How to Grow Synthyris Plants

Guide to Growing Snow queen, Spring Queen, and Mountain Kittentails

Members of the Synthyris genus are low growing hardy perennials that reach from 6 to 30 cm ( 3 to 12 inches) in height. This makes them great for growing in rock gardens.

They often bloom twice a year, always in early spring, and sometimes in autumn.

When they bloom, Synthyris carry spikes of small white, purple, blue, or pink flowers.

Synthyris borealis
Synthyris borealis - Kitten Tails by DenaliNPS.

Synthyris pinnatifida
Synthyris pinnatifida by Cutleaf Kitten tails by Fool-on-the-hill.

Synthyris Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: Snow queen, Spring Queen, Mountain kittentails.
  • Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
  • Height: 3 to 10 inches (7—25 cm).
  • Native: Northern America.
  • Growing Region: Zones 2 to 9.

  • Flowers: Early spring, will produce a second bloom in the autumn of the conditions are right.
  • Flower Details: Blue, lavender, pink, purple, white. Small racemes. Bell-shaped corollas.
  • Foliage: Herbaceous. Rosette. Cordate, kidney-shaped or lobed. Often with a pink edge. Long petioles.

  • Grow Outside: Plants should be propagated by dividing. Space at 4 to 6 inches (10—15 cm).
  • Requirements and care: Full sunlight (with afternoon shade) or partial shade. Moist to wet soil. Acidic soil pH. Rich, Gritty, organic soil. Regular watering to maintain soil moisture. Propagate: by dividing in the spring once flowers have finished blooming.
  • Family Plantaginaceae.

How to Grow Synthyris

It is best to grow Synthyris from purchased plants, or from divided plants that someone has been kind enough to give you.

These plants should be spaced at about 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches) apart in the rock garden.

The soil that Synthyris grow in should be organic, rich, and acidic. Ideally it should also be gritty.

Synthyris plants, such as Snow Queen and Kittentails, love a moist soil and do not like sunny conditions. So grow in a shaded or at least partially shaded area of the garden.

Caring for Synthyris

Synthyris likes to grow in a moist to wet soil, so ensure that they are kept well watered at all times. If you require more plants then propagate Synthyris by division in the spring.

Common Questions

How many members does the Synthyris genus have?

The Synthyris genus consists of about 10 species, often found in alpine or subalpine regions.

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

Synthyris can be a charming addition to rock gardens or areas with similar conditions to their natural habitat.

Which Synthyris species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Synthyris missurica is commonly cultivated, valued for its attractive foliage and early spring flowers.

Are members of the Synthyris plant genus fragrant?

Synthyris species are not typically known for their fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Synthyris?

Synthyris prefers cool, shady spots with moist, well-drained soil.

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

Currently, Synthyris species are not considered invasive in the USA. Always consult local regulations for the most current information.

How do I remove Synthyris plants from my garden?

To remove Synthyris, carefully dig out the plant, ensuring all roots are removed to prevent regrowth.


The Synthyris plant genus includes perennial plants native to North America. They are admired for their clusters of small, tubular flowers that bloom in early spring, often while snow is still on the ground.

Grow Synthyris from seeds or divisions, usually in spring or autumn. They prefer a shaded location and well-drained, humus-rich soil. Regular watering is necessary, particularly during dry periods, but overwatering should be avoided to prevent root rot.

I hope that you found this guide on how to grow Synthyris plants in your garden. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Digitalis, Innocence plant, and Penstemon plants.