Snow-in-Summer

This low-growing perennial is grown for both its pretty summer blooms and its silvery leaves.

Snow-in-Summer Overview

Description Blankets of sparkling small white blooms from late spring to early summer give this tough perennial groundcover its name. After the blooms fade, the plant's wooly silver foliage remains; it can handle some of the toughest droughts.
Genus Name Cerastium tomentosum
Common Name Snow-in-Summer
Plant Type Perennial
Light Sun
Height 6 to 12 inches
Width 10 to 18 inches
Flower Color White
Foliage Color Gray/Silver
Season Features Spring Bloom, Summer Bloom
Special Features Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 10, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Propagation Division, Seed
Problem Solvers Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Groundcover, Slope/Erosion Control

Where to Plant Snow-in-Summer

Snow-in-summer provides a sturdy option for adding botanical beauty to the cracks of retaining walls and between the stones in a rock garden. Because this plant excels at self-seeding, you're likely to find it in your garden where it has never been planted.

Snow-in-Summer Care Must-Knows

Because snow-in-summer is native to dry, rocky areas, keep drainage top of mind when growing this plant. The plant's roots may rot if the soil stays wet for long periods. Also, snow-in-summer doesn't handle high humidity and summer heat well, especially if the plant remains wet. Consider this plant a short-lived perennial or even an annual if you plan on growing it in a warmer climate.

For the brightest silver foliage, make sure your snow-in-summer gets full sun. Anything less runs the risk of rot, the foliage becomes more gray-green, and the plant gets leggy.

In a less-than-ideal environment, snow-in-summer can be temperamental. But if its ideal conditions are met, snow-in-summer can become aggressive and invasive. One way to control the spread is to remove spent blooms (and any potential seeds) right after the plant flowers. In addition, because snow-in-summer typically finishes flowering all at once, you can trim back the whole plant at one time. Regular trimming also keeps the foliage compact instead of long and leggy. Snow-in-summer spreads by runners, too, so keep them trimmed to prevent unwanted growth.

As this plant ages, it may die out in the middle. Remedy the situation by digging up the plant, dividing it, and either replanting the pieces or sharing them with friends and neighbors.

More Varieties of Snow-in-Summer

'Silver Carpet' Snow-in-Summer

silver carpet snow-in-summer plants growing in garden

In spring and summer, Cerastium tomentosum has bright silver foliage topped with bright white blooms. Zones 3-7.

Snow-in-Summer Companion Plants

Dianthus

Dianthus flowers
Denny Schrock

The quintessential cottage flower, pinks are treasured for their grasslike blue-green foliage and abundant starry flowers, which are often spicily fragrant. Depending on the type of pink, flowers appear in spring or summer and tend to be pink, red, white, rose, or lavender, but come in nearly all shades except true blue.

Plants range from tiny creeping groundcovers to 30-inch-tall cut flowers, which are a favorite with florists. Foliage is blue-green.

Veronica

veronica purplicious flowers
Marty Baldwin

Easy and undemanding, veronicas catch the eye in sunny gardens over many months. Some have mats with loose clusters of saucer-shaped flowers, while others group their star or tubular flowers into erect tight spikes. A few veronicas bring elusive blue to the garden, but more often, the flowers are purplish or violet blue, rosy pink, or white.

Provide full sun and average well-drained soil. Regular deadheading extends bloom time.

Yucca

bright-edge-yucca-plant yucca filamentosa
Lee Anne White

A yucca in bloom is a showstopper. It produces imposing spires of large, bird-attracting white flowers in summer and fall. The evergreen rosettes of stiff, sharply pointed leaves, often variegated with cream or white, are striking. Use them to punctuate the end of a walkway, mass them as a barrier, or plant them as accents throughout the border. Be careful not to site them away from paths or other places people could be scratched by their sharp leaves. Free-draining soil and sun are all yuccas require.

This plant is also sometimes called Hesperoyucca.

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