An Essential Guide to Growing Alyssum: Tips for Thriving Flowers

Master Alyssum Gardening: Planting Tips, Care, and Maintenance

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By Max Bender

how to grow alyssum

Alyssum is a type of flowering plant belonging to the mustard family, Brassicaceae. Native to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa, it is now commonly found in gardens worldwide, including America. Alyssum flowers are known for their small, fragrant clusters that come in white, yellow, pink, or purple. They are often used as ground covers or in rock gardens due to their low growth and ease of spreading. This plant is also popular among gardeners for attracting beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, making it ideal for pollinator-friendly gardens.

Here are some practical tips for growing alyssum and enjoying its beautiful, highly decorative flowers.

How to Grow Alyssum: An Essential Guide

Here are some practical tips for growing this plant.

When to Plant and Where to Grow Alyssum

Plant alyssum outdoors in late spring, from April to June. Alternatively, you can start as early as February or March in a protected seedbed.

Alyssum thrives in sunlight. Place it in a sunny spot since shade or low light can slow its growth and flowering.

Ideal Climate for Growing Alyssum

Alyssum does best in a temperate climate. It’s a hardy plant that can withstand cold well, as long as it gets enough light.

Recommended Soil

Alyssum isn’t fussy about soil and grows well in any type. However, it prefers dry, sandy, and well-drained soils.

how to grow alyssum
Alyssum can produce produces wonderful, highly decorative flowers, small and clustered, in various colors

Fertilizing Alyssum

In the spring, enrich the soil with a specific fertilizer every three weeks. You can choose between a liquid fertilizer to mix with watering water or a slow-release granular type.

Watering Alyssum

Alyssum likes moisture. Keep the soil consistently moist, adjusting watering based on the climate—more frequent and abundant in summer, reduced in winter. Always check the soil before watering again to avoid waterlogging, which alyssum doesn’t tolerate well.

Growing Alyssum in Pots

This plant is perfect for pot cultivation as well, adding color to balconies.

Choose a pot wide enough for the roots, and you can plant two seedlings together if there’s space, spacing them about 20-25 cm apart. Place the pot in a bright area and water regularly. In winter, bring the plant indoors and fertilize every two weeks with a flower-specific fertilizer.

Pruning Alyssum

Alyssum requires minimal pruning. Just remove dry, wilted, or damaged parts.

Propagating Alyssum

For propagation, cuttings are effective. Use sharp, sterilized shears to cut 7-8 cm pieces, root them in moist, sandy soil, and once strong enough, transplant them into pots or the ground.

You can also grow it from seeds. To grow alyssum from seeds, place them on moistened soil in small groups, press firmly into the ground but do not cover with soil. Keep the soil moist until germination.

how to grow alyssum

Common Issues with Alyssum

While generally robust, alyssum can suffer from fungal diseases like powdery mildew, rust, downy mildew, and scab. Prevent these by avoiding water stagnation. After watering potted alyssum, check and empty any excess water from saucers.

Pests Control

Alyssum may attract pests such as aphids, scale insects, stink bugs, mites, and whiteflies. If infested, use commercial products or natural remedies like neem oil, pyrethrum, and soft soap for control.

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