Basket of gold perennial

Growing Basket-Of-Gold Alyssum: Information And Care For Basket-Of-Gold Plants

Basket-of-gold plants (Aurinia saxtilis) feature bright gold flowers that seem to reflect the sun’s golden rays. Although the individual flowers are small, they bloom in large clusters that intensify the effect. The plants grow a foot high and as much as 2 feet wide, and they make fantastic ground covers for sunny areas.

Basket-of-gold plant care is easy in areas with mild summers, but in hot, humid climates they tend to die back in midsummer. If shearing doesn’t revive them, try growing them as annuals. Sow seeds in summer or set out bedding plants in early fall. Pull up the plants after they flower the following year. Grow basket-of-gold flowers as perennials in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 7.

How to Grow Basket-of-Gold

Plant basket-of-gold in a sunny location with average, well-draining soil. The plants perform poorly in rich or overly moist sites. Keep the soil moist while the seedlings are small. Once they are established, cut back to an occasional watering to keep the soil from drying out. An abundance of moisture causes root rot. Use a very thin layer of organic mulch, or better yet, use gravel or another type of inorganic mulch.

Shear off the top one-third of the plants in summer after the petals drop. Shearing revitalizes the plants and prevents them from going to seed. The plants don’t need division to stay healthy, but if you want to divide them, do so right after shearing. In warm climates, you’ll have another opportunity to divide the plants in fall.

Basket-of-gold plants only need fertilizer every other year or so. Too much fertilizer results in poor flowering, and they may lose their compact shape. Scatter some organic fertilizer or a couple of handfuls of compost around the plants in fall.

You might find this plant labeled as yellow or basket-of-gold alyssum, although it is more closely related to rock cresses (Arabis spp.) than sweet alyssums. Two interesting A. saxtilis cultivars are ‘Citrinum,’ which has lemon-yellow flowers, and ‘Sunny Border Apricot,’ which has peachy-yellow blossoms. You can create a striking effect by growing basket-of-gold in combination with ‘Citrinum.’

Basket-of-gold flowers make excellent companions for spring bulbs and sedums.

Gold Alyssum, Basket of Gold, Gold Dust


Alpines and Rock Gardens


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:



6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown – Tell us


Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown – Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Diego, California

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Golden, Colorado

Lafayette, Indiana

Logansport, Indiana

Des Moines, Iowa

Fort Dodge, Iowa

Oskaloosa, Iowa

Ewing, Kentucky

Dixfield, Maine

Billerica, Massachusetts

Milton, Massachusetts

Ludington, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Bloomfield, New Mexico

Brooklyn, New York

Croton On Hudson, New York

Cincinnati, Ohio

Findlay, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Wakefield, Rhode Island

Sumter, South Carolina

Crossville, Tennessee

Kaysville, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah(2 reports)

Tremonton, Utah

Port Townsend, Washington(2 reports)

Laramie, Wyoming

Rock Springs, Wyoming

show all

Aurinia saxatilis

  • Attributes: Genus: Aurinia Species: saxatilis Family: Brassicaceae Life Cycle: Perennial Recommended Propagation Strategy: Division Seed Country Or Region Of Origin: Central Europe to N. Balkan Peninsula Dimensions: Height: 0 ft. 6 in. – 1 ft. 0 in. Width: 0 ft. 6 in. – 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits: Plant Type: Annual Ground Cover Herbaceous Perennial Perennial Habit/Form: Cascading Rounded Spreading Maintenance: High
  • Cultural Conditions: Light: Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day) Soil Texture: Sand Shallow Rocky Soil Drainage: Good Drainage Available Space To Plant: Less than 12 inches 12 inches-3 feet NC Region: Mountains Piedmont Usda Plant Hardiness Zone: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
  • Flowers: Flower Color: Gold/Yellow Flower Inflorescence: Corymb Panicle Flower Value To Gardener: Showy Flower Bloom Time: Spring Flower Description: Bright yellow, gold, apricot corymbose panicles blooms appear April-May

  • Leaves: Leaf Color: Gray/Silver Green Leaf Feel: Soft Velvety Leaf Value To Gardener: Showy Leaf Type: Simple Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Shape: Linear Oblanceolate Spatulate Leaf Margin: Entire Hairs Present: Yes Leaf Length: 3-6 inches Leaf Description: Gray green spatulate basal leaves (to 5” long) and smaller linear-oblanceolate stem leaves. Foliage remains attractive even after flowering.
  • Stem: Stem Is Aromatic: No
  • Landscape: Landscape Location: Naturalized Area Rock Wall Landscape Theme: Rock Garden Design Feature: Border Mass Planting Resistance To Challenges: Drought Dry Soil



Basket-of-gold is one of those plants that loves to grow in the least likely of places—cracks between paving stones, the edges of gravel paths and patios, rocky outcroppings, and between the stacked stones of a retaining wall. Its clusters of blooms create dazzling blankets of color. And after it finishes blooming, the grayish-green foliage makes an attractive mat in the garden or landscape.

Basket-of-gold is easily grown as a perennial in areas with mild summers. It loves a baked spot with excellent drainage but will struggle in hot, humid areas and tends not to do well in the South. If that’s where you live and garden, you may want to grow basket-of-gold as an annual.

genus name
  • Aurinia saxatilis
  • Sun
plant type
  • Perennial
  • 6 to 12 inches,
  • 1 to 3 feet
  • From 12 to 18 inches
foliage color
  • Chartreuse/Gold
season features
  • Spring Bloom
problem solvers
  • Deer Resistant,
  • Groundcover,
  • Drought Tolerant,
  • Slope/Erosion Control
special features
  • Good for Containers
  • 3,
  • 4,
  • 5,
  • 6,
  • 7
  • Division,
  • Seed

Colorful Combinations

This sunny perennial blooms in April or May, displaying large clusters of small flowers attached to upright stalks. Most varieties flower in shades of yellow and gold, including a bright lemon yellow and soft creamy yellow. The blue-gray foliage adds a cool mat of color to the garden, pleasing the eye with or without flowers. Grow basket-of-gold in a garden as a groundcover or border plant, in a container, or in a rock garden where its foliage and flowers look particularly attractive cascading over stone walls.

Check out more early-spring flowers for the Mountain West.

Basket-Of-Gold Care Must-Knows

Basket-of-gold loves full sun and dry, average-to-sandy, well-drained soil; soggy soil encourages root rot. Although best flowering occurs under full sun, this plant’s foliage will appreciate afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Once established, the low-growing perennial can be quite drought-tolerant. Trim basket-of-gold in the summer after its petals drop. Taking off the top half will help maintain a pleasant form and prevent this plant from aggressively self-seeding.

If desired, fertilize basket-of-gold every other year; too much fertilizer leads to poor flowering conditions and a looser habit. Choose an organic fertilizer at a low dose or place a small amount of compost around plants in the fall.

These are the best plants for trough gardens.

More Varieties of Basket-Of-Gold

‘Citrina’ basket-of-gold

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This variety of Aurinia grows 10-15 inches tall and has lemon yellow flowers. Zones 3-7

‘Compacta’ basket-of-gold

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Aurinia grows 8-10 inches tall and bears clear yellow blooms. Zones 3-7

‘Gold Dust’ basket-of-gold

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Dense Aurinia saxatilis plants are covered in small, bright-yellow blossoms from late spring to early summer. Zones 3-7

Plant Basket-Of-Gold With:

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Verbena is a spreading plant ideal for cascading over retaining walls, pots, baskets, and window boxes. As log as the soil is extremely well drained, verbena will reward gardeners with countless clusters of small blooms all season.It’s fairly drought-tolerant, making it a great choice for hanging baskets, rock gardens, planting in cracks between stones, and other tight places. One annual verbena, ‘Imagination’, is a standout for taking the hottest, driest conditions. It will even do well in a clay strawberry pot!

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Phlox are one of those bounteous summer flowers any large sunny flowerbed or border shouldn’t be without. There are several different kinds of phlox. Garden and meadow phlox produce large panicles of fragrant flowers in a wide assortment of colors. They also add height, heft, and charm to a border. Low-growing wild Sweet William, moss pinks, and creeping phlox are effective as ground covers, at the front of the border, and as rock and wild garden plants, especially in light shade. These native gems have been hybridized extensively especially to toughen the foliage against mildew problems; many recent selections are mildew-resistant. Phlox need amply moist soil for best overall health.

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Rock cress, as you can guess from the name, is one of those plants that like tough love — give it a hot, dry crack between some stones somewhere and it will flourish. It can cover a stacked-stone wall or rocky outcropping with beautiful blue-purple flowers.Purple rock cress usually has purple or blue flowers, but rock wall cress is more likely to bloom in white or pink. Both make attractive low mounds that look great at the edge of retaining wall where they get full sun and excellent drainage. Cut stems back after spring bloom to keep plants compact.

Garden Plans For Basket-Of-Gold

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9 to 12 inches tall, 18 inches wide, mounded and creeping

Plant Care

Cut back by one-third to one-half after flowering to shape the plant and prolong life.
Plant requires good drainage and prefers dry soil. It will sprawl in overly rich soil.
Prefers not to be divided.

Diseases, pests and problems

No serious pests. Plant is short-lived, especially in the southern portions of its zone.

Native geographic location and habitat

Russia, Turkey and central Europe

Attracts birds or pollinators


Leaf description

Leaves are alternate with one leaf per node. They are 2 to 5 inches long with smaller stem leaves. They are oblong, gray, and fuzzy.

Flower description

The bright yellow flowers are borne on panicles. Each flower has four petals.

Fruit description

The fruit is a two-section dry pod, 1.5 to 3.5 inches, that splits open when ripe to release the seeds.

Cultivars and their differences

Compact Basket-of-Gold (Aurinia saxatilis ‘Compactum’): This cultivar is smaller in stature, with a rounded habit and bright yellow flowers. It grows to six to eight inches tall.

December 2006

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Pot Of Gold’
By Paul Pilon

Rudbeckia fulgida, commonly known as black-eyed Susan, is one of the most recognizable perennials in today’s landscape. The popularity of the black-eyed Susan dramatically increased after the Perennial Plant Association named Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ the 1999 Plant of the Year for its landscape performance and desirable characteristics.

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Pot of Gold’, selected as a seedling from rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’, is an improved selection of an already proven cultivar. Like its parents, ‘Pot of Gold’ delivers an impressive, long-lasting display of golden-yellow, daisy-like flowers with distinctive dark-brown central cones. The upright, branching stems are topped with numerous solitary, vivid, golden 3-inch blooms that are slightly larger than its parents.

‘Pot of Gold’ performs well across a wide portion of the United States throughout USDA Hardiness Zones 4-9 and AHS Heat Zones 9-2. This rudbeckia prefers full sun; although in the South, it performs best when some partial shade is provided. In the landscape, ‘Pot of Gold’ is slightly shorter than ‘Goldsturm’, reaching 20-24 inches high. Black-eyed Susan is an American native commonly used as accent and border plants and in mass plantings; it also makes an excellent cut flower.

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Pot of Gold’ is a patented plant; self-propagation is prohibited at this time.


Rudbeckia performs best when grown in a moist, well-drained medium with a pH between 5.8 and 6.4. Due to its large size when flowering, most growers produce ‘Pot of Gold’ in 1-gal. or larger containers. Each plug should be planted so its original soil line is even with or just below the surface of the new container’s growing medium.

Water as needed when plants are young and becoming established. Once they are large, the plants will require more frequent irrigations, as they will dry out rather quickly. Under stressful growing conditions, such as warm temperatures and high light levels, they wilt very easily. Generally, if they are watered within a reasonable amount of time after they have begun to wilt, they will recover quickly if the water stress was not severe. In extreme cases, leaf injury, such as leaf necrosis or tip burn, may occur. When irrigation is needed, water thoroughly, ensuring the entire growing medium is wet or nearly saturated. It is best to only allow the growing medium to dry slightly between irrigations.

Black-eyed Susans are moderate feeders. Fertility can be delivered using water-soluble or controlled-release fertilizers. Growers using water-soluble fertilizers either apply at high rates (200-300 ppm) of nitrogen as needed or feed with a constant liquid fertilization program using rates of 75- to 125-ppm nitrogen with each irrigation. Controlled-release fertilizers are commonly applied as a top-dress onto the media surface using the medium recommended rate on the fertilizer label or incorporated into the growing medium prior to planting at a rate equivalent to 1- to 11?4-lbs. elemental nitrogen per yard of growing medium.

When marketing rudbeckia in bloom, height control strategies during production may need to be implemented to reduce plant height. Providing adequate spacing between the plants will reduce plant stretch ç caused by competition. Several of the commercially available PGRs are effective at controlling plant height when they are applied using the appropriate rates, frequency and timing. Compared to many perennials, the PGR rates needed to achieve sufficient control are relatively high. I recommend growers apply a tank mix of 2,500-ppm B-Nine (dam-inozide) plus 5-ppm Sumagic (uniconazole-p). For foliar applications, it usually requires two or three applications at 7-day intervals to provide adequate height control. Begin applying PGRs when the flower stalks are just beginning to elongate or bolt.

Pests And Diseases

Generally, rudbeckia can be produced relatively insect free. Occa-sionally, aphids and whiteflies will become problematic. Other insect pests such as caterpillars, four-lined plant bugs, grasshoppers, Japanese beetles, leafhoppers, mealybugs, spider mites, slugs, spittlebugs and thrips are also often observed feeding on rudbeckia but rarely become problematic. These pests can be controlled after they are detected and typically do not require proactive strategies.

Plant diseases may be observed when environmental conditions are favorable for their development. The most common diseases observed attacking rudbeckia crops are downy mildew and Septoria leaf spot. As with many perennials, the occurrence of plant diseases can be negated or greatly reduced when the proper cultural practices are followed. To control foliar diseases, it is best to manage the environment by providing proper plant spacing and adequate air movement, controlling the humidity, watering early in the day (which allows the foliage to be dry before night) and, if desired, following a preventative spray program targeting the pathogens using appropriate chemicals.


‘Pot of Gold’ naturally blooms in mid to late summer. Flowering can be achieved throughout the year when following the guidelines discussed below.

Rudbeckia fulgida cultivars have a juvenile period where they will not flower until they are mature enough to perceive the treatments necessary for flowering. Plants that have at least 10 leaves will flower successfully, while those with less will remain vegetative, flower sporadically or take an extended period to reach bloom.

It is recommended to grow plants to maturity using short days or photoperiods no longer than 12 hours until the plants have an average of at least 10 leaves. Temperatures of 70-75¡ F will promote rapid development during this growth phase. Once they are mature and have been provided the proper photoperiod for flowering, they will develop an additional 12-15 leaves before the first flower bud.

Black-eyed Susans do not require cold treatment for flowering. However, they are considered cold-beneficial plants, as flowering will occur 2-3 weeks earlier following a cold treatment. Cooling (vernalizing) ‘Pot of Gold’ for a minimum of 10 weeks at 35-41¡ F is recommended. They can be vernalized as a plug or in the final container. Regardless of the container size, be sure they are fully rooted and past the juvenile stage prior to exposing them to cold temperatures.

They are considered obligate long-day plants, absolutely requiring long days for them to flower. With photoperiods of less than 13 hours, plants not receiving a cold treatment will not flower but remain as vegetative rosettes. If plants have undergone a cold treatment, flowering occurs when the photoperiod is greater than 13 hours. It is recommended to provide at least 14-hour photoperiods or night interruption lighting when the natural photoperiod is less than 14 hours.

The time to bloom after vernalization and the proper photoperiod is a function of temperature. When grown at 68¡ F, ‘Pot of Gold’ will reach flowering in 12-13 weeks; when grown at 60¡ F, it will flower in 16-18 weeks. To obtain the best plant quality, I recommend producing them at 65-68¡ F. Plants that have not been vernalized will take 2-4 weeks longer (depending on temperature) than the durations specified above.


Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Pot of Gold’ is brought to the marketplace by Darwin Plants; a limited quantity of plugs is available only from Darwin Plants. Finished containers may be purchased from many reputable finished growers or garden centers throughout the country.

Paul Pilon

Paul Pilon is president of Perennial Solutions Consulting, Jenison, Mich., and author of Perennial Solutions: A Grower’s Guide To Perennial Production, available now. The book is a guide to propagation and growing containerized perennials with chapters on media, fertilization, insect and disease management, weed control, propagation, forcing, plant growth regulators, overwintering, and individual cultural programs and schedules for many of today’s most popular perennial species. Pilon can be reached at (616) 366-8588 or Get a copy of his book at

Plant a Pot of Gold

One bag of daffodil bulbs, one pot, and a couple of bags of topsoil can transform a corner of your yard into a garden focal point and turn an ordinary container into a bounty of blooms. Planted this autumn, daffodils will reward you with some of spring’s most endearing flowers.

Daffodils, sprinkled in abundance all across the Southern landscape, officially mark the end of winter. Many colonies have naturalized from gardens planted long ago. There’s no doubt they do well in the ground, but don’t overlook their power to excel in containers too.

Most garden centers, nurseries, and mail-order catalogs offer daffodil bulbs each fall. You can usually buy them in bulk to reduce your costs. A bag of 50 bulbs will fill a big pot, and you’ll still have several left to sprinkle around its base. They range in color from yellow to white, and some sport orange to pink or multicolored trumpets. Selections such as ‘King Alfred,’ ‘Thalia,’ ‘Barrett Browning,’ ‘Ice Follies,’ and ‘Carlton’ are all dependable bloomers.

When buying bulbs, make sure they’re fat and fleshy like a ripe onion. Avoid dried out, hollowed, or moldy ones. Buy bulbs as soon as they arrive in stores, because those that sit on a shelf or in boxes for long periods may spoil.

If you don’t have a large container, you can plant bulbs in several smaller pots to dress up a deck or front porch. Small pots can be moved around strategically once daffodils bloom. If you’re in the market for a container, select one that will look nice with your house and garden. (For example, a white Chippendale container would look out of place around a rustic home or in a woodland garden.)

Use a good quality potting soil to fill the container, and make sure it has sufficient drainage holes. Cover the holes with pot shards, gravel, or a paper coffee filter to allow water to flow freely through the pot while holding the soil in.

In October or November, plant daffodils 3 to 4 inches deep with the pointed end up; space them 3 to 4 inches apart for a nice look. Mix a little Bulb Booster into the soil to give plants a head start. The bulbs will need little water until foliage begins to emerge; then keep them evenly moist until they bloom. If the flowers begin to lean in one direction, rotate the pot occasionally to keep them straight and upright. When the daffodils are through blooming, they can be planted in the yard or left in the pot. Don’t cut any of the straplike foliage until it turns brown and is lifeless.

“Plant a Pot of Gold” is from the October 2002 issue of Southern Living.

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