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Aubrieta deltoidea (aw-bree-EH-tuh del-TOY-dee-uh) is a low growing, herbaceous perennial groundcover member of the Brassicaceae (brass-ih-KAY-see-ee) or mustard family.
This plant, also known as False Rockcress or lilacbush is native to Asia Minor and the Mediterranean.
Aubrieta Deltoidea Care
Size & Growth
False rock cress will not exceed a height of 1’ foot, and individual plants can spread as wide as 2’ feet.
The dainty, pretty leaves are grayish green in color.
Flowering & Fragrance
Aubrieta plants are an early spring bloomer. Watch for blossoms in shades of pink, violet, and red.
Light & Temperature
False Rockcress can tolerate full sunlight, but a location with partial shade is preferred as excessive heat is detrimental.
Even so, you may get more blossoms in full sun.
Blooms tend to die back when the summer heat arrives. This plant is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8.
Watering & Feeding
This cool region plant does fine with minimum water.
Once established as a groundcover, False Rockcress is amazingly drought tolerant and deer resistant.
However, regular watering will encourage the best performance.
Water deeply and allow the soil to dry before watering again.
Fertilizer is not necessary.
Soil & Transplanting
Soil should be sharply draining and consistently of a combination of standard potting mix, sand or rock and a bit of lime.
Good drainage is a must for this plant, and it will suffer if left to stand in water.
Aubrieta prefers a slightly alkaline soil.
Grooming & Maintenance
When flowers begin to die back, cut or mow plants down to the ground to prevent seeding and encourage new growth and more blossoms.
In the autumn, enjoy the plant’s pretty leaves as it will not bloom much in the fall months.
In the fall, don’t prune False Rockcress.
Let it stand through the winter and remove damaged stems and foliage in the springtime.
Root division is recommended annually or every three years.
How To Propagate Aubrieta
Propagation can be done by sowing flower seeds or through separation or division.
Cuttings also do quite well, and you can take cuttings in the summertime and bring them in for the winter so you’ll have started for the next season.
Seed can be direct sown directly on to the surface of the soil in the garden after all danger of frost passes.
Alternately, you can start seeds in flats indoors a month or two before the last predicted frost.
It’s possible to collect seed from plants, but be advised they may not grow into the type of plant you have.
If you want to be certain of the color of your blossoms, should purchase seed.
Aubrieta Rock Cress Pests and Disease Issues
When provided with good drainage, the right amount of sunlight and air circulation, Aubrieta is virtually trouble-free.
Is False Rockcress Toxic or Poisonous to People, Kids, Pets?
This plant is considered an ornamental and is not meant to eat.
As a member of the Brassica family, it would be unsafe for consumption by equines.
Is False Rockcress Invasive?
Aubrieta deltoidea is non-aggressive and non-invasive.
Suggested Aubrieta Uses
With its pretty purplish-red flowers and attractive, delicate green leaves, this perennial makes an excellent choice as in addition to rock gardens, along borders.
This rambling plant maintains a low profile and can look pretty tumbling over a rock wall, spilling over the sides of a container or hanging basket or planted as a ground cover.