How to Grow Aubretia

Aubreita is a low-growing, evergreen perennial which forms a mat of flowers and is good for the front of a border or better still, tumbling down a wall. 

Aubretia is fully hardy and flowers best in a sunny spot, but it will grow in semishade.  Aubretia prefers well-drained soil and will tolerate dry growing conditions, which is why it is so well suited to being planted in walls and rockeries. It requires just a little maintenance and is trouble free.  

 Although Aubrieta is not scented, it is attractive to bees and long flowering.

Aubretia flowers are in shades of light blue, mauve and pink and some varieties have variegated foliage, all are low-growing, small plants. 

Although a very simple and common garden plant, it is a lovely sight in spring to see a well established Aubrieta trailing over a wall a mass of blue, purple and pink; Aubreita looks pretty and makes a  cheerful splash of colour.

It is easy to get cuttings from Aubretia. Often they send out little plantlets around them and you can pot these up to grow on for planting out later when they have a mature root. Also Aubretia root easily trim off a cutting a few centimetres long in midsummer and root into well-drained compost. Let the plant grow on to a mature size in a suitable container, and then it is ready for planting out.  

Aubretia can be raised from seed if you want to cultivate a particularly colour or variety not commonly found in the garden centres, such as A.'Cascade red', which as the name suggests is a bright red variety, but otherwise the easiest way is to take cuttings.

  If Aubretia is not the plant for you check out summer flowering plantsspring flowering plantsscented plants and climbing plants for more ideas.

How to cut back Aubretia

To keep a compact shape cut back after flowering. Aubretia has a tendency as it matures to spread with a bald part in the centre and flowers around the outside. To bring it back into shape it needs to be cut back. There are two ways to prune Aubretia a hard or light prune.

If the plant has become straggly, over grown or bald in the centre give it a hard prune cutting right back as in the image below.

With a younger Aubretia plant which is in better shape, more compact, all that is needed is a light prune up to 5cms ( 2-3 inches max ) to keep it in shape. In both cases prune in June when flowering has finished, or as soon as the Aubretia plant stops flowering in your area. It is best to cut back immediately after flowering, cutting back later in the year may interfere with the plant's flowering next year. However, do not cut over winter.

Check out the images below or watch the short video for on how to prune and cut back Aubretia, including when and how to hard prune Aubretia 

PS brief video clip showing the same Aubretia in July about 6 weeks after pruning

Aubretia Before Cutting back

Overgrown Aubretia before cutting back

This Aubretia is overgrown, with baldness in the middle and needs to be hard pruned.

Aubretial After a hard prune

Aubretia after a hard prune

Although it looks unsightly, this Aubretia will grow back and into a better shape for next year

Small Aubretia plants

Potted up small Aubretia plants

These small plants were alongside the main plant and by the end of the summer will be ready for planting out to flower next year.

An easy to grow perennial, a green wheelbarrow plant

Last updated 11.06.2020