Edelweiss flower: how to grow this beautiful plant

Do you want to know how to grow edelweiss flower in a pot or in your garden? You can find out in this article.

Edelweiss plants
Edelweiss plants

What is the Edelweiss called?

The Alpine flower (Edelweiss in German) is a protected plant and perhaps the most famous of the mountain flowers.

The Latin name for this plant is Leontopodium (lion's foot) because the edelweiss flowers have a (admittedly very vague) resemblance to a lion's paw.

Where do edelweiss grow?

As the name suggests, Edelweiss is a plant that grows wild at high altitudes, particularly in the Alps, although different varieties are distributed all over the world.

Of the various species, only Leontopodium alpinum (edelweiss) belongs to the wild flora of the Italian Alps, where it grows on the calcareous substrate of mountain pastures and cliffs.

It is forbidden to uproot edelweiss plants from their natural habitat, but fortunately it is now possible to buy edelweiss seeds online, e.g. on the Amazon website, without depleting the environment. You will find the link below:


Cultivated Edelweiss plants that you buy also have the advantage that they can adapt to milder climates and lower altitudes without any particular problems.

Edelweiss characteristics

The edelweiss is a perennial plant that grows to a height of about 15 centimetres.

It flowers in June and July and the flowers are ideal for cutting and, if necessary, drying to make small pictures to hang on the wall.

It is a hardy plant which, like its wild counterpart, is not afraid of frost.

The edelweiss plant has no real use other than as an ornamental plant.

Differences between wild and cultivated edelweisses

If a wild edelweiss were to be uprooted and transplanted to lower altitudes, it would inevitably lose some of the morphological characteristics of the plant at higher altitudes.

edelweiss flower

If the plant is planted on the plain, it slowly adapts to the new climate and ends up losing much of the down that covers the flowers of wild species in the high mountains.

An edelweiss growing near snowfields is recognisable by its small size, around 2-5 cm in height, and the thick down covering its silvery-white flowers.

Although the plants grown in gardens lose some of these characteristics, their charm is not lost, however.

Cultivation tips

Let's get one thing straight: Edelweiss is definitely not an indoor plant and keeping it indoors almost guarantees its death.

Once the plants have arrived to your home, they must be transplanted into a sufficiently large pot or into the ground. Care must be taken not to break the clod of earth that surrounds the roots of the young plants.

As we have already said, the edelweiss has no particular requirements in nature; on the contrary, being an alpine plant it adapts well to poor soil.

The preparation of the soil in which to place our plants will therefore be of great importance.

edelweiss in pot

If we already have a rock garden, our edelweiss will already find a favourable environment there.

The soil must be well drained because one of the most damaging factors for edelweiss is stagnant water.

Therefore you can mix simple potting soil with a certain amount of sand and then place the plants in a position with a good exposure to the sun or, especially in hot areas, in half shade.

Immediately after transplanting the plants can be watered abundantly to ensure that the soil is well compacted.

Watering should not be too frequent. Two waterings per week will be more than sufficient for plants grown in the ground, while potted plants can be watered a little more often.

In autumn the aerial part of edelweiss dies completely, but this shouldn't alarm us.

Do not remove the pots or uproot the plants grown in the ground as they will come back in spring more luxuriant than ever.

In winter you can spread lime around the plant and mix it with the soil. It is not necessary to fertilise.

How to propagate Edelweiss

Edelweiss can be propagated by seed or by dividing the plant.

Although edelweiss is a perennial plant, the best results are obtained not by leaving the same plants in their place for years, but by multiplying them in one of the two ways mentioned above.

Since cultivated plants produce a much larger number of seeds than wild plants, it is best to use sowing in order to always have new seedlings.

Sowing can be done in pots and can be done in March if we want to transplant the plants and plant them in August or September.

Multiplication by division of the heads can be done in April.

Flower conservation

Edelweiss flowers are ideal for drying out as they lose very little of their original appearance when dry.

For this purpose, the flowers can be cut after flowering and stored between sheets of blotting paper on which weights have been placed to compress the flowers.

Who has never found a dried flower when opening an old book? This was quite common in the past and Edelweiss can still be dried in this old, romantic way.

What does it mean to give an edelweiss as a gift?

flowers of edelweiss

The edelweiss often adorns the hats of alpine soldiers as a symbol of high courage and fearlessness.

This meaning was given to the edelweiss precisely because picking these flowers, often found in the steepest crags of the mountains, was already a daring and reckless undertaking.

According to a Swiss legend, this flower was once a maiden.

This girl, who was characterised by her beautiful features, purity of heart and noble spirit, never met a knight she considered worthy of her love.

When she died, therefore, still unmarried, on the highest mountain peaks, amidst the snow and ice, she was transformed into a flower.

This flower was called Edelweiss, which means 'noble white'.

Since gathering this flower represented an effort and a risk, the phrase 'gathering Edelweiss' became, in the reign of William Tell, synonymous with obtaining the highest and noblest honour a man could wish to achieve.