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Candytuft is an evergreen perennial that gets its name from the fragrant umbels of blossoms that cover it from late spring to early summer—so much so that the foliage is sometimes obscured. Because this plant forms such a compact mat of foliage, it works well at the front of a border. These ground-hugging perennials are actually considered sub-shrubs. Candytuft is also extremely drought-tolerant, which makes it suitable for use in rock gardens or very dry areas of the garden.
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6 to 12 inches
From 6 to 18 inches
garden plans for Candytuft
Perennial candytuft is most commonly found in pure, bright white varieties with emerald-green foliage. This plant blooms in mid-spring and the flowers can last for several weeks. Some varieties feature white flowers that fade to a soft, pale lavender at their centers, giving such plants an added color bonus. For even more color, consider annual species of candytuft that come in shades of pink and purple as well as white. Even when this plant is not in bloom, its deep green foliage acts as a vibrant backdrop for other neighboring plants.
Candytuft Care Must-Knows
This tough southern European native requires well-drained soil because it is susceptible to crown rot when left standing in soggy dirt. Avoid soil with too much clay because such ground holds too much moisture, especially during winter months. The soil should also be more alkaline than acidic.
Candytuft also needs as much sun as possible. Full sun will bring out the best blossoms and prevent legginess. Cut this plant back after it blooms (or when grown in part sun) to stimulate new growth and facilitate a compact habit. Mulch the plant in winter to minimize damage from sun scorch or desiccation (aka winter burn) from low soil moisture, freezing temperatures, and harsh, blowing winds.
As candytuft grows along the ground, its sprawling stems root wherever they lay on the soil, creating dense mats of foliage. These rooted cuttings can be left to create a large spectacle or they can be divided up and transplanted throughout the garden.