Arabis (Wall cress, rock cress)

ARABIS (Wall Cress, Rock Cress) Cruciferae A. species

HABITAT: Native Mediterranean area, Eastern Europe, and Asia Minor. Zone 3.

USES: Rock garden, walls, edgings, ground cover.

HABIT: Clouds of small white, pink, or lavender flowers, often fragrant, cover the 3-12" perennial plants in spring. The soft, mounded, gray-green foliage is attractive throughout the season. Evergreen in warm coastal regions (Zone 9-10).

SEED GERMINATION: May be sown outdoors in early spring or late summer; for best results sow indoors in peat pots or pellets. Do not cover seeds. Maintain night temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit for germination which takes about 20 days. Shift plants to garden when roots emerge from pot or pellet walls.

CULTURE: Set out in early spring or early fall, 10-12" apart in full sun and in sandy, well-drained soil rich in humus (leaf mold, compost, peat moss, etc.). Best in early fall to early spring. Keep well watered and feed monthly with balanced garden fertilizer such as 8-8-8. Shear plants after flowers fade to keep compact. Dig and divide every third year.

SPECIES: A. albinda (A. caucasica): Wall rock cress. 6-10". Zone 3. White. Fragrant. Spring.
A. aubrietioides: 6". Zone 4. Pale pink. May. Sunny, dry soil. Asia Minor.
A. blepharophylla: 12". Zone 6. Broad dark-green leaves. Rose purple. Fragrant. May. California.
A. procurrens (A. sturii): 12". Zone 4. Shiny green leaves. White. April-May. South Europe.

INSECTS: Aphids: Use an approved insecticide such as Malathion for control.

DISEASES: Mildew: Use an approved fungicide such as Benlate for control.
Gray Mold Blight, Leaf Spots, Rust, White Rust: Use approved fungicides every two weeks such as Zineb, Maneb, or Ferbam for control.
Root Rot, Club Root: Lime soil to adjust pH to 7.2. Rotate crops. Improve drainage.

PROPAGATION: Cuttings (June), division (Sept.), seeds.

REMARKS: Highly desired for its profusion of bloom, adaptability to poor soils, and its delightful and attractive summer foliage.