• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Saponaria officinalis



© RHS 2002

  • Other common names soapwort
    Boston pink

    bouncing bett
    bouncing bet
    chimney pink
    common soapwort
    crow soap
    devil in a bush
    farewell to summer
    flop top
    fuller's herb
    hedge pink
    lady by the gate
    London pride
    mock gilliflower
    old maid's pink
    old maid's slipper
    soap plant
    soap root
    soapwort gentian
    sweet Betty
    wild sweet William
    wood phlox
    world's wonder

    see more
  • Family Caryophyllaceae

  • Genus Saponaria can be annuals or perennials, with opposite, entire leaves and small clusters of pink or purple flowers in summer

  • Details S. officinalis is a rhizomatous perennial forming wide clumps of upright stems bearing ovate leaves and terminal clusters of fragrant light pink or white flowers in summer and autumn

  • Plant range Eurasia


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Clump-forming

  • Fragrance Flower

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or North-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilChalk, Clay, Sand

  • pHAlkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height 0.5-1 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in moderately fertile, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil in full sun. Suitable for the herbaceous or mixed border

Propagation Propagate by seed or division

Suggested planting locations and garden types Low Maintenance Cottage & Informal Garden Wildflower meadow Wildlife Gardens

How to care

Pruning No pruning required

Pests Slugs and snails may be a problem

Diseases Generally disease free

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