Basket of Gold

Aurinia saxatilis is an ornamental plant native to Asia and Europe. The flowers are clear yellow, but the various cultivars produce flowers in white, cream, lemon, peach or gold.

Since its natural habitat is rocky, mountainous country, it is ideal for a rock garden, for dry, sloping ground, or for edging garden beds, provided the drainage is excellent.

It is also ideally suited for troughs and the edges of large pots, perhaps containing a shrub. Although perennial, some gardeners grow is as part of an annual spring display.

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. 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.


The most magical characteristic of all is that this flower reseeds itself every year. After the flowers have finished blooming and the seeds become dry on the plant, I merely go out and shake them a bit and the wind does the rest.

Every year, we have more and more spread of this beautiful little plant as it just simply multiplies all by itself! This plant is not picky about soil either – it can grow in the most packed-down dirt sometimes I have ever seen and still thrive. It is also drought resistant – so if you happen to forget to water for a bit, it won’t die on you right away.

This plant does prefer sun and here in Central Oregon we get our fair share especially in spring and summer, even into fall. It thrives on well-drained but poor soil.

What a bonus! We usually buy them as small starts at the nursery and have never lost one of these plants.

Every year, the plants that survive malamutehood become fuller and fuller and then multiply rapidly so that there is a virtual blanket of bright yellow on our hills. They do well around a tree or in pots as well.

To properly care for the yellow alyssum plant, when the blooms are faded (and you have shaken loose any seeds if you wish), simply cut them back to about 1/3 the plant’s size.

This will promote re-bloom again in a few months. If they also start to become too shaggy, cut them back by about 1/3 and they will resurface in their healthy state.