How to Grow Tunica Plants in your Garden

Guide to Growing Tunic Flower and Hairy pink

Members of the Tunica genus are low growing hardy perennials. They have recently been reclassified as belonging to the Petrorhagia family.

They have feathery foliage, and bloom in the summer with flat purple or pink flowers.

Common varieties of Tunica grown in the garden include Tunic Flower, Hairy pink, Saxifrage Pink, and Coat Flower.

Petrorhagia saxifraga
(Tunica) Petrorhagia saxifraga by Nuuuuuuuuuuul.

Tunica Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: Coat flower, Hairy pink, Tunic flower, Wild carnation, Tunic saxifrage.
  • Syn.: Petrorhagia.
  • Life Cycle: Hardy perennial; genus also contains some annuals following reclassification into Petrorhagia.
  • Height: 4 to 12 inches (10—30 cm).
  • Native: Mediterranean, Europe, Asia.
  • Growing Region: Zones 4 to 7.

  • Flowers: Summer.
  • Flower Details: Pink, lilac, white. Clustered. Flat. Small. Sometimes veined.
  • Foliage: Green. Feathery, or grass-like leaves. Narrow. Leaves sheathed the stem at its base. Wiry stems.

  • Sowing: Cover seeds. Germination time: two weeks to two months. Spacing 4 to 8 inches (10—20 cm).
    Seed: Method 1: Seeds should be sown into flats in the autumn. 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 indoor at the beginning of spring and keep at 50°F (10°C). Transplant seedlings after the last frost of spring or in the 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 flat as described above. Once seedlings emerge transplant them to their final location.

  • Requirements and care: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Limy soil or gravel for best results. Keep soil moist until seedlings are established. Drought tolerant once established. Cut back for second bloom. Propagate: by dividing by in the spring. Self-seeds freely.
  • Family: Caryophyllaceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Carnations.
  • Miscellaneous: Tunica Plants have been recently reclassified into the Petrorhagia genus.

How to Grow Tunic Flower and Other Tunica

When growing Tunic flower from seeds it is best to sow them into flats first. This can be done in either spring or autumn.

When sowing in spring, sow the Tunica seeds in a flat and lightly cover, next put the flat in a plastic bin bag and place in the fridge for three weeks. Following this, sink the flats into a shady part of the garden and cover with glass, water occasionally to keep the soil moist.

The germination period of Tunica seeds is from two to 10 weeks.

Once seedlings emerge, transplant them into a sunny part of the garden about 10 to 15 cm apart (4 to 6 inches). Ideally the soil will be limy and have good drainage.

Caring for Tunica/Petrorhagia Flowers

Members of this genus, such as Tunic flower and Coat flower, pretty much look after themselves. If you require more Tunica plants, then propagate by dividing them in the spring.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Tunica plants. You may also enjoy the following hardy perennial Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Mimulus and Iberis plants.