Edelweiss prefers scraggy, siliceous, craggy limestone surroundings in heights ranging from 1,500 to 3,500 meters above sea level. The nutrient-poor soils and the extreme pollution of UV due to the solar radiation provoke a so called “environmental stress” within the edelweiss. Because of this the edelweiss develops the numerous agents that have a positive effect on human health. The edelweiss indeed also grows in lower positions, but there it does not develop these precious ingredients.
Already in the 1990s a group of scientists including Sabine and Charly Rey, struggled with the cultivation of Edelweiss in the Alps. In several selection programmes a genotype was evaluated and developed. This genotype showed good cultivation characteristics coupled with optimal plant growth and good intensity of ingredients. Nowadays the type Leontopodium Alpinum Helvetia is used for the organic cultivation. This plant is characterised due to a good germination capacity, a regular growth and several florescence. The content of active agents of this type remains stable. In the beginning the cultivation is rather simple, but in the course of the development of the plant it requires more time. The fields need to be handled continuously and need to be released of weed, otherwise the growth of the edelweiss is reduced and in the end, it dies off.