Gold lacquer was already known as a fragrant plant in antiquity and belongs to the cruciferous plant family and to the hollyhock genus. It is also known as Cheiranthus cheiri, but its current Latin name is Erysimum cheiri. Gold lacquer came to Central Europe from south-eastern Europe, mainly from the Mediterranean region, around 1200 to 1300. The plant probably got its name from the original golden yellow color of its flowers. Breeding has meanwhile resulted in several varieties with brownish, yellow, orange and red flowers. With us, the plant is usually biennial, with double or non-double flowers, as a perennial, shrub or cut flower with a height of about 20 to 80 cm. Perforated, medium to dark green, elongated leaves sprout from the upright, partially branched stems.

Sowing, planting, location and repotting

The easiest and cheapest way to cultivate and propagate biennial or perennial gold lacquer is to sow your own seeds. It is best done in May, June or July in a well-prepared seed bed or in a spacious cold frame. Cover the seed well with substrate, possibly even initially with a light board or cardboard. Because the small gold lacquer seeds are dark germs.

sowing information

  • Plant seeds deep, about two to three centimetres
  • Row spacing about 20 centimeters so that young plants can breathe
  • Ideal temperature of 18 to 20 degrees for germination
  • protect from cool wind and drought
  • always keep it moist, but don’t soak it in
  • even a short dry period can irreversibly damage seeds

After about four to six weeks, when the second pair of leaves has formed, start pricking out. The young plants are then about five to eight centimeters high and come in small pots. In which they can overwinter under glass with constant moisture. A temperature of five to ten degrees is ideal. In areas that are not too cold, in wind-protected locations (wall), it is also possible to spend the winter outdoors. But then absolutely with frost protection measures, i.e. covering or encasing. A strong rosette of leaves forms until winter. In the spring of the following year, the biennial gold lacquer thanks us, outdoors or in a spacious pot, with the formation of sweetly honey-smelling flowers.

development process

  • Sow May to July
  • Prick out June to September, depending on sowing date
  • Overwinter outdoors or in a basement from October to the end of February
  • in March of the New Year on the balcony, terrace or in the garden bed
  • Enjoy flowering and fragrance from April to the end of June

Another option is to place annual plants bought from the gardener directly outdoors from around March to April. However, it is essential to ensure a planting depth of five to ten centimetres. The distance between the individual plants should be about 25 to 30 centimeters. An ideal location for gold lacquer is bright and warm, i.e. with a lot of sun. In the shelter of a wall, in full sun, the gold lacquer plants thrive best and develop their strongest scent. The soil for the gold lacquer should be loose, very permeable, for example sandy or loamy. Also with a neutral or slightly alkaline pH value (7-8), sufficiently rich in nutrients, calcareous and rich in nitrogen. Acidic soil should definitely be neutralized with plenty of lime before using it for cultivating gold lacquer.

Fertilize, trim, water, care

A very important work is the pruning of the young plants. This means removing the main shoot of the young lacquer plant. The easiest way to do this is to clip it off with your thumb and forefinger, but of course you can also use a knife or scissors. De-sharpening stimulates the gold varnish to form new side shoots. Diligent pruning helps to bushy, full growth. Bloated shoots should also be cut off regularly, this encourages further growth and usually prolongs the flowering period.

nutrient supply and water

  • outdoors 1x monthly liquid fertilizer
  • Box, tub and potted plants 1x weekly liquid fertilizer
  • Amount of fertilizer according to manufacturer information
  • Work compost into planting area in spring
  • if possible also undermine horn shavings
  • water regularly, especially at high temperatures
  • not too much water, otherwise there is a risk of rotting

If you don’t want to collect seeds and want to prevent independent, uncontrolled multiplication of the gold lacquer, cut off the hairy pods early. It is also recommended to regularly remove dried leaves and withered flower clusters in order to create enough air for new leaves, flowers and shoots. Perennial plants can be most safely overwintered outdoors by surrounding them with a protective framework made of spruce branches or fleece. Another way to get the gold paint well over the winter is to repot it early in a bucket that goes into the basement in autumn. Normal hummus and lime-containing potting soil is absolutely fine. But even then, occasional watering is necessary.

diseases and pests

As an originally relatively undemanding ornamental plant, the gold lacquer needs our special attention again and again. Because diseases or pests from the insect area can spread quickly and also damage the gold paint. For example, cabbage hernia, also known as slime mold disease. It is not only a danger for the types of cabbage in vegetable beds. This insidious plant disease can also affect gold lacquer, which in principle itself belongs to the cabbage species. Gray and blue-green leaves, stunted, wilting plants and growths on the roots are typical signs of an infestation. It is difficult to control, it is best to keep the soil neutral or slightly alkaline. Because the fungus only likes acidic environments. Fertilizing with algae lime and keeping the roots of young plants in a paste with algae lime for around 20 minutes as a preventive measure are sensible measures. Unfortunately, there are other dangers as well:

Wrong mildew

  • Fungal disease, manifested by white mold on the undersides of the leaves
  • Remedy with special fungicides (agents effective against fungi) offered by specialist dealers

Leaf beetle

  • erroneously called the flea, about 3 millimeters in size, dark in color with yellowish stripes
  • Beetle larvae can eat seeds and roots
  • Beetles themselves eat holes in the leaves
  • Countermeasure is spraying with insecticides and keeping moist


  • The first measure is to hose down several times with water
  • The second option is to treat it with commercially available insect sprays that are gentle on the gold paint

Different sizes and varieties

Wallflower is a natural plant that displays its pretty and fragrant flowers perennial. There are double, frost-sensitive and non-double, which are considered frost-resistant varieties. However, by November at the latest, frost protection should always be placed or stuck around the plant with brushwood or fleece. After all, severe frost can sometimes occur in our room. Sown species are usually biennials, annuals are often used as cut flowers. Some special varieties (crossbreeds) are briefly presented below:

Bowles Mauves

  • perennial, hardy variety, unfilled
  • if treated properly, will flower for years.
  • it is important to regularly remove faded parts
  • blooms lilac-purple-violet until autumn
  • Attention, it is very poisonous!

Constant cheer

  • perennial (at least 3 years) plant
  • initially orange, later pink-purple flowers
  • blooms and smells from July to September
  • Perennial grows 30 to 40 cm high

Apricot Twist

  • perennial hybrid
  • bright apricot-orange flowers
  • blooms and smells from April to November
  • low growth height of about 20 to 30 cm

Gold lacquer is available, for example, as a dwarf bush 20 to 30 centimeters high, as a bush about 50 centimeters high and as a shrub or pole, about 70 to 80 centimeters high. Outdoors and planting in tubs or pots is almost always possible at the same time.

Pretty companion plants and close relatives

If you want to accompany spring and Easter with colorful blooms, you can easily do this in the garden and on the balcony or terrace. In a protected flower bed or in a flower box, the gold lacquer and its companions create this with their own fragrance and blossom splendor. With its fragrant shades of yellow, orange to brown and violet, the gold lacquer harmonises very well with pansies , tulips and forget-me-nots . All of them come together with their full blaze of color in lush blooms to create a real springtime magic. They also go well together in their relative undemanding nature.


  • biennial violets
  • multicolored flowers from March to November


  • Lilies with a wide variety of colors
  • flowers March to May


  • annual borage plant, 15-30 cm high
  • flowers blue in May/June

The relationship in the large family of cruciferous plants, i.e. that of the gold lacquer, is quite extensive. It starts with the Schöterich species such as Schotendotter or Field Schöterich, both of which are quite close relatives. The night violet prefers the shady location, but also smells very pleasant and intense. The Levkoje, on the other hand, is very similar to its modest claims to the gold lacquer. Interestingly, even well-known crops are related. Among other things, various types of cabbage, horseradish, rapeseed and mustard. Cushion plants such as goose cress and candytuft also belong to the daisy family.


  • biennial, up to 40 cm
  • flowers golden yellow/bronze in June/July


  • annual, up to 60 cm, poisonous
  • flowers yellow, May to September

The gold lacquer is popular as an ornamental plant because of its scent intensity and colorful variety. As a spring and summer flower, it delights us with its wonderful fragrance and velvety-soft blaze of colour. The plant is used in balcony boxes, garden beds, borders and pots as well as cut flowers. Fragrant and colourful, it serves as a decoy for bees and bumblebees. Because of the toxic glycosides it contains, please keep pets and small children away from the plants.

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