Autumn Saxifrage: The Octoberle

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The Saxifraga (Saxifraga) is popular in the northern latitudes for its robustness against cold. In autumn, the so-called "Oktoberle" make the last bloomers special joy in the garden. Their small flowers set fine color accents even in cooler temperatures.

Autumn Saxifrage: The Octoberle: Oktoberle

The Asian Saxifragaceae Saxifraga cortusifolia (Saxifraga cortusifolia) is a little-known scion of the saxifrage family Saxifragaceae, which comprises up to 440 different genera. Their flowering period in October has earned the small upholstery perennials the nickname "Oktoberle". (Not to be confused with the Siebold stonecrop "Sedum sieboldii", which is also called "Oktoberle".) The German and the Latin name "Steinbrech" are based on one hand on its strong roots, on the other hand, the plant is also attributed to a healing effect on gallstones,


Saxifraga Black Ruby

Saxifraga "Black Ruby" shows extremely dark colors

Most autumn saxifrages are deciduous, many evergreen, but depending on the species, October leafs vary greatly in shape and color. Saxifraga rubriflorum has rich, dark green leaves, while the smooth, glossy leaves of "may green" are light green. Saxifraga cortusifolia var. Fortunei shows brownish leaves with a red underside, while "Black Ruby" looks almost black. In October, on delicate stems, which grow up to 50 cm high, pyramidal panicles with small, depending on the variety, white, pink or red flowers. Exception: Saxifraga rubriflorum is the earliest autumn saxifrage and already blooms from September.

planting time

Although you can plant autumn saxifrage after flowering in late October, but it is recommended to plant in the spring. Since Oktoberle grow very slowly, it is sufficient to supply established plants in the late spring with some rhododendron fertilizer. You put them in small groups in well drained Lauberde or peaty ground. From March to April, the autumn saxifrage can be propagated by division.


The autumn saxifrage comes into its own in the last weeks before winter with its filigree blossom, especially in the far-east-appearing rock gardens

Autumn saxifrage adorns forest edges, pathways, rockeries and flowerbeds and flowers until the first frost. Since it is also pretty to look at in winter, the small, thriving flowering mountain plant is a great addition especially for rockeries. But also as a brightening planting of shrubs in shady locations such. Rhododendron is suitable. Heuchera, Christmas rose, autumn gentian (Gentiana sinoornata), hosta, ferns and autumn cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium) are popular planting partners. In Asian-designed gardens Steinbrech finds in combination with other upholstery or filigree grasses also many uses.

Ideal for cool locations

The autumn saxifrage needs a very nutrient-rich, slightly acidic, humus-rich soil. He likes it half shady to shady and is therefore particularly suitable for the planting of north-facing front gardens or entrances. He does not tolerate direct sun. Therefore, in the winter when the overlying perennials are bare, saxifrages should be protected from the sun with spruce. In autumn, dead leaf rosettes and withered shoots are carefully cut out.

Plant protection and pests

Saxifraga flower

The unevenly long petals make out the special character of autumn saxifrage

Since many autumn saxifrages only flower relatively late, some varieties are at risk of early frost. If you want to have some of the small flowers longer, you should cover the plants in case of frost. Late frosts in spring can lead to leaf damage. In addition to aphids, Octoberle are very susceptible to weeping weevils that can destroy the entire plant. A fight with nematodes can help here. Incorrect location or injuries may cause gray mold.

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