Sweet Alyssum is a delicate carpet of tiny flowers with a subtle, sweet scent. The low-growing foliage is covered by flowers for much of the growing season. Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) is very easy to grow, from plant or seed.
Sweet Alyssum is a cool season flower that can be set out in early spring are grown throughout the fall and winter, in frost-free climates. Most varieties will fade in the heat, but rally again in the fall.
Common name: sweet alyssum
Bloom time: April to June
Height: Height: 0.25 to 0.75 feet Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Difficulty level: Medium
Planting & Care
Sweet alyssum grows only a few inches high but spreads as much as a foot in diameter. The tiny flowers are closely packed around small racemes that grow upward as lower flowers fade. Although white is the most planted colour, pink, lavender, and darker shades of violet are also available.
To start Sweet Alyssum from seed, simply scatter the seed and press it down, so that it makes good contact with the soil, but it is still exposed to light. Keep the soil moist, until germination. Then water whenever the soil feels dry.
Direct seed in garden in mid- to late spring, or indoors 4 to 6 weeks before last frost. Do not cover the seeds, as they need light to germinate.
Sunlight: Full sun to part shade
Soil: Alyssum perfers a neutral soil pH and a rich, loamy soil.
Water: Keep the soil moist, until germination. Then water whenever the soil feels dry.
Temprature: Germination temperature: 65 F to 70 F
Fertilizer: Your in ground alyssum plants should not need any fertilizer, unless your soil is poor. Container alyssum plants will need more frequent water and monthly feedings with a water soluble fertilizer.
- Keep alyssum well-watered during hot, dry weather.
- In mid summer to stimulate more growth and flowering shear your alyssum plants by 1/3rd of their height.
- Fertilize afterward with a balanced product and water and they will regrow for a late summer flower show.
- When grown in containers or small spaces with little soil, fertilize monthly to keep them growing strong.
It is a mat-forming plant that produces spreading mounds of well-branched stems clad with linear, lance-shaped, gray-green leaves (to 1” long).
- Sweet alyssum grows best where it can be showcased.
- Plant or sow seeds in front of flower borders, in containers with other taller growing annuals, such as salvia and profusion zinnias, and in walls or rock gardens among other low growing perennials and wild flowers, such as columbine.