edelweiss plant

Edelweiss Flowers (Leontopodium alpinum): How to Grow and Care

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Edelweiss is a native flower to the Alpine regions in Europe, North America, and the Asian continent.

Depending on the climate, these flowers will grow easily, and they will catch everyone’s attention mainly due to their unique shape and petals.

This plant is protected in several areas, as it is considered a short-lived perennial. This means fewer edelweiss plants will grow in those particular zones.

edelweiss flower close up

Continue reading if you would like to learn more about Edelweiss flowers.


Basic Facts about Edelweiss Plant

alpine edelweiss flower
  • Edelweiss is a plant that evokes nostalgia because there are fewer of them each year.
  • Its woolly leaves can be spotted from miles away, as they tend to be sharp white. 
  • Also known by its scientific name of Leontopodium alpinum, this plant is related to daisy flowers, as they are part of the Asteraceae family of plants.
  • This plant has a robust root system. In fact, its roots are fibrous, which means they can ‘travel’ and anchor themselves even in the most difficult of terrains.
  • However, precisely because of this root strength, edelweiss tends to take their time to grow, and once they reach full maturity, they will not grow more than 12 inches in height. 
  • The Leontopodium alpinum plant needs cold temperatures and strong winds in order to become healthy. As a result, they will grow best in zones 4 to 7, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
  • Edelweiss flowers have white petals and a yellow center.
  • Native to the cold mountains of the Swiss Alps and some other places in Central Asia

How To Grow Edelweiss Flowers

gray edelweiss

Growing edelweiss flowers is a straightforward process.

Light Conditions

edelweiss in the meadow

The Leontopodium plant needs full sunlight to thrive. However, they cannot be fully exposed to the sun. Place some taller plants strategically, so the edelweiss can take advantage of this shadow and thrive.

Water Needs

The Leontopodium plant needs to be watered thoroughly and constantly. However, make sure their soil has a good drainage system; otherwise, the roots of the plant may rot. 

Soil Requirements

edelweiss flower in the wild

A neutral or slightly alkaline soil will be best for this plant. Limestone is usually used to raise the pH level of the soil. Ideally, edelweiss flowers will have well-drained soil, as they do not tolerate soggy soil.

This plant will grow best if you place them near rocks, as the limestone that’s slowly released onto the soil, will help the white flower grow.

Planting Edelweiss

field of edelweiss

It would be best if seedlings are planted in early spring; although you must be careful if you live in a warm area as they will not tolerate strong, dry summers. 

If your edelweiss is already 3 years or more, dig the plants up from its roots and separate them. You can then replant the new flowers, as this will help them grow healthier. 

You can start seeds indoors or outdoors. If you are starting outdoors, make sure the last frost has recently passed; otherwise, your seeds may suffer from this climate.

If you start them indoors, then you can start whenever you wish to do so. Ideally, you would have at least four weeks left of winter. Transplant the edelweiss seedlings to the garden after the frosts have passed, during spring.


How To Care For Edelweiss Flowers

rare edelweiss flower

Edelweiss will bloom during their second year, as they will usually take their time to mature and become resistant. Once they have established themselves, they will continue to bloom for a couple of years.

This plant tends to thrive best in snowy climates. If you live in a warmer area, then you should apply mulch to your plants. This way, you could slightly replicate the moisture these plants need.

If the edelweiss plant is happy in its environment, then they may re-sow themselves the following years. If not, then you will need to re-plant them every two to three years, so you can continuously enjoy their presence!


FAQs

These are some common questions about the Leontopodium plant.


Conclusion

Even though it’s not the most common names of flowers that gardeners may recognize, this small herbaceous plant is incredibly strong, especially as it can thrive through the toughest of climates.

Moreover, they can also be grown in other areas of the world, as long as they are exposed to partial sun. Edelweiss is a beautiful yet hardy plant that is protected in many countries.

Up next: Edelweiss Flower Meaning and Symbolism

*Image by daboost/depositphotos

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