The Purity Candytuft (Iberis Sempervirens ‘Purity’) Care Guide

The Purity Candytuft, otherwise known as the Iberis Sempervirens ‘Purity’ or Inkberry ‘Shamrock’, Gallberry ‘Shamrock’, Bitter Gallberry ‘Shamrock’, Evergreen Winterberry ‘Shamrock’, Inkberry Holly ‘Shamrock’, Appalachian Tea ‘Shamrock’, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and slow growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, taking care of your Purity Candytuft is not too difficult – as long as you follow our guidelines in this Purity Candytuft Care Guide. Now let’s get started.

The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Purity Candytuft are the following:

  • Water: The Purity Candytuft needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.
  • Light: Keep your Iberis Sempervirens ‘Purity’ in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Purity Candytuft in soil with moist but well-draining to poorly draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of loam and clay.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Purity Candytuft is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Purity Candytuft plants

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Purity Candytuft belongs to the Aquifoliaceae family, the genus Ilex and the species Glabra, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Iberis Sempervirens ‘Purity’ (i-BE-ris sem-per-VY-renz).

The Aquifoliaceae family also includes other plants like Ilex Verticillata ‘Red Sprite’, Cassina, Possumhaw Holly, Ilex Verticillata, Box-leaved Holly ‘Brass Buckle’, Ilex Crenata ‘Sky Pencil’ and Ilex Verticillata ‘Winter Gold’.

As with other Ilex’s, the Purity Candytuft is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.

Growing Region

The Purity Candytuft is a plant native to the Alabama.

Knowing your plant’s native region is very useful, as it can give you tips on which environment is best for your Purity Candytuft. If you keep it in mind, you can try to replicate these conditions at home, and you’ll likely end with a healthier plant.

With this in mind, the Iberis Sempervirens ‘Purity’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 3 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10a, 10b, 11b, 11a and the ideal climate zone is between 2, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Purity Candytuft is a relatively slow grower, which makes things easy for any plant enthusiast.


But, how big does the Purity Candytuft actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…

The Iberis Sempervirens ‘Purity’ can grow up to 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm) in 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm) and 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm) in 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm). 

These dimensions make the Purity Candytuft a relatively medium shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful rounded shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 36″ – 48″ (90cm – 120cm) free so the Purity Candytuft can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Purity Candytuft is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat irregular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Iberis Sempervirens ‘Purity’ needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

Purity Candytuft care


As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Purity Candytuft in soil with moist but well-draining to poorly draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, moist, and occasionally wet properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

However, in our experience, the best solution to knowing the right amount of water for your Purity Candytuft is with the ‘thumb’ technique. Basically, you insert your finger into the soil, and based if you feel the soil moist or dry, you determine if it needs any water, which is the most appropriate way to go about watering your leafy friend.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Purity Candytuft prefers to have soil with good drainage, moist, and occasionally wet properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of loam and clay.

This is why most experts agree that the Purity Candytuft requires soil with clay, and sand, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably neutral to acid soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Purity Candytuft requires full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Iberis Sempervirens ‘Purity’ in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being an evergreen plant, the Purity Candytuft will be present year round in your garden.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.


You can expect your Purity Candytuft to flower around the summer months from July to September (summer).

In particular, this shrub is well known for its showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Purity Candytuft produces some beautiful white, or green and white flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Purity Candytuft have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a alternate organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Iberis Sempervirens ‘Purity’ to be around (1-3 inches) in size.

Purity Candytuft up close

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Purity Candytuft is well known for being able to attract birds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for wet soil, clay soil and animals like rabbit and deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Iberis Sempervirens ‘Purity’ will be fine.


Does your Purity Candytuft have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage styles. 

In particular, the Purity Candytuft’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, ponds and streams, banks and slopes, hedges and screens, and in small gardens, others use it for landscaping in a coastal exposure, or a rock garden.


Even though we covered a lot of care information for your Purity Candytuft, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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