The genus Saxifraga brings together a large number of perennial herbaceous plants originating from the temperate zones and the arctic zones, there are also numerous garden hybrids. The saxifrages have quite different characteristics, so they have been brought together in some families, which bring together plants with similar flowering periods and needs. Generally the saxifrages appear as dense rosettes of light green, thick and leathery leaflets, variously lobed, of variable height between 5 and 15 cm, which tend to have a ground cover development. In spring they produce fleshy stems, which carry one or a few flowers of color that can have all the shades of pink, from white to dark pink.
All the varieties of saxifraga need abundant watering especially during the summer season when the temperatures are quite high; avoid letting the soil dry for too long, but also soaking it too much as water stagnation does not benefit the health of these plants.In winter, reduce watering, leaving the soil to dry for short periods; in summer it is advisable to vaporize the leaves on intense hot days with distilled water to protect them from the effects of sunlight. Supply fertilizer for flowering plants at least 2-3 times in the period from April to October so as to guarantee the supply of all the necessary nutrients.Ground
Saxifraga likes any garden soil as long as it is melted, rich and well drained to avoid damaging water stagnation.
Usually the saxifrages are successfully used in rock gardens but this does not mean that they do not grow well even in soils rich in nutrients. Very often the saxifrage is used to decorate rustic stone walls, filling the small holes and inlets that are created inside them.
To reproduce this type of plant, in autumn, the suckers that these plants tend to form naturally come off. These basal suckers must be made to take root in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts, then they will be re-invaded the following spring; they are planted in autumn, for better cultivation they can be kept in pots even for a couple of years.
Generally the multiplication of the saxifrage is a simple operation that succeeds positively without great efforts because of the natural predisposition of this species to form basal suckers.
Saxifraga - Saxifraga: Pests and diseases
Saxifrage plants can be affected by pests and diseases, pay particular attention to aphids and cochineal. For this reason it is good to intervene before the vegetative restart with broad-spectrum preventive treatments that will provide the right protection to this kind of plant. If you notice any signs on the plants it is also possible to intervene with compounds based on garlic or soap from Marseille to be sprayed on the affected specimens.
Generally, saxifrage plants grown at home or on balconies where air circulation is limited are more prone to attacks from aphids and cochineal, but all plants including those grown in the garden can be attacked by these parasites.