How to grow aubrieta

Written by annita lawson
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How to grow aubrieta
Aubrieta is called purple rock cress. (Wikimedia Commons)

Aubrieta (Aubrieta deltoidia), also called purple rock cress, is a low-growing perennial used as an edging plant or a ground cover. It produces delicate purple or blue flowers that last from three to four weeks. The plants bloom once in the spring and offer a repeat performance in the late summer. Aubrieta does best in full or part sun and rich, well-drained soil. You can sow the seeds directly into the garden in the late autumn or early spring and will sprout two to three weeks after planting.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Garden fork
  • Pruning shears
  • Balanced fertiliser

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  1. 1

    Remove all grass, weeds and rocks from the planting area. Loosen the soil to a depth of 30 cm (12 inches) using a garden fork.

  2. 2

    Sow the seeds liberally on top of the soil. Add enough water to moisten the soil well, but use care when watering to avoid covering the seeds too deeply.

  3. 3

    Continue to add water whenever the surface of the soil feels dry. Once the seedlings emerge, water at ground level to avoid damaging the delicate foliage.

  4. 4

    Prune aubretia back by half after the first blooming cycle is complete.

  5. 5

    Remove spent flowers after the summer blooming cycle to prevent the plants from seeding and invading other areas of the garden.

  6. 6

    Feed with a balanced fertiliser each spring, right before new growth appears.

Tips and warnings

  • Aubrieta can also be started indoors, approximately seven weeks before the last frost in spring.
  • Aubrieta can also be propagated from cuttings.

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