I bet you can’t say that real fast 3 times. 🙂 Anyhow, in June I posted about getting a really hard rain and my Saponaria officinalis (Soapwort or Bouncing Bet) had flopped over. If you look at the picture to the left you will see how leggy this pretty pink perennial can get with a wet spring. Well, in July I ended up giving it a severe haircut after the blooms had faded to rejuvenate it. I’m hoping to get some nice blooms sometime this month into the early fall. Hopefully this drastic trimming will make for a nice bushier plant for the remainder of the season. In the next couple of pictures you should be able to make out the grid support I have on top of the Soapwort. It does help tremendously with giving the center of the plant more support and somewhat keeps the plant (as long as I remember to adjust the legs as it grows) from flopping over in the mulch. The final photo shows not only has the plant recovered but looks healthier and fuller. Some interesting facts about this plant are the common name comes from the old time custom of using the roots of this plant for washing clothes. These roots contain a molecule called saponin, which will work just like detergent to dissolve grease or dirt. Saponin is edible and used as an additive in beer which helps it develop the head when poured. Saponaria officinalis is a great plant for rock gardens, banks and trailing over walls. They are hardy in zones 5-10 and need full sun as well as well drained soil. I have mine planted in a raised bed where they seem quite happy. They seem quite drought-tolerant too. They will spread rapidly if not kept in check. They also have a nice spicy scent and are attractive to bees. This was a pass-a-long plant from a neighbor years ago and it has been a reliable perennial in my garden.
Bouncing Bet Bounces Back