About Rock Cress
Rock Cress, also known as Arabis, is a low-growing perennial plant that produces masses of pretty flowers in the spring. Rock Cress boasts many uses in the garden and can survive harsh conditions, but it does require some initial care to thrive. Most gardeners use Rock Cress as an attractive border, in a rock garden, or trailing over a rock wall or ledge. As an alpine plant, Rock Cress is hardy and will thrive where other plants cannot, especially on hills and slopes. With a little attention, you can enjoy a beautiful display of flowers year after year.
When to Plant Rock Cress Seeds
Rock Cress is easily grown from seed. In early spring, its seeds can be directly sown into the garden. For gardeners who want an early jump start, or for those with a shorter growing season, begin your seeds indoors four to six weeks before the date of the last expected frost.
Where to Plant Rock Cress Seeds
Rock Cress thrives in full sun to partial shade. Pick a spot in your garden that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day. Rock Cress prefers well-draining soil that is slightly acidic with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Amend the soil with compost or peat moss to improve drainage and add nutrients.
If you would like some color between rocks or on a sandy ledge or hill, Rock Cress may be just what you need. Forming low mounds that look great trailing over rocks or spilling over the sides of walls, Rock Cress can also be planted at the edge of retaining walls where they get full sun and enjoy the drainage.
How to Plant Rock Cress Seeds
Scatter the seeds on top of the soil and lightly press them down. The seeds are small, so you can mix them with sand or vermiculite to help distribute them evenly. Gently water the soil with a fine mist to avoid disturbing the seeds. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged until the seeds germinate. Rock Cress seeds typically germinate in 7 to 14 days when kept at a consistent temperature of around 68°F. Once the seedlings have emerged, thin them out to give each plant enough space to grow.
How to Care for Rock Cress
Water the plants deeply and regularly during the growing season. Fertilize Rock Cress with a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer in the spring and summer. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage more blooms.