Genus Iberis: Features and caring guide

The shrubby species of flowering are a great resource for a garden with spaces filled. Within them we find very resistant varieties that delight us with a great ornamental value.

Within this group we have the Iberis genus , spread practically throughout the world and also valued by valued for its medicinal application.

Therefore, this article is dedicated to discovering some curiosities and a care guide of the Iberis shrub genus, represented by several species of similar maintenance but with a high ornamental value .


The Iberis genus is represented by large shrubs and herbaceous plants that stand out for their magnificent flowering . In this group we find a variety of deciduous and other perennial species, equally remarkable for having a complete garden in winter .

Iberis belongs to the family Brassicaceae (brassicas), same classification as edible horticultural species such as broccoli or cauliflower . However, they have nothing to do with these plants that also have a medicinal value due to their active principles.

One of the best known species of Iberis is the carraspique plant ( Iberis sempervivens ) as well as Iberis amara , both with spectacular flowering during the spring and summer months.

Sowing outdoorsXXX


The Iberis group of plants is straddling small bushes or tall herbaceous plants. At the least in terms of the 2 most remarkable species ( I . Sempervivens and I . Amara ), reaching up to 30 cm in height and are perennial species type, keeping their leaves all year.

However, these conditions are only reached in the Mediterranean climate with mild winters and no frosts (except for specific cold days).

They can be grown grouped in clumps or alone scattered throughout the garden. It is common to place it in rockery gardens, producing a large number of white inflorescences grouped in small bouquets.


Within the Iberis genus we find up to 50 shrub species , each one with a peculiar and attractive flowering of great ornamental value.

However, the most cultivated as shrub species are the following:

  • Iberis amara
  • Iberis gibraltarica
  • Iberis odorata L.
  • Iberis pectinata
  • Iberis pruitii
  • Iberis sempervirens
  • Iberis tenoreana
  • Iberis umbellata


Here are some basic characteristics to take care of our Iberis plant. Its cultivation is very easy since it is considered a resistant species . Just by growing it in Mediterranean areas, we will have a great job done.


As we have just mentioned, the Iberis genus of plants occurs in conditions of Mediterranean climates, with mild winters, hot summers and very little rainfall during the year.

We can place it in any part of the garden under sunny surroundings (Full Sun) and with very good lighting during most of the day.

At the temperature level, their range is very wide, although they are species relatively sensitive to low temperatures .

In colder geographical areas, it is difficult for some of the species of the genus to have a perennial behavior.


Iberis adapts very well to all types of soils , preferably those with the best drainage and low clay content.

The most important condition is to guarantee a good filtration of the water , considering a genus of plants resistant to saline, stony soils and even alkaline pH.

Before transplanting, it is advisable to add organic matter , as it enhances future flowering. We can create a compost mulch that will improve drainage and nutrient provision for the plant.


For a kind of Mediterranean climate, we speak of low waterings in autumn and winter and somewhat more pronounced in the warm months.

Irrigation in autumn and winter

This plant can survive perfectly with 1 weekly watering (2 in the case of areas with very mild winters and temperatures that can exceed 16-18 ºC most of the year)

Irrigation in spring and summer

In spring and summer, with temperatures that easily exceed 30 ºC, it is necessary to water at least 3 days a week, always after noticing that the substrate has lost most of its moisture.

Type of irrigation

The most practical and usual way of watering shrub beds or herbaceous groups such as Iberis is by drip irrigation, placing a 4 L / h emitter per plant.

In the event that we plant several species grouped together to form a massif, we will place an emitter every 30 cm , so that we can overlap the wet bulb and contribute to a much more homogeneous irrigation.


In our garden, with the simple contribution of organic matter annually, creating mulches around the main stems, we will have a large part gained.

However, we are in favor of reinforcing the supply of nutrients, at least prior to flowering, enhancing it and achieving a greater number of flowers and greater durability throughout the summer.

In addition to the periodic contribution of organic matter that we should do religiously on all the plants in our garden, we can provide 2 kinds of fertilizers.

  • Liquid fertilizer: we will use a nutrient balance (NPK) for flowering plants, with a 2-1-3 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. In general, we will provide 1ml of fertilizer for each liter of irrigation water. During the spring and summer, we will provide fertilizer 1 out of 3 irrigations.
  • Solid fertilizer: if we do not have injection equipment (Venturi) for drip irrigation, we can use granulated fertilizers that we will broadcast around the trunks. They are slowly soluble with ambient humidity and with drip irrigation water, so their application will be carried out in pre-flowering (20-30 g / m2) once a month.


The easiest way to multiply an Iberis and get new species is through the sowing of seeds . They are easy to buy through sachets and have good germination power.

The sowing can be done by broadcasting, directly in the garden soil and from late winter or early spring (away from frost).

Each Iberis seed packet can contain about 300 seeds , so we will have enough to create a magnificent rockery garden and an interesting flower bed for the spring and summer months.


Iberis is not a genus of plants that is heavily affected by pests or diseases. Only under special conditions can it be attacked by sucking insects such as aphids (located on new shoots) or thrips (located on flowers).

In general, these pests self-control with the auxiliary fauna of our garden or with potassium soap treatments directly applied on the pest.

As for diseases, only in a situation of poor drainage and waterlogging could you suffer from neck and root diseases.


When the flowering of Iberis ends, it is normal for dried flowers and stems to accumulate that it is advisable to remove. It adapts very well to pruning and with it we will promote a more pronounced future flowering.

Therefore, before the arrival of the winter cold, it is advisable to make generous cuts on the flower stems, shaping the plant and eliminating protruding stems.

Don’t worry too much as it sprouts relatively easily in spring.


Carraspique, as both the Iberis sempervivens and Iberis amara species are commonly known , were considered medicinal plants . To this day, their use is very limited and they are practically only cultivated as ornamental species.

Active principles

From Iberis practically everything was used, although the parts that most contained the active principles were the flowers and seeds. Both contain the following active substances:

  • Glucoiberoside
  • Glucokeiroside
  • Glucorhamnoside (present in higher concentration in flowers)

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