Guide to growing garden plants - Lobularia Sweet Alyssum
The Lobularia genus contains small perennial plants that are often grown as hardy annuals in the garden.
They reach from 7 to 30 cm in height making them great to use as edging plants.
They carry clustered flowers of white, pink or purple that have a pleasant fragrance and bloom from summer through to autumn.
Some of the common names for Lobularia include Sweet Alyssum and Snowdrift.
Quick Lobularia Growing Guide and Facts
Common Names: Sweet Alyssum, Sweet Alison, Snowdrift.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial commonly grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 4 to 16 inches (10 to 40 cm).
Growing Region: Zones 5 to 8. As a perennial in zones 9 and 10.
Flowers: Summer and autumn. Year round in frost-free area.
Flower Details: White, purple, lavender, pink. Tiny. Four petals. Fragrant.
Foliage: Lanceolate. Oval.
Sow Outside: Surface. Before last frost or in autumn. Spacing 6 to 14 inches (15 to 35 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: four days to two weeks in the light. Temperature 60 to 70°F (16 to 21°C). Seven or eight weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Soil pH 5.5 to 7. Loam. Moist soil. Can survive in dry soils. Regular watering. Trim off spent blooms.
How to grow Sweet Alyssum
When growing Sweet Alyssum from seeds sow on the surface a few weeks before the last frost of spring or in autumn. Sweet Alyssum and other Lobularia can grow in both sunny and partially shaded areas of the garden. They prefer a soil that is a moist and loamy and of pH 6 to 7.
If starting off Sweet Alyssum indoors then start about 8 weeks in advance. The seeds require light and a temperature of 12 to 21 degrees Celsius to germinate; this usually takes from one to two weeks. Once ready the young Sweet Alyssum should be transplanted at about 20 to 25 cm apart.
Caring for Sweet Alyssum in the garden
It is easy to look after Sweet Alyssum; they need to be watered regularly; if you want a prolonged flowering period then cut back half of the stems before flowering has occurred.