perennial candytuft vs. Arabis snowcap / rock cress

growitnowMay 2, 2014

Hi can you offer me a compare and contrast for perennial candytuft (Iberis autumn beauty) and Arabis snowcap (rock cress).

Growth habit?, how do they look during summer?, general vigor?

z7, Va.

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NHBabs z4b-5a NH

In my gardens, Arabis foliage has always looked a bit tattered in summer, while Iberis (both Autumn Beauty and a couple other kinds I have forgotten) look better. I don't know if it's where I have it in only about 4 hours of sun, but Autumn Beauty has a less nice plant form, floppier than the other Iberis I have grown. If I were to do it again, I would get a shorter, spring-only blooming Iberis rather than Autumn Beauty which has spring and fall blooms.

I don't know what Arabis doesn't like about my growing conditions, since this is the second garden I've had where it's languished in full sun and well drained soil.

I have quite acid, fine sandy loam in this garden, and where I have previously grown Iberis was in acid loam, former farmland. Where I previously grew Arabis was at the top of a rock wall in well-drained rocky loam.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 8:13AM
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I was just cleaning up a bed today that is edged with Autumn Beauty, and I am considering removing it. It is leggy and floppy, no matter how much I cut it back, and the bloom is rather sparse. It also didn't do too well over this past winter, but I am not holding that against it - lots of things didn't do well this winter! Perhaps it's not in the right spot, but I am not overly thrilled with it. The foliage is pretty and in bloom it is lovely, but the form leaves something to be desired, IMO, and the bloom is not nearly heavy enough to make up for it... even though those few sporadic blooms in fall are precious... I may look into a different variety, because it is a pretty plant in general.

I have some rockcress in the very first garden I planted years ago, which is now very neglected, I'm ashamed to say, and the rockcress has spread quite a bit. I guess I wasn't aware it was a groundcover. I don't dislike it; it is a nice little groundcover with pleasant white blooms. But since this bed is neglected, I can't give a really accurate account of it since I haven't paid much attention! Obviously it is hardy, spreads well if that is what you want, and thrives on neglect, lol. I plan (ha, ha,) on renovating this bed this year so I may take out a lot or at least move it off the walkway, which it completely covers at the moment.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 5:22PM
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