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Wall rockcress is an outstanding spring-blooming groundcover for dry, sunny spots in Northern gardens. It’s easy to care for and bursts into bloom in spring, producing so many pure white flowers they almost hide the foliage. After it’s finished blooming it sports gray-green leaves that look good for the rest of the season.
Surprisingly, wall rockcress is in the cabbage family. It’s related to common garden vegetables including cabbage and kohlrabi. It’s also related to a variety of fine spring-blooming flowers, including aubrieta and wallflower.
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Wall Rockcress Ground Cover
Its low-growing nature makes wall rockcress an excellent choice for planting along paths and walkways, where you'll be able to enjoy its floral display up close. Or plant it in the front of the border as an edging plant. It's particularly stunning when mixed with plants that have contrasting foliage, such as 'Firewitch' dianthus.
This easy-care ground cover is also a fine choice for rock gardens and growing with other alpine-type plants including armeria and lavender. Because it roots in as it grows, you can also use wall rockcress on slopes, green roofs, and for planting in pockets between stones in walls. It doesn't take foot traffic well, so it's not the best choice for planting between paving stones.
Wall Rockcress Care
For success, it's essential to plant wall rockcress in a spot that has well-drained soil—the faster it drains, the better. That also makes it an ideal pick for gardens that have soil with a high sand content or a lot of gravel. If your soil has a high clay content, plant wall rockcress in a raised bed.
In a sunny spot, this perennial is practically carefree. But lots of bright light is important; in addition to soil that doesn't stay wet for extended periods, wall rockcress demands full sun—at least eight hours of direct light per day. If it doesn't get enough sun it won't bloom well and is more susceptible to root diseases.
Wall rockcress is native to areas of Western Asia and the Middle East. It does best in areas with cool summers. In areas that experience hot, humid summers, the plant tends to melt out and may not survive the end of the growing season.
This perennial is deer- and rabbit-resistant, so you can typically enjoy its springtime color show even if your yard is frequented by these four-legged visitors. It also tends to attract early-season pollinators, including bees and butterflies, to the spring landscape.
Plant breeders have been working with wall rockcress to develop new varieties, including selections with bright pink flowers.