Saponaria basilicifolia (Saponaria ocymoides)

Basil-leaf Mylnianica is a perennial herbaceous flowering plant from the Carnation family. Refers to saponaria (Latin for saponaria, from the word "sapo" means soap). If you rub with your hands the root of the plant, soap dish or other part of it, then soapy deposits will remain on the fingers, when shaken with water, foam forms. This is saponin - a substance that in the roots of soapwort more than 30 percent, it can work as a substitute for soap.

The flower is unpretentious, easy to care for, attractive in appearance, therefore it is often used to design garden beds, alpine slides and other landscape design objects. About how to grow a plant, how to care for it, is described in this article.

Simple flowers, collected in neat inflorescences, pleasing to the eye on the flower bed

Brief Description, Origin

Soapworms are quite a few. In the garden, a soap dish of saponaria can be seen on a lush soft pillow of leaves and pinkish flowers. It grows to a height of 90 cm, but because of creeping shoots it seems stunted, as if covering the ground with a soft, light "blanket." It blooms very abundantly in May, covered with loose inflorescences of small five-petalled flowers. During flowering, the stems grow well, therefore, closer to the middle of summer, the soap box is trimmed by about a third, so that the caps look neater.

It looks like a soap flower near

With all the simplicity of a plant, a soap dish flower has many advantages that flower growers value:

  • almost any kind of lighting suits him - it grows well both in partial shade and in the sun;
  • the plant is winter tolerant; it can also tolerate drought;
  • grows fast, has good seed germination;
  • undemanding to the soil - to a plant of soap dish rather well drained soil of any type.

In nature, grows on rocky soil or in pine forests. A soap dish from the Alps, the mountainous regions of Spain, is also widespread on the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. In Russia, it is found in the wild in the mountains and foothills of the Caucasus, although you can find it even in Siberia.

It looks like a plant in natural conditions

Interesting! The most famous purpose of the soap dish grass is to decorate the garden. A nice and plentifully flowering groundcover quickly occupies a sunny and open lawn, adapts to grow on rocky slopes, blooms in flower beds. It is also known as a medicinal plant with vitamins and useful compounds used in the cosmetic industry. Different parts of the plant are used to prepare infusions for the treatment of skin diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, etc.

Popular varieties of Saponaria

There are more than 40 species in the genus saponaria, but much less is adapted for decorative cultivation - about a dozen. Breeders are working on breeding new varieties of this plant.

Perennial lupine as a honey plant

It is customary to allocate a soapstone medicinal and decorative. The soap dish of basil leaves is decorative. It is interesting in that it looks like pink foam, blooms together, for a long time. For the abundance of delicate small flowers, this soap dish is also called "moon dust". Varieties of basil-leaved soap dish include, for example, Camilla saponaria - a plant with multiple light pink flowers. In addition to her, there are several more varieties that are popular among gardeners.


Soapweed plant is an ordinary perennial with narrow oval leaves and small pink or red-pink flowers. A separate plant is rather inconspicuous, but it looks very attractive on a flowerbed.


White soap dish is one of the most beautiful, noble and rare species of plants. Betty Arnold is different in that it has a height of up to one meter. In this case, the plant is strewn with unusual flowers of snow-white color. Very beautiful and decorative.


Terry soap dish is a type of basil-leaved soap dish, characterized by the terry of the flower and its slightly larger size. Terry saponaria bred breeders, they are not found in the wild.


Mylnhynka turfy - a plant, found in nature mainly in the Pyrenees, grows on the slopes of stones and is outwardly rather rustic. The height of the bushes is not more than 15 cm, the flowers are pinkish, the leaves have a lanceolate appearance.

Mylnyanka officinalis

Mylnyanka officinalis is a tall plant (up to 90 cm), quite unpretentious, growing everywhere in central Russia. It has a branched stem densely covered with leaves. The flowers are fragrant, look very impressive in inflorescences, their color is pink.


The pink variety does not exist; it is customary to call the pink soap dish a type of Olivan soap dish. This is a hybrid bred by breeders for breeding specifically on the Alpine slides. The plant is short, creeping, has a hat of bright pink flowers of saturated color.


Other plants from the group of decorative varieties have many shades. Soap dishes with shades of yellow and lilac flowers look very beautiful.

Interesting! There is a dwarf soap dish, which rises above the ground by only a few centimeters. There are also sticky varieties and many others with similar attributes to all soap dishes.

Seed cultivation

Garden perennial geranium - planting and care in the open ground

Basically, the plant is grown in seedlings. On sale you can often find a soap dish "Inspiration" or a soap dish "Olivana", and "Moon dust" is also in demand.

Landing capacity and soil

For seedlings, the seeds are sown in containers or other boxes equipped with drainage holes. Soil will suit the simplest, but well-permeable water. This may be turf land, better calcareous and fertilized.

Mylnianka looks good not only in the garden, but also as part of flower arrangements on the balcony

Seed preparation and sowing

Seeds before planting can be wet to speed up germination. This plant is completely unpretentious, seed comes out well, sometimes you even have to struggle with self-sowing. After sowing, the earth should be watered, covered with foil and wait for seedlings.

How to care for seedlings

Seeds are planted in the ground, watered and covered with a film or glass until the first shoots. As soon as the sprouts hatch, the shelter is removed, when the second true leaf appears, they dive into separate containers. Before planting in open ground, like other seedlings, they temper it, taking it out onto the street.

The timing

The timing of emergence of seedlings is 2-3 weeks. Seedlings are planted in the soil after the danger of return frost has passed. Usually this is mid-May.


Soapwort has very viable good roots, so planting and caring for the Soapwort in the open ground are simple. A lump of land with a sprout just rolls out of the pot and sits on a permanent place at intervals of 25 cm between plants.

Root features

The root of the plant contains substances that cause foam when rubbed in the hands. The aboveground part also has the same property, but it lathers worse. In addition to surfactants, the roots contain other components, including alkaloids. Therefore, the plant is used in some traditional medicine as an anesthetic.

Replanting method

Geicher: planting and care in the open ground

Growing from the seeds of the soap dish of basil leaves is not the only method of reproduction. There is still a cuttings. For him, take a shoot, cut off the top and leave to root in the wet sand, covering it with a glass jar.

Interesting! The powerful root can also be divided into 2-3 parts and thus propagate the soap dish. This is done after flowering or in spring.

Features of gardening

Now about how soapbox planting and care are carried out.


Soap dish is regularly watered, but not very plentifully.


Spraying it to moisturize is optional. Only the Mylnica forest requires a relatively higher humidity, other species tolerate normal summers quite normally.


The plant does not tolerate excessive waterlogging of the soil, because the earth should be light, drained. If there is groundwater nearby, then it is better to plant flowers on a high bed.

Top dressing

Since the plant as a whole is unpretentious, somehow it is not particularly necessary to take care of fertilizing. It is enough to add phosphorus fertilizer or bone meal once a season when planting.

Interesting! This plant can also perform soil-protective functions, strengthen slopes from erosion, behind a hat of flowers you can hide ugly walls or props in the country and garden areas.

When and how it blooms

Types of flowers

With all the similarities in common features, soap dishes of different species may differ in bloom. There are plants with the usual five-petalled flowers, there are terry elegant representatives of the family. There are flowers reaching a diameter of 4 cm, most still have flowers of a rather modest appearance and size.

Flower shapes

Flowers on soapwort can be of different colors, the shape of inflorescences is similar in all species.

Flowering period

The two-wave basil-leaved soap dish blossoms, almost all summer pleasing the gardener with a lush flower hat.

Some plant varieties have a particularly beautiful sophisticated “appearance”, such as the Rosea Glen hybrid


Changes in flowering care

So that flowering is plentiful, lush, long, it is recommended to feed the plant with complex fertilizers during this period.

Transplant after purchase and during reproduction

The plant perfectly survives when transplanting from the container into the soil, when dividing the bush and rooting the cuttings. It is only important that the soil is light, loose, without stagnation of water.

Possible problems in growing

Perennial is quite resistant to garden pests and plant diseases. It is practically not affected by the classical diseases characteristic of garden crops. Nevertheless, it is worth paying attention to some points.

Leaf problems

The leaves can be affected by the fungus, which becomes noticeable by the characteristic darkening of the leaves or their coating with brown spots. Usually, overmoistening of the soil becomes the cause of the disease. For the same reason, soap dishes suffer from root rot. In case of damage, the plant needs to be cleaned of diseased leaves, if the underground part is damaged, then remove it completely.


Great damage can cause a butterfly garden scoop. To a large extent, caterpillars hatching from butterfly eggs can damage the plant. They gnaw shoots, and the plant dies. It is recommended to deal with the pest with special protective preparations; manual collection of larvae and caterpillars helps.

If you do not deal with the pest on flowers, it can spread to vegetables



If black spots appear on the leaves, you need to cut the affected areas. With a large area of ​​damage, remove the entire plant and burn. The rest is treated with fungicides.

Signs of improper care

If the watering is incorrect, the plant may lock up and die. Excessive drought is also harmful. Finally, the lack of weeding can lead to weeds clogging the entire cultural part of the flowerbed. Otherwise, problems should not arise.

Saponaria is an interesting plant for the gardener, which does not require significant physical costs in the care, is unpretentious and grows on any soil. Together with other ground cover plants, it helps to decorate the garden and make the plot more attractive.