How to Grow Aurinia — Basket-of-Gold

Basket-of-gold, Aurinia saxatilis,
Basket-of-gold, Aurinia saxatilis,

Aurinia–commonly called basket-of-gold–forms low-growing dense clusters of tiny golden yellow flowers. Basket-of-gold is a small-scale ground cover for border foregrounds and rock gardens. Flowers appear in spring and early summer.

Aurinia forms low, tufted rosettes of lance- to spoon-shaped evergreen leaves. Showy, rounded clusters of tiny four-petaled flowers in yellow and white appear above the foliage creating a colorful mat.

Use Aurinia as a ground cover or edging at the front of a bed or border. It can also be grown in containers or at the top of walls as a cascading plant.

 Aurinia saxatilis
Aurinia saxatilis

Get to know Aurinia

  • Plant type: Herbaceous evergreen perennial
  • Growing Zones and range: Zones 4-8; short-lived in humid regions.
  • Hardiness: Hardy to -35°F (-37°C) but can be killed by very cold winters; avoid excessively hot and humid climates
  • Height and width: 8 to 12 inches (20-30cm) tall; 12 to 18 inches wide
  • Foliage: Low-growing clumps narrow, lance-shaped, hairy leaves; creeping stems flop during flowering
  • Flower form: Each flower has four rounded petals; small flowers are grouped in rounded 1-inch clusters
  • Flower color: Yellow, gold
  • Bloom time: Late spring and early summer
  • Uses: Use as a foreground plant in borders and rock gardens.
  • Garden companions: rockcress (Aubrieta), and pinks (Dianthus)
  • Common name: Basket-of-Gold
  • Botanical name: Aurinia saxatilis
  • Family: Brassicaceae
  • Origin: Southern Europe to Russia and Turkey

Where to plant Aurinia

  • Grow Aurinia in full sun.
  • Aurinia will grow in any soil that is dry.

Aurinia uses and companions

  • Use Aurinia in borders and as edging.
  • Plant Aurinia so it can spill over a wall or in a rock garden.
  • Good companions for Aurinia include Centranthus rubber, Iris sempervirens, beared Iris, Papaver orientale, Phlox subulata.
Basket of Gold  - Aurinia saxatilis
Basket of Gold – Aurinia saxatilis

When to plant Aurinia

  • Plant in spring or fall. Add grit and sand to soil that is too rich in organic matter.

Planting and spacing Aurinia

  • Set established plant 12 to 18 inches (30-45cm) apart.
  • Aurinia does not like to be transplanted; fall is the best time to transplant Aurinia.
  • Sow seed 1/8 inch deep in evenly prepared soil.

How to water and feed Aurinia

  • Water Aurinia only in periods of extreme drought.

Aurinia care

  • Trim lightly after flowering to keep plants neat and compact.

Aurinia pests and diseases

  • Heavy moist soils and high humidity will encourage root rot. Plant in well-drained soil.
Yellow blossom of Aurinia saxatilis flower, blooming in spring
Yellow blossom of Aurinia saxatilis flower, blooming in spring

Aurinia propagation

  • Aurinia seed germinates in 7 to 14 days at 65°F (18°C).
  • Aurinia readily self-sow. Sow seed in fall.
  • Divide Aurinia in spring or fall.

Aurinia varieties to grow

  • Aurinia saxatilis, basket-of-gold: vigorous, mound-forming species with gray-green leaves; grows to 8 inches tall and spread to 12 inches; bears dense, rounded clusters of brilliant yellow flowers. Cultivars include: ‘Variegata’ has leaves edged with pale green; ‘Tom Thumb’ and ‘Compacta’ grows 3 to 6 inches high; ‘Sunny Border Apricot’ has peach-colored flowers.

Aurinia saxatilis (Alyssum saxatile) — Basket-of-gold

Aurinia saxatilis blooms from early to mid-spring. It is a wonderful bulb companion. The tight, rounded clusters of golden yellow, four-petaled flowers are held just above the foliage, completely blanketing its mat-forming, gray, 2- to 5-inch-long, spoon-shaped leaves. Basket-of-gold spreads rapidly into cascading evergreen clumps.

  • Size: 8 inches to 1 foot high; 1 foot wide.
  • Light: Full sun.
  • Soil and moisture: Average to sandy, well-drained soil; drought tolerant.
  • Planting and propagation: Plant container-grown plants in spring, spacing 1 to 1 ½ feet apart. Take stem cuttings in summer.
  • Special care: Cut back after flowering for compactness and for possible reblooming. Resents transplanting.
  • Pests and diseases: May rot in winter-wet soil. Flops in rich soil.
  • Climate: Zones 3-7; poor performer in heat and humidity. Use as biennial in the South, planting in fall and discarding after spring blooming.
  • Cultivars: ‘Citrinium,’ pale lemon-yellow, 10 inches tall; ‘Compactum,’ golden yellow, 6 inches tall, compact; ‘Sunny Border Apricot,’ apricot, 10 inches tall; ‘Dudley Neville Variegated,’ apricot-buff flowers, white-variegated leaves; ‘Variegatum,’ gold-edged leaves.
  • Garden use: Best arranged so plants can spill over wall. Compact forms work well as border edging.

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