The chickweed is a small perennial ground cover, of European origin that produces small roundish tufts, very dense and well branched, consisting of thin stems that bring small leaves of clear color, covered with a thin white hair, which makes them gray-silver. The stems of this plant have stoloniferous development, so they tend to root when they touch the ground, allowing each plant a wide horizontal development. The plants of chickweed they reach 30-35 cm in height, but there are some even more compact cultivars. From late spring to summer at the apex of the stems countless small white flowers bloom, the flowering is so abundant that this plant in English is called "snow in summer". At the end of flowering, if pollination has taken place (in this species it is entomophilous) the plant produces cylindrical-capsule fruits which are followed by brown seeds 1.5 mm long.
Plant of easy cultivation, tends to become a pest if left to develop in an uncontrolled way; it is advisable to remove the withered flowers to prolong the flowering. It is used in rock gardens or as a spot of color in flower beds; in areas with mild winters it tends to remain evergreen, while in places with very low minimum temperatures often during the cold months the aerial part dries up.
The Cerastio can be found in many areas of Italy, from the Alps to the Apennines, particularly in the central and southern Apennines, where it grows infesting. The favorite places of this species are light and calcareous soils such as scree, slopes of rubble and high-slope areas rich in inorganic matter.
Cerastium tomentosum can easily withstand periods of prolonged drought; water the young plants recently placed at home, while the tufts that have been in residence for a long time are generally watered only in the case of very prolonged dry periods during the spring period. These plants also develop in the wild in Italy, they are rustic species and with few crop demands, it seems that excessive fertilizations tend to ruin the plant rather than support its growth, for this reason it is not recommended too frequent fertilizations.Ground
Grow the Cerastium tomentosum in common garden soil, not particularly fertile, but very well drained; if the soil of our flower beds is very clayey and compact, mix it with a good quantity of washed river sand, to increase drainage.
The multiplication of the Cerastium tomentosum occurs by division of the tufts in autumn, or by seed in spring; it is advisable to plant the young seedlings in the spring, when the night temperatures are not less than 5-8 ° C.
Chickweed - Cerastium tomentosum: Pests and diseases
generally they are not affected by pests or diseases.