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Tips & Tricks

Soap herb cutting - Instructions and tips for the right cut


Soapwort needs little maintenance to develop splendidly. Nevertheless, you have to use the scissors regularly so that the plant retains its shape and produces plenty of flowers.

The soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) knows how to delight the heart of the hobby gardener with lush growth. Not only can he be certain that he has chosen the right location for his plant, he can also assume that soapwort, with its sheer untamable growth power, will soon take over the management of the bed.

Soapwort likes to spread, both underground and above ground. Cutting measures should therefore not be neglected. So that the plant can also be prevented from spreading its runners underground, a root barrier should be installed during planting. Soapwort will only occupy the space that the hobby gardener intended for it. Root barriers are simply planted in the soil, cannot weather and prevent the roots from spreading further.

Another option is when transplanting. If the plant is removed from the ground, the roots can be shortened before the soapwort is used again.

Cutting soapwort - but how?

Cutting measures should be well considered in terms of time and craftsmanship. The following cuts are made on the soapwort:

  • Care and clearing cut
  • Remounting section
  • Nachblütenschnitt

Care and clearing cut - perform regularly

Regular cutting measures maintain the habit and ensure a rich floral display. You can also use scissors more often during the growth phase. In order for new leaves and flowers to appear, old and faded parts of plants must be removed regularly.

Faded can be removed weekly. If the plant grows very rapidly, long, misshapen shoots develop, which can hinder the budding of new parts of the plant.

" Tip: The soapwort is very well tolerated by cutting and can also be exposed more frequently during the summer months.

Remounting cut - flowers in a double pack

Soapwort blooms very early in climatically favorable regions or after a particularly mild winter. Here it is advisable to outsmart the plant with a reassembly cut and to encourage it to bloom again in autumn.

After the first bloom, the soapwort is cut back to a height of about ten centimeters. On this occasion, old, stunted or diseased parts of the plant are removed. If the soil is quite lean, it makes sense to add an extra portion of nutrients by adding compost.

If the climate remains mild until late summer, the soapwort will pick up and have a second bloom.

" Tip: The reassembly cut is only suitable in mild areas. In harsher low mountain regions, the plant only blooms in early summer, which usually lasts until October. This cycle leaves no time for a second bloom.

Post-flowering cut - fit for winter

Soapwort has delighted us with its bloom and the gardening year is coming to an end, the time has come for a radical cut back. The plant is cut back close to the ground during the post-flowering cut. The hobby gardener does not have to dispose of the clippings, but it can be spread around the plant as fertilizer and at the same time protects against the ingress of frost in winter.

Post-flowering is an effective care measure and protects the plant from fungal attack.

" Tip: If you can't get enough of the soapwort and want to promote self-sowing, the plant can only be cut back in late winter. Then it is essential to choose a frost-free and mild day.

What needs to be considered when cutting the soap herb?

Scissors should not be used on sunny days. Even if there is frost, the plants are not cut. Dry, cloudy and frost-free days are best suited.

The cutting tools should be sharp and aseptic. Straight edges can only be achieved with a sharp knife or sharp scissors. Frayed and brittle cut edges offer pests and fungal attack an entry gate. The cutters must be rubbed with alcohol and disinfected before and after use.

Soapwort is slightly toxic. There is no serious danger to people or pets. Nevertheless, it is advisable to wear gloves when cutting.