Hardy Beautiful Rock Cress-Aubrietia

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The Aubrietia are hardy trailing rock plants. The aubrietias are among the most useful rock plants for rapidly covering banks, dry walls and extensive slopes in the rock garden. For this purpose the hybrids are particularly recommended, as they are very hardy, grow rapidly, and are obtainable in a wide range of excellent colours such as purple, crimson, lavender, pink, etc.

For cultivation the aubrietias require a sunny position and a well-drained soil containing plenty of lime. If this is deficient it may be added when preparing the ground in the form of air-slaked lime or chalk or as old mortar rubble. If the ground is naturally of a heavy, wet nature it should be lightened with sand, limestone chippings, etc. Aubrietias may be planted in October, March, or early April if lifted from the open ground. Pot-grown plants can be established at almost any season. Old plants that are getting straggly should be trimmed up with scissors or shears immediately after flowering.

Aubrietias may be increased by cuttings of young growth a couple of inches in length inserted in very sandy soil in a cold frame or shady border outdoors in June and July. Selected shoots must have bright, glossy foliage because dull-leaved shoots are of little value. More mature cuttings will often root outdoors in August or early September. Seed sown in a frame in March or in a shady border in April germinates readily and is a very easy means of producing mixed plants. You need to be very aware that named varieties do not breed true in this way.

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Author: Jodi Avery

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