How to Grow and Care for Alyssum


alyssum

Alyssum is a lovely flowering plant that is used as a ground cover, in planters and window boxes, or planted next to taller plants. Alyssum flowers have five petals that come in a variety of colors from white to yellow. The color of the flower will determine its fragrance, with different fragrances appealing to different insects. All alyssum plants are low growing and reach only 8 inches tall so they work great for borders between larger plants or as living mulches.

Here are some tips on how to Grow and Care for Alyssum:

Light

A close up of a flower garden

Alyssum will grow best in full sun but can tolerate some shade depending on the variety. It can also be grown indoors with bright light.

Soil

A close up of a flower

Alyssum is a versatile plant and will grow in most soils. Try to find a planting spot that drains well as they do not like wet feet.

Watering

Water deeply once a week, providing at least 1 inch of water, more if the weather is hot or dry. The soil should be kept moist but never soggy for best results.

Temperature

Alyssum will grow in cool temperatures as low as 40 degrees F and also tolerate temperatures up to 100 degrees F. In the winter, cut back on watering to help prevent fungal diseases that can be a problem during warm, wet weather.

Pinching

Pinch out the tips of new growth regularly for a bushier plant and fuller garden beds and borders. This will also help promote larger flowers and more blooms sooner. You should see results within weeks rather than months like you would with most perennials.

Companions

Companion planting is an effective way to make use of space and keep your gardening efforts organic by not using chemicals as pest control. Alyssum grows well with basil, beans and garlic chives.

Pests

Alyssum is considered an unattractive plant to deer and rabbits so there’s no need for chemical pest control as they will not eat it. Aphids can be a problem but usually, they will go after more tender plants that are high in sap, such as tomatoes or beans. For the most part, they do not bother alyssum which makes them an excellent border or container plant for your garden as you don’t have to worry about chemical damage as much as with other types of flowers and vegetables.

Propagation

Propagating by seed indoors is the easiest method if planting outdoors isn’t possible at this time of year where you live since alyssum is a cool weather plant. Seeds should be started indoors about 6 weeks before the last frost of spring or you can directly sow them outdoors at this time as well.

Conclusion

Alyssum is a lovely flowering plant that can be used for borders between taller plants, in window boxes and planters, or as living mulches. It’s slow-growing and requires little care. Just water once a week to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Pinching out new blooms will help improve growth and may result in larger flowers sooner. Keep your gardening chemical free by using companion planting methods for organic pest control. The fragrant flowers come in a variety of colors from white to yellow, depending on the variety. You should see results within weeks rather than months when you propagate them indoors vs direct sowing outdoors in the early springtime when the weather breaks if you live in a cooler climate.

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