How to Grow Alyssum Flowers

Alyssum Flower 2016-01

Growing Alyssum Plants in Your Home Flower Garden

Growing Alyssum plants is easy. Delicate and tender Alyssum flowers are usually used as a border or edging plant. It is perennial that is most often grown as an annual as the plants are very sensitive to frost. They also look good growing in the nooks and crannies of a rock garden. Sow perennial alyssum seeds in a window box. Also, they are good candidates for container gardens, too. More on Rock Gardens.

Alyssum are small plants, growing just three to nine inches tall, depending upon variety. Dainty Alyssum plants have a profusion of flowers, with white being the most popular. The plants are good ground cover in hard-to-grow areas and on hillsides. Also, you can use it as an edging plant as a border around flowerbeds.

Perennial Alyssum plants attract pollinators, including bees, ants, and butterflies. It is a good companion plant Gardeners and even commercial farms plant alyssum around their crops to attract these pollinators.

Alyssum Plant Specifics

Flower colors: pink, violet, purple, and lavender.

Flowers Bloom: Spring to early summer

Most Popular Varieties: Carpet of Snow, Mountain Gold

Plant height: 3″ – 9″

Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade

Edible? Yes

Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.5.

Hardiness Zones: 5 – 9

Native To:  The Mediterranean, Canary Islands and the Azores.

Short-lived Perennial, Cruciferae

Is Alyssum Edible?

Yes. It is a member of the mustard family. The entire plant is edible, including the leaves, flowers, and seeds.  The flavor is akin to horseradish, with a somewhat bitter taste. Use any parts of the plant in salads and soups.  The flower has a milder taste. Try it as a garnish.

Alyssum Medicinal Uses

Over the years various cultures have used Alyssum plants for a variety of medical purposes.

Among them are:

  • Alleviate abdominal pain.
  • It is used to treat colds and coughs.
  • Treat kidney problems.
  • It has been used for rabies and scurvy.
  • Treatment for Gonorrhea.
  • Alyssum has also been used for bleeding gums and as a painkiller.

Alyssum Plant Propagation

Alyssum is grown from seed. Sow Alyssum seeds directly into your flower garden. You can also start seeds indoors for transplanting later. If planting outdoors, sow Alyssum seeds after the soil has begun to warm in the spring. Alyssum does not like frost, so if started indoors, transplant them outdoors after the last frost date.

Space plants eight to ten inches apart.

Sow seeds early in the season and cover lightly with soil. Water thoroughly once. Alyssum will begin to produce a continuous profusion of sweet-smelling flowers by mid-summer.

Days to Germination: 5 -15

How to Grow Alyssum Flower Plants

Growing Alyssum is easy.

Alyssum plants grow best in full to partial sun. Because they are good re-seeders, select a location where they can grow undisturbed for years.

The plants will do well in average soils and tolerate dry soil conditions. Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week. However, they do not like prolonged wet soil. So, the soil should drain well.

Add a general-purpose fertilizer once a month.

Weed around the plants until they are well established. A light layer of mulch will help to keep the weeds down and help to retain soil moisture.

Once your Alyssum is established, it will grow well until the first frost. Alyssum are tender annuals and highly susceptible to frost.

The plant’s flowers are prolific seeders. Next spring, they will grow from the seeds dropped from the flowers. 

Insects and Plant Disease

Perennial Alyssum flowers are somewhat resistant to insects and disease. If insect or disease problems occur, treat them early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicides.

The plants do not like wet soil. It can lead to root rot and plant disease.

Also see: Plant Problems – causes and cures

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