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How to Grow Snow-In-Summer — Cerastium

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Snow-in-summer, Cerastium, is a low-mounding plant with small, wooly leaves and clusters of white flowers on wiry stems. Cerastium grows 6 to 10 inches high and spreads 2 to 3 feet in a year.

Cerastium grows well in most areas except for hot, humid regions where it is best place in shade. Standing water will cause roots to rot.

Use snow-in-summer as an edge to flower borders or ground cover. It can used between stepping stones and in rock gardens. It is a good ground cover for slopes.

White flowers and greyish green foliage of Cerastium tomentosum
White flowers and greyish green foliage of Cerastium tomentosum

Get to know Cerastium

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Growing Zones and range: 2-9
  • Hardiness: Hardy to -35°F/-37°C
  • Height and width: 6”- 10” tall (15-25cm); 12” wide
  • Form: Spreading mats of 3/4-inch silver-gray, oval leaves that grow up to 8 inches high
  • Flowers: Masses of small snowy white 5-petaled, deeply notched blossoms
  • Uses: Flowering groundcover, drought tolerant
  • Garden companions: Late spring bulbs, Johnny-jump-ups
  • Bloom time: Late spring or early summer
  • Common name: Snow-In-Summer
  • Botanical name: Cerastium tomentosum
  • Family: Caryophyllaceae

Where to plant Cerastium

  • Grow Cerastium in full sun.
  • Cerastium will grow in average to poor soil that is well-drained.
Snow-in-Summer, Cerastium tomentosum
Snow-in-Summer, Cerastium tomentosum

When to plant Cerastium

  • Set Cerastium outdoors in spring in Zones 3-5. Plant in spring or fall in Zones 6-7.

Planting and spacing Cerastium

  • Space Cerastium 12 to 24 inches (30-61cm) apart.
  • Sow seed 1/8 inch deep in evenly prepared soil.

How to water and feed Cerastium

  • Cerastium grows well in dry soil. Moderate water will sustain mature plants.
  • Fertilize Cerastium only occasionally. Too much fertilizer will cause snow-in-summer to grow rapidly and become invasive.

Cerastium care

  • Divide Cerastium as needed to fill vacant spots in the garden.
  • Cut back foliage after flowering to keep plants neat and full.
  • Cerastium is usually pest and disease free.

Cerastium common problems

  • Cerastium can suffer fungal rots that blacken the leaves and stems. Remove and destroy infected plants.

Cerastium propagation

  • Sow seeds in a cold frame in autumn.
  • Take tip cuttings in early summer.
  • Clumps spread readily; divide clumps in spring or fall.

Cerastium varieties to grow

  • ‘Yo Yo’ is less invasive than other cultivars.
  • ‘Silver Carpet’ is a compact selection.

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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