Growing alyssum in your garden
- 12 alyssum seed varieties
- Offers small, dense clusters of fragrant flowers
- Great border plant with a variety of colors to choose from
- Hardy to both heat and drought
sweet alyssum blooms
The name of the genus Lobularia refers to a Greek word meaning "small pod", referring to the shape of the fruits. The species maritima comes from its preferred coastal habitat. Its common name is sweet alyssum, but is also commonly referred to as just alyssum. Alyssum has been a go-to plant of gardeners for many years. Some of the reasons for its popularity include the low-maintenance nature, drought-tolerance, and wonderfully fragrant blossoms that will readily cover grounds and borders with a flush of color. Use as a wonderful container flower, as alyssum grow just three to nine inches high and will produce a continuous profusion of sweet smelling flowers to from spring to mid-summer.
when and how to plant alyssum seeds
Alyssum seeds can be direct sown outdoors after the last frost of spring, or started indoors five to six weeks before the final frost and then transplanted outdoors. Some popular sites for alyssum include ground cover, borders, or even in the crevices of a rock garden. Alyssum even grows well on slopes and rocky environments that many other plants would find inhospitable. If possible, select a location with full sun (six to eight hours a day). Alyssum will tolerate partial shade (four to six hours a day). Find a location that has well-draining, acidic soil. Rocky and sandy soils are tolerated. Once you have selected a site, lightly press the seeds into the top surface of the soil- no deeper than 1/8th of an inch. Ensure that the seeds are not buried, as they will require exposure to sunlight for proper germination. Bear in mind that alyssum is a spreading plant and should be kept six to eight inches apart for the most favorable results.
How to care for alyssum in your garden
Once your plants are established, you will find alyssum to bed a rather low-maintenance addition to your yard. Simply water deeply, but sparingly, allowing the roots to dry out a bit in between waterings. This is especially important when planted in a partially shaded environment. Consistently damp soil invites root rot, so take care to avoid unnecessary waterings. To encourage additional blooms, some light pruning and deadheading can be implemented throughout the growing season. However, even without deadheading, you will have a seemingly never ending parade of blooms to enjoy. And, despite being classified as annuals, alyssum will self-sow and return each year, providing bright colors to cheer up any garden or container.
For more information about planting, growing, and caring for alyssum flower seed, see the Alyssum Seeds Planting Guide.