Soapwort is a pretty little wild flower of the carnation family, native to Europe.
Soapwort contains saponins which in conjunction with warm water creates a soft gentle lather when agitated.
Sheep farmers often used it to wash their sheep prior to shearing.
Soapwort soap is neutral – which is important when washing silk or wool as protein fibres can be damaged with an alkaline soap.
Growing soapwort from seed:
Soapwort seeds germinate better after a cold treatment. Dampen a paper towel, place the seeds on the towel and fold it up. Place the seeded package in a small plastic bag and place in the fridge for 4 weeks. After the cold treatment sow the soapwort seeds on the surface of compost in seed trays. Cover the seeds very lightly as they need light to germinate. When large enough to plant out (about 4 – 6 inches) choose the location carefully as they will develop an active root system and can become invasive the thick roots easily striking out in every direction. Dig small holes for the new plants about 6 inches apart and water regularly until the plants become established.
1d approx 800 seeds - £3.00 including postage.