It’s time to start Aurinia saxatilis seeds indoors. Aurinia, also known as Basket of Gold or Gold Dust. Sometimes listed as Alyssum, a.saxatile, native to eastern Europe, Balkans and Russia.
Aurinia saxtilis Compacta has silver green colored, lanceolate leaves in 12-18″ clusters, producing the most amazing Spring pop of golden yellow among 4-6″ long dense corymbs, in masses on this tough 9-12″ high perennial.
Perfect for xeriscaping, edging, rock garden where it will cascade nicely or anywhere a low maintenance ground cover is desired.
Basket of Gold is a vigorous, friendly spreading and low mat-forming evergreen. Drought resistant once established. Aurinia may reseed itself easily so has the tendency to multiply itself year after year. I have not found this with my Gold Dust but perhaps is because the ripe seed is harvested.
Easily grown from seeds with an April direct sow (In Zone 8), 1/16″ deep. Keep moist to germinate and until well established. Then cut back water to moderate so soil doesn’t dry out. Whereas too much moisture can cause root rot so be conservative.
Aurinia will grow in zone 8-11 but may not live as long as if grown in zones 3-7.
I prefer to start Aurinia saxatilis seeds indoors mid January, before last frost. About 8-10 weeks before planting out. Basket of Gold seeds require light to germinate so surface sow and simply press in to provide a good contact with the soil. Water from the bottom with tepid water and again, keep moist. Germination takes about 2 weeks. Transplant late March at 12″ spacing is average garden soil with good drainage. Basket of Gold will not perform as well if grown in too fertile of soil.
Gold Dust can also be sown in a cold frame during March. When large enough to handle, pot on to 3″ pots singly, then plant out from September to March.
Aurinia can be propagated from 2-3″ long cuttings in June. Insert in equal parts peat and sand. Place in cold frame. When rooted, pot on to 3″ pots and grow on in cold frame. Plant out into permanent position in the following March.
For outstanding performance, year after year, Basket of Gold enjoys full sun in mild climates but where the summers become hot, Aurinia prefers some afternoon shade. Although once established Gold Dust is drought resistant and very low maintenance, little water is required when the season is dry.
After flowering, Aurinia can be dead headed. If you want this plant to self sow, leave some flowers to go to seed and let nature take care of the rest.
Aurinia can be cut back hard after flowering to prolong their life and make them more compact.
The deer leave my Basket of Gold alone even though it’s permanent position at the nursery is outside fencing and along a popular deer crossing. The rabbits haven’t touched it, nor the raccoons. The bees and butterflies enjoy the striking yellow, nectar rich flowers as well.
The pop of this yellow color is very eye catching. Basket of Gold grows well with Spring tulip bulbs, muscari, bleeding heart, annuals such as forget-me-not, perennial sedums, Iris, columbine, candytuff, diathus, phlox and wallflowers to name a few. I like to plant Gold Dust at the base of taller perennials. Can be used for erosion control. Does well on banks.
It’s not to late to include Aurinia into your perennial garden plan for 2018. Compacta is a dwarf variety, growing to 6″ tall. Get a great deal on your generous packages of freshly harvested Basket of Gold Compacta Seeds here. For a limited time, this 2018 season, when you order one generous Aurinia seed package, get another one absolutely free and you too can enjoy this dependable, low maintenance perennial year after year.