Arenaria montana

The Arenaria montana is a beautiful herbaceous plant that we can grow both in pots and in the garden. Its pure white flowers are very striking, so much so that they will make any place look in a very special way.

In addition, its maintenance is not difficult, so much so that it can even withstand some frosts. Did we discover it?

Origin and characteristics

Our protagonist is a herbaceous plant native to the mountainous regions of southwestern Europe, specifically from the French Pyrenees to Portugal. In Spain we can find it in Alicante, Castellón and Valencia, where it grows on rocky and stony terrain or in coastal bushes. It also appears in the Sierra de Gredos. Its scientific name is Arenaria montana, although it is known as arenaria, spiny grass or spiny false chickweed.

It is a highly branched herb, with thin stems that have a tendency to climb on the bushes that grow close to it, reaching a height of about 20cm. Its leaves are 1-3cm long, and have a central vein that is barely visible, and the foliar margin folded backwards. The flowers are pedunculated, with a white corolla measuring about 2cm in diameter.

What are their cares?

If you want to have a copy, we recommend you provide the following care:


The Arenaria montana is a plant that in order to be well needs to be placed outside, either in full sun or with partial shade. Of course, if you opt for this last option, it is important to ensure that you give it at least 4 hours of direct light a day, since otherwise it will not bloom as much as it would touch.


It can be grown both in a pot and in the garden:

  • Flowerpot: no need to complicate. With the universal growing medium that they sell in any nursery, garden store or right here it will grow well.
  • Garden: it is indifferent as long as it is fertile and has good drainage. In the event that the soil in your garden is not like that, make a planting hole of about 50cm x 50cm and mix the one you take out with 30% perlite (you can get it here ) and 10% worm humus (in sale here ).


Taking into account that excess watering is one of the main causes of death of cultivated plants, it is best to check the humidity of the substrate or soil before watering. In this way, you will avoid losing your Arenaria montana early. Therefore, you must do any of these things:

  • Insert a long, thin wooden stick: if when you remove it it comes out with adhering soil, do not water as it will still be wet.
  • Dig about 10cm around the plant: the soil surface always dries before the inner layers, so that more or less at that depth you will be able to know if you really have to water or not. If it’s darker than the surface, don’t water.
  • Weigh the pot once it has been watered and again after a few days: wet soil weighs more than dry soil, so this difference in weight is used to know when to water the plant. It is not necessary to put it on a scale: if when you pick it up with your hands you notice that it weighs very little or almost nothing compared to what it weighs only when watered, you will know that you must water.
  • Use a digital moisture meter: it will instantly tell you how wet the portion of soil that has come into contact with it is. You can get it here.

But more or less, you should know that it is advisable to water 3 or 4 times a week during the hottest season, and every 3 or 4 days the rest of the year. Use rainwater or lime-free water if possible.


Guano powder.

As important as the irrigation is the subscriber. In spring and until the end of summer the plant grows, so it will need a monthly contribution of ecological fertilizers. Guano is highly recommended because it is natural and quickly effective, which you can get in powder here and liquid (for pots) here. In the event that you choose to use it, follow the directions specified on the package as it is highly concentrated and there may be a risk of overdose.


The Arenaria montana multiplies by seeds in spring following this step by step:

  1. The first thing to do is fill a pot of about 10.5cm in diameter with universal growing medium.
  2. Then, it is watered thoroughly and 2 or 3 seeds are placed on the surface.
  3. They are then covered with a thin layer of substrate and watered again, this time with a sprayer.
  4. Finally, the pot is placed outside, in full sun

This way they will germinate in 1-2 months.

Plagues and diseases

It is very resistant, but if the growing conditions are not suitable it can be affected by mealybugs and fungi that are treated with specific products.


It resists cold and frost down to -4ºC.

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