How to Grow Aubrieta Deltoidea: False Rockcress

Hey friends, Do you wanna make your backyard garden look good without much effort. I bet you do-  so the False Rockcress plant is just for you. It is one of the easiest flowers to grow as a landcover. They are easy to grow and maintain for years. Today we will learn to Grow Aubrieta Deltoidea: False Rockcress. If you are not aware of this plant then think of it as lilac.  Aubrieta is a small purple-pink flower that grows in small 4 to 10-inch herbs. It is among the earliest flowers to bloom in spring. Aubrieta is noninvasive so you can grow it without any worry. These plants are comfortable in Zone 4 through 9. They look great with other bed flowers, especially in the Rock garden. If you are interested in this plant then keep reading for details.

How to Grow Aubrieta Deltoidea: False Rockcress
How to Grow Aubrieta Deltoidea: False Rockcress

Check out my previous post: How to Grow a Burning Bush Plant: Euonymus Alatus

Aubrieta: False Rockcress Plant Info

  • Common Name: False Rockcress, Lilac bush
  • Botanical Name: Aubrieta Deltoidea
  • Family: Brassicaceae
  • Origin: European Landscape
  • Hardiness Zone: Aubrieta Plants are ideal to grow in USDA Hardiness zone 4 through 9. It can also survive in a few areas of Zone 3.
  • Plant Type: Perennial Herb, especially Grown for land covers.
  • Plant Size: Aubrieta plants can grow 5- 12 inches depending on variety and climatic conditions. It can also spread up to 2 feet wide in all directions.
  • Flower: Small Pink, red, violet, and purple are ideal for landcover. These bright flowers attract many pollinators including beautiful butterflies.
  • Plant Structure: Aubrieta plants are low-lying and continuous spreading plants. It contains light gray-green foliage that looks great with the contrast of bright purple flowers.
  • Blooming Season: Aubrieta plants bloom early in the spring, These are among the earliest plants to bloom in the season. The entire flower bed can light up together with 100s of blooms early in the spring season.
  • Growth Conditions: This beautiful flowering plant requires moderate to healthy soil with good drainage. It prefers rocky and sandy soil with good drainage and plenty of organic matter. Together they can nurture these plants throughout the year.
  • Sunlight: Aubrieta Deltoidea lants need a minimum of 6 hours of daily sunlight. It can grow well in the part shade though you should choose an open space with proper lighting for these plants.
  • Water: Always keep the soil moist but never soggy. It is a drought-resistant plant although low moisture will lead to fewer blooms in the season. Overwater is similarly harmful to these plants. It can cause root rot and fungal diseases.
  • Propagation Methods: Aubrieta plants are easy to grow from seeds and Plant root division. Although seeds are commonly used to grow False Rockcress plants.

Where to Grow Aubrieta Plants

Aubrieta plants are the best option for dull backyard landscapes. If you want to transform your old grassy landscape into a beautiful flower bed with much effort. Then definitely this plant is for you.

You can grow Aubrieta plants anywhere in USDA zone 4 through 9. A rock garden is a perfect location for these flowers. Choose a bright location where these plants can get 6 hours of sunlight every day. That’s it the soil condition doesn’t affect this plant until it becomes too soggy. Although if you want lots of bloom altogether then grow them in healthy soil.

Aubrieta is a native to the European landscape so you may find them doing well in cool part shade. They bloom early in spring. So you may choose a part-shade location to grow Aubrieta especially in zone 9.

Also read: How to grow Bloodroot Flowers: Sanguinaria canadensis

Soil Condition For Aubrieta

Aubrieta is a very versatile plant. It can thrive in a variety of soil types including rocky or sandy soil. Though if the soil is dense like clay then amend it with sand and compost to loosen the texture. Clay can hold too much moisture and this may result in root rot.

If you are planning to grow False Rockcrees in a garden the prepare the soil at least 2 weeks before sowing the seeds.

  • Dig and turn 6 to 10 inches of soil and let it dry in full sun.
  • Rake the soil surface after 3 or 4 days and Cover it with 3 to 5 inches of old compost.
  • Again turn and rake the soil after 5 days and moisten the soil.
  • Sow the Aubrieta seeds after 2 days at a 2 to 3 inches distance.

If you are preparing for container gardening then use equal parts of soil, sand, and compost. Adjust the amount of sand and compost to maintain proper drainage in the containers.

Sunlight and Water Requirements

Allow these plants to receive 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight. They can survive in part shade. It’s fine to grow them in part shade although they bloom better in full sun.

Aubrieta plants are drought resistant although it is not good for the plants’ health. You must water the plants regularly especially during the blooming season. Insufficient watering can cause drooping and yellowing of leaves. Also if you water too much then it can die due to root rot.

It is quite simple just let them warm in full sun and keep them well hydrated. The seeds will germinate at 55 degrees, 16 degrees celsius, or more. The false rockcress plant can grow at its optimum at 55 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can you grow Aubrieta in containers?

Aubrieta plants are ideal for land covers although they grow well in wide containers. It will require a 12 to 15-inch big container to grow Aubrietas.

Make some holes at the bottom of the container for proper drainage. That’s it, simply fill it with good soil and plant a new Aubrieta in it.

Choose big containers for multiple plants. These plants look good in groups. So grow multiple plants together in big containers or Grow them in separate 10-inch containers and club them together.

Check out: How to Care for Mexican Aster Plant?

Propagation Methods of Aubrieta Plants

Aubrieta plants can grow from seeds as well as plant division. You can get the seeds from a local garden store or from online at Amazon. Seedlings can also be bought from nurseries.

Sometimes you can also separate new plants from the root of a parent plant. So Root division is also possible with Aubrieta plants.

These plants can easily grow and thrive in one location for 3 or more years. Although it is better to divide them every two years to maintain proper spacing.  Sometimes division and separation are also helpful to maintain the good quality of the blooms which can degrade over time at one location.

You can choose any one of these propagation methods according to your convenience. The plant will take a year to mature and bloom. So don’t worry if it’s not blooming the first season, it is obvious.

How to Germinate Aubrieta Seeds?

There is two way to germinate Aubrieta seeds. Either sow them directly in the growing location or germinate them indoors in seedling trays.

Indoor Seed Germination

  • Prepare a seedling tray with healthy potting soil. A mixture of cocopeat, compost, and garden soil will also do the job.
  • Place 2 seeds in each cell to ensure germination.
  • Moisten the soil mix and place the tray in a warm location.
  • The seeds will start sprouting in 2 to 3 weeks at 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, keep them well hydrated.
  • Once the seeds germinate, place them under grow light or near a window.
  • There is no need to feed these seedlings with any fertilizer if you have used compost in the soil mix. Otherwise, apply liquid all-purpose fertilizer once in 15 days.
  • Aubrieta seedlings will be ready to transplant in 45-60 days. Move them outside once they grow up to 5 inches in height and the temperature rises above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Outdoor Seed Germination

  • Prepare garden beds for Aubrieta a week after the last frost.
  • Directly sow the seeds in damp soil surface at a 2 to 5-inch distance.
  • Keep them moist and they will germinate in 2 weeks.
  • Thin out extra seedlings to make 10 to 12 inch space between two seedlings.

How to Grow Aubrieta Plants: False Rockcress?

  • Fill the container with potting soil and moisten it properly. In the garden prepare the flower beds or wild area a couple of weeks before planting the seedlings.
  • Plant only 1 seedling in 10-12  inch containers. Multiple plants can be grown in 15 to 18-inch containers.
  • Grow Aubrieta plats at a 10 to 12-inch distance in the garden. They will easily fill up the space in a couple of seasons.
  • Place the plants in full sun and keep the soil moist always. Garden beds can be raised to prevent waterlogging.
  • The seedling should be grown in the garden after the risk of frost is over. Once the plant establishes a location it will survive all seasons.
  • Keep the plants healthy with proper sunlight, water, and a little bit f fertilization. Although there is no need to fertilize mature Aubrieta plants. They can grow and bloom throughout their life with much attention.

Common pest problems in Aubrieta Plants

There are a few problems that you may face with Aurbietas. These are a few pests like aphids, mealybugs, and flea beetles.

The main source of all of these problems is either overwatering or lack of space among adjacent plants. If you keep a regular interval between each watering cycle then almost 70% of these problems will never occur. Also, prune the plants, remove weeds and keep the area clean to avoid fungal problems like powdery mildew.

Regular use of all-purpose pesticides, neem oil, and fungicide can help in the control of common problems in Aubrieta plants.

Care Guide for Aubrieta Plants

You have to follow these few steps to keep your Aubrieta plants healthy. Just do it and forget worrying about these beautiful plants.

  • Regular Watering
  • Deadheading
  • Pruning 
  • Weeding
  • Mulching

Keep the root well hydrated. They can survive dryness though it is not good for blooming. Deep watering is best for these plants. Water once the soil starts drying, if it’s not then wait a couple more days. You can test the moisture by putting your finger to the first knuckle depth in the soil. If it feels dry then it’s time to water. Otherwise, wait a day or two before the next spell.

Remove spent flowers as much as possible. This will lower the seed development and force the plant to continue blooming.

Prune the plant in half after blooming ends. They will grow again bigger, wider, and stronger in the next season.

Remove weeds and grass from the flower beds especially during the early stages of Aubrieta plants. Once the plant mature it will take care of these invaders on its own.

Finally, you should mulch Aubrieta plants to save nutrition and moisture in the soil. Mulch can help with weed control. Only 2 inches of light organic mulch is sufficient for the Aubrieta garden.

Take care of these plants whenever they need you or else they may forget to bloom.


Hi, My name is Sukant. I am an I.T professional. Gardening for me is not just a hobby, it's a way of living life with nature. My Ancestors were Commercial farmers: So I personally feel attached to the green. I am not an expert, I'm here only to share my gardening experiences. It's always Refreshing.

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