Aubrieta Plants: Care, Growing Guide, & Facts

Aubrieta Plant: Care, Growing Guide, & Facts


Aubrieta Plant Description

If your site fits some basic growth criteria, Aubrieta (False Rock Cress), a bright ground cover, is an excellent choice for edging your walks or tucking between stone walls.

The grayish-green foliage sustains a lovely mat that covers bare spots behind leggy roses or between paving stones on a garden path after the abundant magenta blooms have gone.

In Europe, these plants are significantly more prevalent than in North America. The genus name comes from Claude Aubriet, a 17th-century European landscape painter. Plant


It’s a perennial herbaceous plant. The flowers are usually white, pink, or purple in colour and are seen in the rocky regions of southwestern Europe.

The blooming period for these plants is usually April to May, and the type of soil they require is lean and rocky, with a slightly acidic to alkaline pH of 6.5 to 7.5. They can grow up to 4 to 6 inches tall and spread up to 12 to 24 inches wide.

How To Care Aubrieta?

Aubrieta grows well in full sun and well-drained, alkaline soil. The foliage starts dying back in mid-summer and will benefit from a strong shearing. As a member of the mustard family, it’s a hardy plant that doesn’t require much attention.

It can withstand drought once grown and is resistant to deer nibbling. Insect pests are rarely a problem with Aubrieta.

Downy mildew can affect plants that thrive in wet, gloomy environments. Provide adequate light and space for air movement to prevent this fungal illness.

How To Grow Aubrieta?

i. Light

Plants of the Aubrieta genus thrive in full sun, although they may also thrive in partial shade. Grow plants where they will get at least a half-day of light for the greatest results.

Too much shade causes plants to lose their compact, mounded appearance, become lanky, and produce few blooms.

ii. Soil

Aubrietas like rocky, alkaline soil that resembles that of their original alpine settings. If the pH is low, lime should be added to raise it. To avoid root rot, good drainage is essential.

Use gravel, vermiculite, or any non-organic soil supplement to aid drainage without reducing the pH of the soil.

iii. Water

Plants of the Aubrieta genus require a modest quantity of water, but they dislike wet feet. Your aubrieta plants will have robust root systems if you use rocky soils that don’t hold water.

iv. Temperature and Humidity

Aubrieta plants thrive in climates that are similar to their alpine environment, with chilly summers. High humidity periods are OK; in fact, the chilly, wet climates of Great Britain and Washington state are where you’ll find the most exceptional aubrieta plants.

v. Fertilizer

Aubrietas thrive in poor soil and don’t require any additional fertiliser to produce lovely flowers. The only feeding aubrieta plants require is occasional watering with compost tea.

Aubrieta in Containers

Aubrieta is a trailing plant that softens the boundaries of the container garden. Plant it among other rock garden flowers that have similar growth requirements, such as dianthus.

Varieties of Aubrieta

1. ‘Rokey’s Purple’ is one of the most popular aubrieta varieties in gardens, with brilliant violet blooms.

2. The aubrieta ‘Doctor Mules Variegated’ has an entirely distinct appearance; nevertheless, variegated kinds can return to green, so trim away any all-green stems that emerge.

3. A prominent all-white cultivar is ‘Snowdrift.’

Aubrieta Potting and Repotting

Use a lightweight all-purpose potting soil to pot up your aubrieta plants. Aubrieta plants may be grown in a cactus-specific potting mix. When potting up aubrieta, be careful not to bury the leaves.

A few inches of brown stem may be seen behind the leaves, and this is the plant’s working area during repotting. To hold the plant in place, lift the leaves and carefully mound earth around the stems and roots.

Aubrieta Pruning

Upon flowering, Aubrieta can become scraggly. Trim plants back after blossoming to keep it clean. Trim no more than half of the plant’s growth at a time using shears.

How To Propagate Aubrieta?

Early in the fall, you can divide aubrieta to boost your stock. Dig the plant and use your hands or a garden fork to break apart the cluster. Plant the divides 12 inches apart again.

How To Grow Aubrieta From Seeds?

Aubrieta is generally cultivated from seed because nursery plants are difficult to come by. Plant aubrieta seeds in sterile potting soil. Because the seeds require light to germinate, push them down but do not cover them.

Maintain a temperature of around 68 degrees Fahrenheit to keep the seeds wet. In two to three weeks, the seeds will germinate.

Creeping Phlox vs Aubrieta

At first glance, Aubrieta and creeping phlox (Phlox subulata) have identical blooms and forms that are difficult to tell apart. Both plants form a creeping mat that spreads past the edge of the border or cascades down walls.

Creeping phlox plants, on the other hand, are more heat and drought resistant than aubrieta, which may explain their popularity in American gardens.

Landscape Uses of Aubrieta

Spring-blooming Aubrieta is a great pocket plant for rock gardens and garden walls. The plants have a modest imprint and may develop a deeper root system in the soil behind a retaining wall, with leaves and blossoms spreading up to 18 inches or more, creating the illusion of a living wall.

Aubrieta plants also help to reduce erosion on hillsides and attract butterflies with their blooms in the spring.

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