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How to Grow Pearly Everlastings — Anaphalis

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Anaphalis–commonly called pearly everlastings–is a gray furry-leaved perennial that bears clusters of papery daisies. The foliage is perhaps the most outstanding characteristic of Anaphalis.

Anaphalis has a mounding habit with erect, branching stems that carry the flowers. It is one of the few gray-leaved plants that thrive in partial shade. Anaphalis is heat tolerant but prefers evenly moist soil in summer.

Anaphalis is not fussy about soil as long as it is well-drained.

Anaphalis is ideal for semi-shady borders where other gray plants will fail. Flowers can be cut and dried for arrangements,

Anaphalis margaritacea commonly known as pearly everlasting

Get to know Anaphalis

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 3 to 8
  • Hardiness: Hardy to Zone 3
  • Height and width: Grows 2 to 3 feet (61-91cm) tall and 24 inches (61cm) wide
  • Foliage: Gray-green lance-shaped leaves; leaves are covered in wooly hairs which give them a silvery appearance.
  • Flowers: Rounded clusters of white flowers open to yellow-centered buttons with crisp petals.
  • Bloom time: Mid to late summer
  • Uses: Useful in rock gardens and wildflower plantings. Use them to separate drifts of brightly colored flowers in the border.
  • Garden companions: Azure monkshood (Aconitum carmichaelii)
  • Common name: Pearly everlasting
  • Botanical name: Anaphalis
  • Family name: Asteraceae

Where to plant Anaphalis

  • Plant Anaphalis in full sun or partial shade
  • Plant Anaphalis in well-drained, moist soil. Do not let the soil dry out in summer.
Anaphalis triplinervis 'Summer Snow" before bracts fully open
Anaphalis triplinervis ‘Summer Snow” before bracts fully open

When to plant Anaphalis

  • Set container-grown plants in the garden in spring or fall.
  • Sow seed after the last frost in spring in evenly prepared soil.

Planting and spacing Anaphalis

  • Space Anaphalis 24 inches (61cm) apart.
  • Sow seed 1/8 inch deep in evenly prepared soil.

How to water and feed Analphalis

  • Anaphalis is more drought-tolerant and is less able than other species to tolerate heavy or wet soils.
  • Apply fertilizer at half the average rate to avoid rank, weak growth.

Anaphalis care

  • Clean up plants in early spring.

Anaphalis pests and diseases

  • Anaphalis has few problems with pests.
  • Anaphalis can develop rust, stem rot, and leaf spots.
Anaphalis margaritacea as bracts begin to open
Anaphalis margaritacea as bracts begin to open

Anaphalis propagation

  • Seed and division in early spring
  • Divide them every four or five years; they are easy to move.
  • Take cuttings at the base of the plant in spring or take stem cuttings in spring or early summer.

Anaphalis varieties to grow

  • Anaphalis margariticacea, common pearly everlasting, is a native wildflower with very small yellow flowers surrounded by whites bracts.
  • A. margaritacea var. yedoensis, Japanese pearly everlasting, has larger flowers than the species and may be hardy to Zone 3 with good snow cover. 
  • A. triplinervis, three-veined everlasting has similar blooms over mounds of woolly gray-green leave; grows to 3 feet; can tolerate more excess moisture than other species; cultivar ‘Summer Snow’ is a dwarf that is good for edging.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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