Aubretia (False Rock Cress)

AUBRETIA (False Rock Cress) Cruciferae A. deltoides

HABITAT: Native Greece. Zone 4-10, except Florida and Gulf Coast.

USES: Rock gardens, ground cover, edging.

HABIT: Mat-forming perennial plant, up to 6", flowering April-June with 4-petaled flowers in colors from red to purple.

SEED GERMINATION: Sow in early spring with flowering the following year. For best results, sow indoors in moistened Park's Grow Mix. Keep moist at all times and maintain a night temperature of 55° until germination. Transplant to peat pots when large enough to handle or sow direct to peat pots and shift to the garden when roots emerge from pot walls, 12 inches apart.

CULTURE: Set out in full sun and in light, porous soil with humus (compost, leaf mold, peat, etc.). Partial shade is recommended in the Pacific coast area. Does best where summers are cool. Keep watered and cultivated and feed every 4-6 weeks with an all purpose (5-10-10) fertilizer. Shearing plants after flowering may induce a fall display.

INSECTS: Not generally a problem.

DISEASES: Rot: Improve drainage.

PROPAGATION: Cuttings (mid-summer), division (spring), seed.

REMARKS: Somewhat similar to Arabis (rock cress). Aubretias are neater, more restricted but unfortunately more difficult to grow. Once established, however, they are rewarding.