Cerastium tomentosum

Cerastium tomentosum-snow in summer

Cerastium Tomentosum- Snow in Summer

The plant Cerastium tomentosum is a low growing, mat-forming herbaceous perennial ground covering plant. It has small silvery-grey leaves. Masses of snowy-white flowers are produced in late spring to early summer and will completely cover the plant.

Its an ideal plant for cascading over retaining walls, for use in rockery gardens, massed planted in cottage gardens or even grown in a container.

Snow in summer thrives in open sunny positions. It will be fine in slightly shaded areas but flowering may not be as prolific. Prefers moist well draining soil. Can withstand  dry periods and frosts.

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Cultural notes

Botanical name: Cerastium tomentosum

Common name: snow in summer

Family: Caryophyllaceae

Native to: Western parts of Asia and Europe

Flowers: late spring early summer

Position: Full sun/Part shade

Height: 15cm

Width: 75cm

Can i cut back snow in summer and when is the best time?

Snow in summer can absolutely be cut back. We find it usually requires a tidy up during summer, after flowering of course! You can cut it back right to ground level. It will re shoot from hidden runners underground. The new growth is a grey blue colour and nice and soft.

After cutting back applying some slow release fertiliser to encourage strong, lush growth.

Is snow in summer an annual or perennial?

It's a perennial. Some people use it as an annual as they thing its short lived. We have a plant in our garden thats over 7 years old! And showing no signs of slowing down. Provided you give it a trim when it's not looking its best, and it has plenty of nutrients this plant will provide joy for many years.

Is snow in summer sensitive to frost?

Not at all. We often pot up our young plants during the middle of winter so that they are ready in spring. Here in West Gippsland we have overnight temperatures as low as -5C, as you would imagine in these temperatures everything is covered in ice. It has no effect whatsoever on the cerastiums!

Could i grow snow in summer in a pot?

For sure! Snow in summer grows really well in a pot. It looks especially good in window baskets or tall pots, something that it can spill out of. After its finished flowering cut back hard and feed a slow release fertiliser.

Does snow in summer attract bees?

Of course! When cerastium tomentosum is in full flower you'll barely see the foliage. Bees love the small white flowers. If your goal is to attract bees all year round make sure to add different flowering plants throughout your garden.

Good companion plants for snow in summer are gauras, hellebores, camellias, brachyscome, viola and daisies.

Pests & diseases

Occasionally snails and slugs can be a nuisance! We like to use mulitguard pet friendly snail pellets in our nursery. The same brand is available to the home gardener also.

How do you propagate snow in summer?

We use cuttings. You can also use seed. For cuttings we use tip cuttings around 7cm long. You can plant the cutting directly into a good quality potting mix. You'll need to keep the potting mix constantly moist. Roots will develop in 4-5 weeks. Once the roots have struck water with some seasol.