Rustic and aesthetic Rose campion, a delightful addition to the garden

Rose campion, Silene coronaria

Rustic and stylish, the rose campion is a perennial that will enhance your garden with charm.

Key rose campion facts:

Latin name: Lychnis coronaria
Common name: Rose campion
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Type: perennial

Shape: clump-forming
Height: 18 to 28 inches (45 to 70 cm)
Planting density: 4 to 6 plants per 10 square feet (per m²)
Exposure: sunny

Soil: any type, but well-drained  –  Blooming: July→August.

Rose campion stands as a hardy perennial, adapting resiliently to various climates. Its crimson-red flowers stand in stark contrast against its velvety gray leaves, making it a unique and valuable addition to your flower beds.

Planting rose campion

Potted rose campionExceptionally durable and low-maintenance, you can plant rose campion almost anywhere. It can cope with nearly any pH range, and doesn’t care much for the type of soil (clayish, loamy, etc).

Also excellent for growing in pots, thought it will grow slightly shorter.

  • Here, it’s paired with silver ragwort, another silver-leaved flower plant.

But if you want it to truly thrive, give it a nice sunny spot and well-drained soil.

Rose campion care

Rose campion careRose campion doesn’t ask for much when it comes to care.

However, two actions stand out:

  • Remove faded flowers as they wilt away. Also called deadheading. Doing so not only spurs the growth of new blooms but also prevents the plant from over-seeding itself – invasiveness is probably its only naughty trait!
  • In the fall, if you’re looking to keep your rose campion a specific size, trim its foliage down to your desired height.

Rose campion propagation

For propagating rose campion, you’ve got two choices. If patience defines you, seeding is great because it can give you as many plants as you with. But a faster method is division, though it can only give you from 2 to 6 plants depending on the size of the clump.

Sowing seeds

Here are your options:

  • Either let nature do its own work and allow rose campion to self-seed for a hands-off, somewhat wilder look.
  • Or, gather seeds yourself. In April, sow them in a mix of potting soil and sand. Give them a little water, and by fall, you’ll have new plants ready for transfer.


Winter care for rose campionThe other option to get more rose campion plants is to divide the perennial into several plants.

Here’s how to proceed:

  • Uproot the plant in the fall using a digging fork, being careful with its roots.
  • Plant the new divisions you just made.

Smart tip: If you live where summers tend to be on the drier side, avoid dividing in the spring. Your plant might not have enough time to regrow roots before facing potential drought.

Diseases of rose campion

Garden rose campion boasts a resilience that stands up well against diseases. As for pests, snails and slugs might nibble on leaves. Thankfully, it’s not a big problem for this plant.

Usage and pairing

Companion flowers for rose campionRose campion serves as a decorative, abundantly flowering plant – especially when you keep those faded flowers trimmed. Its hearty nature allows for diverse use:

Pair rose campion in a flowerbed with Veronica spicata ‘Erika’ or ‘Incana’, Stachys byzantina, or even Nepeta x faassenii. You’ll unveil a gorgeous palette of grays dotted with shades of crimson, violet, and pink.