Dryas Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Dryas plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

Mountain Avens, and White Dryas: Cultivation & Garden Use

Dryas are small hardy perennial creepers.

They flower from the end of spring through to summer.

Plants usually have white flowers, and produce attractive feathery seeds.

Dryas octopetala
Dryas octopetala - White Mountain-Avens by pellaea.

One of the main common names for Dryas is Mountain Avens.

Due to their small size, and creeping nature, they make ideal plants for use in rock gardens.

Dryas Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Mountain Avens, White Dryas, Drummond’s Avens, Entire-leaved Avens.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 4 inches (10 cm).
Native: Northern America, Europe, Asia.
Family: Rosaceae.
Growing Region: Zones 2 to 6.
Flowers: Late spring through to summer.
Flower Details: White, yellow, lemon. Yellow centre. Cup-shaped.
Foliage: Evergreen. Dark green. Small leaves. Glabrous on the top surface. Attractive feathery seeds.
Sowing: Cover seed. Germination time. Spacing 12 to 15 inches (30 to 38 cm).
Seed: Method 1: Seeds should first be sown into flats in the autumn. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist. Bring the flats indoors at the beginning of spring and keep at 60 to 70°F (16 to 21°C). Transplant seedlings in the spring or autumn.
Seed: Method 2: In the spring, mix seeds in a moist growing medium, then put in flats, wrap in a large plastic bag, then stratify by refrigeration for three weeks. Next bury the flats in a shaded area and provide a glass/plastic cover. Once seedlings are strong transplant them to their final location.
Requirements and care: Full sunlight or partial shade. Peaty soil, gritty, sandy, and moist. Supply spring mulch of 50% leaf mold and 50% chipped rock. Water during prolonged dry spells to keep soil moist. Remove secondary creeping stems. Propagate: by dividing by in the spring; alternatively Dryas cuttings can be took towards the end of summer.
Miscellaneous: Provides food and cover for small mammals and birds.

How to Grow Mountain Avens (Dryas)

Mountain Avens are not the easiest plants in the world to grow and maintain.

The seeds should be sown into flats, and lightly covered in the Autumn. However, the seeds will first be requires to be imbibed. Do this by placing the seeds (within soil) in a black bag, then placing in the fridge for three weeks.

Seeds should then be sown out into the flats, and kept at a temperature of 16 to 20°C (61 to 68°F).

Mountain Avens can take anything from two months to a full year to germinate.

Once your Dryas seedlings emerge, they should be transplanted (in the spring or autumn). Locate into a sunny or lightly shaded part of the garden.

Ideally Mountain Avens and other Dryas plants prefer to grow in a moist soil. this should be slightly alkaline in nature, and peaty or sandy.

The young seedlings should be planted at about 30 to 40 cm (12 to 16 inches) apart.

Caring for Dryas Plants in the Garden

Once growing, it will be necessary to care for Dryas plants by mulching in the spring. Also be sure to cut back the creepers that the plant produces.

If you require more plants, then do not do it from the creepers, but divide the Dryas plant itself towards the end of summer. This will result in better flowers than if you were to grow Dryas plants from the creepers.

Common Questions

How many members does the Dryas genus have?

The Dryas genus consists of around 8 species.

Do members of Dryas make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Dryas species are great for rock gardens and slopes due to their low-growing, mat-forming habit and attractive flowers.

Which Dryas species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The most commonly grown species is Dryas octopetala (Mountain Avens).

Are members of the Dryas plant genus fragrant?

No, Dryas species are not known for their fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Dryas?

Dryas prefers full sun and well-drained, gritty soil. They are well-suited to rock gardens and slopes.

Is Dryas invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Dryas is not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Dryas plants from my garden?

To remove Dryas, dig up the entire plant, ensuring to remove all roots to prevent regrowth.


The Dryas genus, also known as Mountain Avens, includes about 8 species of flowering plants native to the Arctic and alpine regions. These hardy perennials are grown for their attractive, shiny leaves and small, buttercup-like flowers that appear in late spring.

Dryas plants prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They can tolerate poor soil and are particularly good for rock gardens and alpine troughs. They can be grown from seeds or division, and are excellent for stabilizing slopes due to their spreading, mat-forming habit.

I hope that you found this guide on how to grow Dryas plants in your garden. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Indian hawthorn, Potentilla plant, and Aruncus plants.