutely enchanting in rock gardens, edging plantings, stone walls filling for cascading effects, borders, containers, and also as ground covers.
- Snow-in-summer can make for a great-looking companion to other bewitching species of plants. The most common companions for it include Ornamental Onion, Campanula persicifolia ‘Alba’, Creeping Thyme, Cypress Spurge, Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’, Lady’s Mantle, and Lavandula ‘Hidcote’.
- When it comes to Cerastium tomentosum, there are no toxic effects on humans or animals reported. You can grow this kid & pet-friendly plant anywhere you want without safety concerns.
Cerastium Tomentosum Features: An Overview
- This beauty belongs to the Cerastium genus that contains about 200 species of perennial, annual, or winter annual flowering plants. It shares the genus with very similar species like C. alpinum, C. arcticum, C. fontanum, and C. nigrescens.
- Cerastium tomentosum is an evergreen, herbaceous, and perennial flowering plant. It can reach from 6 to 12 inches (15-30 cm), sometimes 18 inches (45 cm) in height, and 6 to 18 inches (15-45 cm) in width.
- This low-growing plant sends creeping off-shoots. The dense foliage consists of linear to lanceolate, silvery-grey leaves that feature silky, frizzy, entangled, and silvery hairs. The leaves typically measure up to 1.2 inches (30 mm) in length.
- Snow-in-summer may bloom from late spring through midsummer (May to July). During this period, the plant produces inflorescences of up to 15 notched, star-like, and white flowers. Their petals appear slightly bent outwards.
- After its flowering period, Snow-in-summer tends to self-seed and spread super quickly through its rhizomes. This habit makes the plant somehow immortal. The seeds are also an excellent propagation material.
Growing Cerastium Tomentosum
Although Cerastium tomentosum looks pretty delicate at a first glance, it is tougher than you think! This superb plant will thrive in a wide variety of environmental conditions, especially if you give it proper care. But do not worry, friend! Growing and caring for this flower is nothing more than a piece of cake. Now let’s teach you how to spoil it!
Snow-in-summer grows at its best in areas where it can enjoy all the warmth and light of our beloved sun. Make sure you are growing your plant in a location with plenty of bright and direct sunlight. In general, Snow-in-summer may encounter fungal issues if it does not grow in full sunlight, so you should avoid keeping it in shady conditions.
In terms of temperatures, Snow-in-summer is super hardy and does best in the USDA zones 3 through 7. This plant prefers relatively dry and cool summer climates. Moreover, it will do just fine in cold temperatures during the winter. As a rule, Snow-in-summer will not live as much in areas that come along with hot and humid weather overall.
As mentioned above, Cerastium tomentosum can have difficulties in handling too much shade or high humidity levels. When the plant experiences these particular conditions, it becomes more susceptible to fungal diseases like damping-off or root rot. You can easily avoid these unpleasant situations by growing your plant in well-draining soil and also a drier region.
Planting Cerastium Tomentosum
To grow healthy and happy, Cerastium tomentosum needs soil that works best with its demands and sensitivity to over-watering. Because of this, it would be wise to plant your flower in a substrate that features very sharp drainage and has a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. If you can find a well-draining soil for your Cerastium tomentosum, it does not really matter what other characteristics it has. Luckily, even if this plant does well in sandy growing mediums, it can also adapt to a wide range of soils.
Snow-in-summer usually appreciates poor soils, so it will not need regular fertilizing to show all its splendour. However, in case your plant does not seem to perform the way it should, you can intervene to give it a hand. Feed your Snow-in-summer with a good-quality fertilizer that is high in phosphorus once every year right before it blooms, typically in early spring.
Once its blooming season has come to an end, in summer, we recommend you remove all the spent flowers and some of its foliage. You can prune your plant using a garden pair of scissors or a sharp knife. This process will help your Snow-in-summer keep its spectacular appearance for the rest of the year.
Watering Cerastium Tomentosum
Cerastium tomentosum has very few watering demands, making it a great choice for gardeners that are at the beginning of the road. And if you are the forgetful type, it is even better! This plant thrives in relatively dry environmental conditions, so it comes along with a fairly drought-tolerant nature.
In areas with regular rainfalls, we suggest you grow your Snow-in-summer in a sheltered spot where it can avoid soggy conditions or waterlog. When it comes to watering, you will have to check its soil in-between drinks using a moisture meter. Make sure you provide your Snow-in-summer with water only when the substrate has dried out completely.
The frequency of watering will vary depending on the region you live in and also the season. Keep in mind that Snow-in-summer generally needs more water during its active growing period and blooming than it does in autumn or winter. Humidity-wise, the lower are the levels, the better your Snow-in-summer will be.
Propagating Cerastium Tomentosum
In general, Cerastium tomentosum produces numerous seeds and will multiply itself without any extra effort on your part. Sometimes, this habit can get out of control, making the plant pretty invasive with time. If you want to prevent this from happening, you must always collect the seeds and sow them elsewhere in your garden. Likewise, you can sow some of the seeds in pots and gift them to your family members or friends. It is easier than it sounds!
The perfect time to sow the Snow-in-summer seeds is usually early spring. Put the seeds directly into the ground or pots, then cover them a bit with garden or potting soil. If the seeds receive lots of sunlight and regular moisture, germination will occur in two or three weeks. However, you should know that these young seedlings will not produce flowers until the following year or so.
Another method to propagate your Snow-in-summer is through division. Still, you will have to wait for your plant to reach maturity if you want to divide it properly. When the plant has stopped blooming, sometime throughout the summer, you can get into action. Dig your Snow-in-summer out of the soil, then divide its roots into two or three pieces. After this step, you can replant the sections absolutely anywhere you dream of. And that’s all!
Cerastium tomentosum a.k.a. Snow-in-summer is, without a doubt, a plant with personality. This makes our buddy right here a must-have for every respectable gardener. Likewise, its fairly low-demanding nature transforms this plant into an excellent start-up for beginners. And since it is also so easy to propagate, you can share your exciting experience with your loved ones with little to no effort!