A Guide To Caring For The Alyssum Flower
The sweet alyssum flower is often compared to a cheerful blotch of summer sunshine. They are delicate, beautiful plants that are available in a bouquet of colors including white, yellow, pink and lavender. These are annual plants which means that they generally will only offer a full bloom once and then they will go dormant until the following year. The delicate scent of the alyssum flower makes them a welcome addition to any garden.
Description And Uses
These are ideal to use along sunny borders as wedging plants and in rock gardens or sunny rock walls. They are happiest in any area of full sun with well-drained soil. If the plant is subjected to shade you may end up being quite disappointed with how much it blooms and wet locations can lead to read rot. Working a bit of compost into the designated location prior to planting can help with soil drainage.
The most popular alyssum flower that decorates most gardens is the saxatile, offering shades of gold and growing to just under one foot tall. The foliage is a grayish shade and it is quite persistent as the leaves will hold onto the stems, even when withered in the winter. In the springtime, it turns into a mass of gold clusters as the buds open into perfect flowers.
Once the plants are done blooming, it is recommended to sheer them back unless you want them to create seeds. They will continue to offer a scattering of lovely blossoms through the summer if provided ideal growing conditions.
The stems of the alyssum flower do tend to be woody and some gardeners report that they die or rot away in the winter or occasionally when the plant is done blooming. If you have this problem, you may just want to add more soil to your next batch of plants to make sure that there is adequate support. Once these plants become established they will typically live for many years.
Planting From Seeds
If you ever desire additional plants, all you need to do is allow the alyssum flower enough time to mature to produce seeds. If for some reason you run into difficulty germinating the seeds, you can try planting new seeds immediately after they mature.
It is easiest to plant the seeds in a flat or a flower pot. Germination occurs fast and since the seeds of this plant are so thin, only a very thin layer of soil is needed over them. These plants do not appreciate at all being disturbed however, if they do start crowding each other, they need to be separated.
Once transplanting is complete, you should set the pots in a shady area where they can grow until spring of the following year. They should be watered when necessary, taking caution to not soak them. In the spring when you are ready to move them to their desired location in your garden you will probably find that their roots are quite large and growing out of the pot. Be as gentle as you can to not disturb the root growth during transplanting and you will enjoy fresh blooms every year.
It is important to note that every plant will not always produce seeds. If this is the case, in the spring you can divide older plants or you can take cuttings from the plant once it has blossomed. Simply remove the lowest leaves off of the plant and place the cuttings in a pot. Find a shady location to sink the pot in soil and cover it up with a glass jar. Once you can see that it has rooted, you can remove the jar and then transplant the following spring.