How to Grow Leontopodium Plants

Guide to Growing

An essential part of many gardens, Leontopodium is a hardy perennial that reaches about 30 cm in height.

It blooms from late spring through to summer, and carries white stellar shaped flowers.

The foliage is lance shaped and woolly in nature. Common names for Leontopodium include Edelweiss.

Leontopodium alpinum
Leontopodium alpinum - Edelweiss by Franco Folini.

Edelweiss by nordique.

Quick Leontopodium Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Edelweiss
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 6 to 16 inches (15 to 40 cm).
Native: Europe. Asia. Southern America.
Growing Region: Zones 4 to 7.
Flowers: Late spring and/through to early autumn.
Flower Details: White. Star-shaped. Hairy.
Foliage: Lanceolate. Hairy/wooly. Small. Silver.
Sow Outside: Surface. Start of spring - before the last frost. Spacing 3 to 12 inches (8 to 30 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: one week to two months. Temperature: 50°F (10°C). Mix seeds in a moist growing medium, place in a freezer bag, then stratify by refrigeration for three weeks. Ten weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements and care: Partial shade. Good drainage. Soil pH 6.5 to 7.5. Gritty soil. Protect from rain in the winter. Divide every two years to maintain vigour in this short lived but hardy perennial. Propagate: by dividing by in the spring.
Miscellaneous: Mountainous plants that thrive when protected by a blanket of snow in the winter. The commonly used name Edelweiss comes from the German words for Nobel (edel) and white (weiß).

How to Grow Edelweiss (Leontopodium)

If growing Edelweiss outdoors from seed then sow the Edelweiss seeds on the surface. This should be done in the spring before the last frost. Edelweiss likes to grow in a partly shaded part of the rock garden in a gritty loose soil that is close to neutral (pH 6.5 to 7.5).

If you plan to first grow Edelweiss indoors then the process should start about two months before they are due to be transplanted into the garden following the last frost of spring. The seeds should be imbibed by placing the seeds (within soil) in a black plastic bag, then placing in the fridge for three weeks. Seeds should then be sown out at a temperature of 12 Celsius; they normally take about two to six weeks to germinate.

Once established they should be spaced out at 10 cm apart (small Leontopodium species) to 30 cm apart (large Leontopodium varieties).

Caring for Edelweiss

Edelweiss like to grow in snow and so take a little looking after in areas that do not receive snow.

If this is the case you should surround the Edelweiss plant with mulch in the winter to simulate the snow experience. This mulch should be removed at the start of spring. If you live in a snowy area then leave Edelweiss be in the winter, but protect it from heavy rainfalls in both circumstances.

Further plants can be propagated by division, this should be done every couple of years due to the short life span of edelweiss.

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