How to Grow and Prune Iberis or Candytuft

Evergreen candytuft (Iberis) is a spring blooming plant for full sun or very light shade.

It is most often used to cascade down walls or over banks and sometimes as a ground cover. It has shiny evergreen foliage that should be
sheared back right after flowering so the plant does not get long and leggy.

Once the plant is established it is fairly drought tolerant but it likes its spring rains. It does not appreciate being wet in the winter time so avoid clay soils and instead plant it on a well-drained soil.

Needs to be sheared

Shearing will keep it compact and heavy flowering. (cut back by one third to keep bushy).

Do this right after flowering.

Other than this small task, this is a no-work kind of plant.


This is a plant that does not divide easily if at all. You can propagate it from cuttings or more easily from seed.

Distance Apart

Candytuft will grow eight to ten inches tall and twelve to thirty inches wide. Plan on planting twelve inches apart if you want an impressive display of overhanging plants on a wall or bank.

Most common varieties

  • Iberis sempervirens is the common candytuft most often found in spring garden centers. It is hardy and easily grown.
  • A variety ‘Alexanders White’ sometimes reblooms in the fall if trimmed back in the spring.
  • You might see ‘Flindal’ on offer, it has much larger blooms but is not popular in the nursery trade because it is harder and not very reliable to propagate on a large scale. (take cuttings and don’t overwater them).
  • ‘Golden Candy’ has chartreuse leaves but I have not grown it so can’t comment on its winter hardiness or growth characteristics.
  • ‘Snow Cushion’ is a particularly good variety for heavy flowering.
    ‘Snowflake’ is the typical offering at mass merchants and is seed-propagated.
  • Iberis saxatilis is a mound forming candytuft that is rarely seen in nurseries and is ideally suited for the rock garden with its
    compact habit. The blooms take on a pink tinge when they are finishing their bloom time. Quite attractive but not easily found.

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Resources to Find Material Mentioned on This Page

You’ll find Iberis seed and plants here.

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