Commonly known as Cats Foot, this is a small, semi-evergreen, herbaceous perennial which forms a rosette of basal, bright green, grass-like leaves with smaller felty, silvery-green leaves arranged spirally up the flowering stems. It produces fluffy, rich pink flower heads with pinkish-white bracts which are borne on erect flower stalks about 25cm long, with the flower heads on different stalks being held at roughly the same height.
It's well-suited to growing on dry, stony ground, making it perfect for the rock or alpine garden or growing in between stepping or pacing stones. As it forms a low, creeping mat of dense foliage which hugs the ground, it is also excellent for using as a groundcover plant in a sunny border. Although it is tolerant of poor soils, excellent drainage is essential. Dead head immediately after the flowers have faded to prevent getting more seedlings next season. It can easily be lifted and divided every three to five years in spring.
Buying Alpines from Jacksons Nurseries
At Jacksons Nurseries we lightly trim back our alpines after flowering to ensure that the plants remain neat and tidy whilst in the pot. The more tender the plant the less we cut back to help protect exposed stems from winter frost. Depending on the plant variety we will then prune back further in spring once the risk of the more severe frosts is over.
As a result, depending on the time of year you buy alpines, they may not look like images showing their ‘prime time’ in flower and looking at their best.
Availability: Stock availability figures are provided as a guide only. There is a delay between orders being placed and the plants being gathered by our pulling team. During this time it may be possible for a member of the public to purchase these plants from our Garden Centre, while this is rare it is a possibility and we will notify you of any problems as soon as possible. This figure may also include plants that have not yet be flagged as unsaleable.
Pre-order: Pre-order times are given as a guide only and may vary dependent on the growing season. Orders containing Pre-ordered products will be shipped as a single order when all items become available. Large orders may be part shipped, please contact us on 01782 502741 or email
From late autumn onwards and dependant on variety, there may be very little visible above the soil except for a few cut back dormant leaves or stems. It is perfectly normal for dormant plants to look like this from autumn onwards, they will however burst back into life in spring.
Alpines are a group of perennials that generally grow in rocky conditions at high altitudes.
As for all plants, soil preparation is time well spent. Dig over the area to be planted ensuring that the ground is free draining. If not then you may wish to either consider planting in a different spot or raising the level of the planting area by adding additional topsoil, well rotted garden compost and/or well rotted manure. Add ‘Fish, Blood and Bone’ fertiliser or a high potash fertiliser to encourage good root growth and development.
It’s always a good idea to plant a few of the same plant together, we recommend planting in 3’s or 5’s to provide a bold effect but allowing them plenty of room to develop.
By using this simple guide and a little time, alpines can make an absolutely spectacular difference to your garden.
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