Alyssum Flower (Sweet Alyssum)

The Alyssum Flower genus are very interesting for gardens, especially when you are already seeing that you have very few empty spaces; although they can also be grown in a pot. 

Its flowers are wonderful!

Knowing its characteristics and its care will be very useful to know where you should put yours. So here is your complete file.

Zones:

Annual up to Zone 8; short-lived perennial in Zones 9-11.

Height/Spread:

Sprawling or mounding habit, with plants growing 4-10 inches tall, 10-48 inches wide, with branches trailing up to 36 inches long.

Exposure:

Sweet alyssum blooms best with at least six hours of full sun, but can tolerate partial shade. In warmer climates, plants perform best with protection from hot afternoon sun.

Bloom time:

Spring until the first hard frost.

Color and characteristics:

The alyssum flower has tiny, hairy, oval leaves that are green, blue-green, or variegated.

 Branching stems bear prolific clusters of 1/4-inch wide four-petaled blossoms. 

The delightful honey-scented flowers come in shades of white, pink, rose, lavender, purple and apricot.

You may like Allium Roseum Flower

Origin and characteristics

The alyssum flower is a wonderful garden plant they are a genus of about 170 species of annual or annual plants, herbaceous or rarely low-growing shrubs, which grow between 10 and 100cm. 

They are native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, being found above all in the Mediterranean region. The leaves are oblong ovoid, and produce yellow, white, pink, or purple flowers.

Species

The main species are:

Alyssum serpyllifolium: it is endemic to Algeria, Morocco, France, Portugal and Spain. It is a perennial, woody herb that produces yellow flowers. Its maximum height is 30-35cm.

Alyssum granatense: it is a plant known as a golden spikelet originating in the center and south of the Iberian Peninsula. It grows between 5 and 12 cm in height, and produces light-yellow flowers.

Alyssum maritimum is the ancient scientific name for Lobularia maritima, also known as sea alder or sweet alyssum. 

It is an annual or perennial plant depending on the climate, reaching 30 centimeters in height and producing white or violet flowers. 

It is native to the Mediterranean region and Macaronesia, and is used as a medicinal plant for being a diuretic and for helping to eliminate kidney stones.

How to care for the alyssum flower (Sweet Alyssum)

If you want to have many alyssum flower, we recommend that you provide the following care:

Location

It has to be placed outdoors, in full sun.

Soil

Being very adaptable, you can use universal growing substrate without problem. But if you want, mix 50% mulch + 30% perlite + 20% earthworm humus.

It grows in all types of soils, as long as it is neutral to clayey and has good drainage.

Watering

Irrigation is one of the most difficult tasks to master. Especially when people tell you that if you overwater your plant it will die but what happens is that we do the opposite and don’t put enough water and then it dies. So you must have a balance. 

And that is not good either. So, to get your Alyssum to grow well, you need to know when to water it.

During the summer, as it is usually a very hot and dry season at many points, you will have to water very often, but the rest of the year not so much. 

It is advisable to check the humidity of the soil, for example with a digital humidity meter, or by inserting a thin wooden stick (if it is practically clean when removed, water it; otherwise, do not water ).

Substrate for land

Liquid guano, a perfect fertilizer for your Alyssum

If it is planted in the garden, it does not need to be fertilized; On the other hand, if you have it in a pot, I advise you to use it once a month with organic fertilizers, such as the guano (liquid) that you can get here. 

Do not forget to follow the indications specified on the package since, although it is natural there is a risk of overdose since it is very concentrated.

Multiplication

The alyssum flower is multiplied by seeds in spring and the shrub species also by cuttings after flowering. 

Let’s see how to proceed in each case:

Seeds

The first thing to do is fill a seedbed (like this one here) with universal growing medium.

Then, the seeds are sown, placing a maximum of two in each socket.

They are then covered with a thin layer of substrate.

Finally, it is watered and placed outdoors, in full sun.

Thus they will germinate in 2 or 3 weeks.

Cuttings

When the flowers have wilted, cut a piece of about 30 centimeters, impregnate the base with rooting hormones or homemade rooting, and then plant it in a pot with previously watered vermiculite.

If all goes well, it will issue its own roots within a month.

Plagues and diseases

It is a plant very resistant to the usual pests and diseases, but if the cultivation conditions are not adequate, it can be affected by mealybugs, aphids, and if it is watered excessively, by fungi. 

The first two are fought with potassium soap (for sale here) or diatomaceous earth (get it here), and the last with copper or sulfur in spring and autumn.

Pruning

You don’t need it. Maybe just cut the withered flowers and the dried leaves with scissors -for example, sewing, or children’s- previously disinfected with pharmacy alcohol or a few drops of dishwasher and water.

Rusticity

Alyssum flowers are very decorative

It will depend on the species, but in principle they resist light frosts of up to -7ºC.

How to choose the right alyssum flower

With so many uses for sweet alyssum, just peak the one you like and don’t overthink it. 

For containers, hanging baskets and window boxes

Choose trailing varieties, and combine with other plants with upright and mounding habits for the “thriller, filler, spiller” effect.

For edging and between pavers

Use varieties that stay compact so that plants don’t spill into areas meant for walking.

For bedding displays

Mass plants together for greater impact, and to keep plantings in scale with the landscape.