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Candytuft, superb ground cover

Candytuft spreading ground cover, white.

Candytuft hold its name from the amazing blooming that renews itself from spring to fall.

Core Candytuft facts

Name Iberis
Family Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
Type flower, perennial

1 ½ feet (50 cm)
Exposure full sun
Soil light

Flowering February to August depending on the variety

Caring for it is easy and the ornamental properties of this plant make it perfect as ground cover.

Planting candytuft

Planting iberis or candytuft is best done either in spring or fall.

Remember to water regularly at the beginning, especially if you’re planting in spring.

  • A blend of garden soil and soil mix is ideal for planting.
  • It enjoys being exposed to the sun as much as possible to bloom.
  • Multiply through crown division in summer.

Pruning and caring for candytuft

Easy to care for, Iberis or Candytuft only requires very little attention.

Regular maintenance pruning

  • Remove wilted flowers regularly (deadheading).
  • Cut back after the blooming to make foliage denser, which will increase the following blooming.
  • Cut back by about a third of the year’s growth, or even half. Make sure you’re still in the “green growth” zone, though.

Hard pruning candytuft

When it has grown leggy and woody, the plant has trouble taking off again if you prune it back to old wood all at once. Candytuft, or Iberis, is very similar to lavender in this respect.

There are four options that you can try to return a leggy, woody candytuft to blooming in a nice, dense shape:

Whichever technique you prefer, be sure to prune your candytuft regularly afterwards! It’s the best way to ensure a nice, dense shape year after year!

Watering and fertilizing

It resists drought quite well and must only be watered during the first months after planting.

After that, no watering is necessary except in the event of extended dry spells.

Although this plant doesn’t quibble about the type of soil it is in, better add fertilizer when growing Iberis in pots.

  • Choose flower plant fertilizer at the beginning of the blooming.

All there is to know about candytuft

This plant is called evergreen Iberis (Iberis sempervirens) because it bears cute evergreen leafage all year round.

This is a ground cover plant that makes it possible to cover any given ground surface throughout all of the seasons.

Its average hardiness means that candytuft requires certain temperatures during the blooming and it also fears freezing.
Best choose a sheltered spot to grow it.

Cascading candytuft iberis with pink huesBut it can also be found in the wild, self-sown all around the Mediterranean water basin.

This plant will be particularly appealing along the edges of a flower bed, in a garden box, and also in rocky ground and atop a dirt mound.

Our friends the bees are big fans of this plant. Be sure to plant some if you’ve got a beehive in the garden!

Smart tip about candytuft

Candytuft doesn’t need any watering in summer… this scores points for saving water and for our planet, too!

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  • Deb S wrote on 29 February 2020 at 23 h 54 min

    I have Candytuft and love it! However, I didn’t prune back some of my plants and they are getting “leggy”. How can I prune back to get the nice compact shrub shape back again?

    • Gaspard wrote on 2 March 2020 at 10 h 40 min

      Hello Deb! Candytuft is a real pleasure when it blooms! When they get leggy, there are a few things you can do.

      It’s important to know you can’t just cut it all back to the stump, this might kill it. You can do it in shifts over two or three years, cutting half or a third of the branches back. Then, nurture new shoots that will pop up from the center, diligently pruning those every year!

      Other solutions include “replacing” the plant, sort of. Either layer some branches, prepare cuttings, or divide the clump as you would lavender.

      • Deb S wrote on 13 May 2020 at 22 h 12 min

        Thank you so much for adding the instructions of pruning and hard pruning! This is so helpful, I really appreciate it!!