The Iberis sempervirens is a genus from the mustard family (Cruciferae or Brassicaceae) and is commonly named (evergreen or perennial) candytuft. The candytuft is native to southern Europe. Iberis refers to the Iberian Peninsula where the genus originally grows and sempervirens means ‘always green’.
The Iberis sempervirens is a small, low growing dwarf shrub or sub-shrub. With height differences it cascades over walls and gives you a waterfall of flowers in spring. The flowers attract bees and butterflies.
The candytuft likes a sunny, well drained spot and prefers chalky soil which is why it grows well in light clay soil and in cracks in walls and between pavers. Because the roots grow deep this perennial is quite tolerant to drought once established. The Iberis sempervirens is salt tolerant.
This dwarf shrub is a perfect ground cover and suitable for rock gardens. The Iberis sempervirens is evergreen if the winter is not too harsh. In cold winter climates the leaves may fall off. Some protection against cold and dry winter winds is recommended.
The Iberis sempervirens can be easily pruned and by cutting or sheering about 1/3 after flowering you might get a modest second bloom in August. By cutting or sheering the plant you encourage new growth from the base of the plant and it will grow more compact and produce more flowers.
You can propagate the candytuft by division, semi-hardwood cuttings or sowing seed. The stems that touch the ground will develop roots. You can cut those stems with roots and relocate them.
Exposure: sun/part shade
Foliage colour: green
Flower colour: white
Flowering time: April - May
Hardiness: -25 ºC (-13 ºF)
Height: 10 inches (25 cm)