How to Grow Rupturewort

A low-maintenance, easy-to-grow ground cover

Rupturewort (Herniaria glabra) close up

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Rapturewort is a great ground cover option for low-maintenance gardens. It's low-growing, spreads efficiently, doesn't take a lot of upkeep, and can help prevent weed intrusion. Green Carpet, as it's sometimes referred to, can thrive even in the poorest quality soils.

The green, dense, small evergreen foliage adds a lovely bright splash of color in the spring and summer. In late fall it transitions to showing shades of red and orange. The flowers that bloom are tiny, and you shouldn't expect these to add to plants appeal.

If you have infertile soil that makes growing a lush lawn problematic, planting Rupturewort can be an excellent alternative. It's soft underfoot, handles footfall reasonably well, and has a unique scent that is almost reminiscent of vanilla.

It also works well in alpine-style or rock gardens and as a plant for growing between flagstones. Spring bulbs can still grow well through a covering of Rupturewort.

Botanical Name Herniaria glabra
Common Name Rupturewort, Green Carpet
Plant Type Ground-covering herbaceous perennial
Mature Size 3 inches in height but spreads rapidly
Sun Exposure Full Sun/ Partial Shade
Soil Type Sandy, loamy soils
Soil pH Grows best in soils from 5.5 to 7.0
Bloom Time Late spring to early summer
Flower Color Green foliage
Hardiness Zones 4 to 8
Native Area Europe and Asia

How to Grow Rupturewort

Known for being incredibly robust, this plant can thrive in infertile soil and through surprising drops in temperature.

It prefers a sunny, or at least only partially shaded environment, and care should be taken not to overwater. A drought-tolerant plant, Rupturewort will only need watering during length dry, hot spells.

Light

Providing you don't plant Rupturewort in full shade, it should do well. It prefers a full sun position, but can also spread well in partial shade.

Soil

If you have large areas of infertile soil, which other more delicate plants struggle to grow on, Rapturewort can be a great addition.

It thrives in most soil types, including dry, rocky, poor quality varieties. The only thing it won't like is one that is overly moist, so the soil should be well-drained.

Water

It might be small in stature, but, this plant has a long taproot that holds moisture well. It makes it pretty drought-tolerant and, consequently, it can be a popular choice for Xeriscape landscaping. It's not going to require additional irrigation.

When the weather is hot, it will do well with occasional deep watering, but, generally, it will manage with natural rainfall alone.

If it gets too much water, Rupturewort can suffer from damaging root rot.

Temperature and Humidity

Rupturewort can handle a wide range of weather. This evergreen plant can cope with temperatures right down to 30°C (-20°F). Given it's native to the temperate regions of Europe, it's no surprise that it can handle hot spells well too.

One thing Rupturewort won't cope well with is a very humid environment. Too much moisture isn't good for the roots of this plant.

It isn't bothered by high winds, but it doesn't thrive with maritime exposure.

Fertilizer

The only time your Rupturewort might benefit from fertilizer is when the plant is young, and it's in infertile soil. Mature plants will be robust enough to do fine without any treatment.

Being Grown in Containers

These plants can add interest to containers planted with other upright plants as they tend to drape over the sides of the pot.

Because of their long taproot and ability to spread by over half a meter, you'll need to pick a container that is sufficiently big enough to accommodate Rupturewort.

Growing From Seeds

Growing Rapturewort from seeds in the spring generates good results providing they are sown in a sunny position with a light covering of warm soil.

You can also sow the seeds in cooler temperatures. You'll just want to start off indoors or in a cold frame. You can then transplant the seedlings outside a couple of months later after the last spring frosts have passed.

Ideally, you'll want to allow around 35cm to half a meter space between each plant to prevent overcrowding.

Propagating Rupturewort

Rupturewort isn't classed as an invasive species as it's quite slow-growing. However, it does self-seed and can start to overtake other carefully landscaped parts of your garden if you don't keep it under control.

If it's becoming over-crowded, clump division can be done in the spring. This is also a good option if you want to plant Rupturewort in other areas too.