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Plant Profile: Rock Cress (Aubrieta deltoids)

A wildflower native to the Mediterranean and Asia Minor, Aubrieta provides masses of flowers for the front of the border, in rock gardens, or underplanted with spring blooming shrubs. In spring, the loose flower heads are held above the low growing evergreen foliage forming a blanket of color between stepping stones, in crevices, or spilling over a garden wall or out of a planter. As the plants spread the silvery-green foliage covers rocks and spaces forming lovely mounds of vegetation.   Alas, it should be treated as an annual or biennial in the South where it is short lived due to humidity and high night temperatures.

Type: Herbaceous perennial.

Bloom: Clusters of lilac blue flowers in spring.

Size: 4-6” H x 12” W

Light: Sun to lightly shaded.

Soil: Average, light, well drained, neutral to slightly alkaline.

Hardiness: Zones 4-8.

Care: Shear back by ½ after flowering to prevent legginess.

Pests and Diseases: None of importance; but stems may rot in heavy clay soils in winter.

Propagation: Seed collected in mid summer; layering and cuttings after flowering; clump divisions are difficult but possible.

Companion plants: Arabis, Basket-of-Gold, tulips, moss pink, candytuft, spring flowering shrubs and trees.

Outstanding Selections:

    ‘Novalis Blue’ (deep violet-blue)
    ‘Bresshingham Pink’ (pink)
    ‘Red Carpet’ (red)

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