How to Grow Sweet Alyssum & Care Guide

There aren’t many annuals that can hold up as well as sweet alyssum does in high temperatures and dry conditions.

It’s a flowering plant that’s naturalized in the US and does well there in a variety of climates.

The sweet alyssum flower, a member of the mustard family, gets its name from its energizing aroma.

Although sweet alyssum is killed by frost, it will self-sow and return year after year in warmer climes.

Sweet Alyssum Plants

Lobularia maritima, sometimes known as sweet alyssum, is a flower that thrives in arid conditions and can be used in a variety of garden settings.

The plants only grow to a height of 3 to 6 inches (7.5 to 15 cm) at most, and their flowers are produced in dense clusters. There are a wide variety of flower colors to choose from.

Flowers bloom from June through October, and you can get more blooms out of them by removing the faded ones.

How to Grow Alyssum

Sweet alyssum requires a medium-humidity, well-drained soil environment to thrive.

The plants thrive in a wide variety of soil conditions and add a cheery touch to any setting.

Plant seeds indoors in seed flats in early spring, and then move them outdoors once the frost risk has gone.

The tiny seed should be sown on a wet surface and let 15 to 20 days to germinate.

When the soil temperature reaches at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius), and the seedlings have multiple sets of genuine leaves, they can be transplanted into a ready garden bed.

Growing alyssum from seeds is simple, and you can get more flowers for your money than you would by buying bedding plants.

How to Plant Alyssum

Alyssum planting instructions are simple to learn. In milder climes, sweet alyssum blooms can be planted from seed outdoors immediately.

Although sweet alyssum plants can survive in partial shade, full sun is ideal.

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Before you plant anything, you should get the soil ready by removing any weeds, mixing in any organic amendments, and scraping away any debris.

Dig a hole and fill it with water to see how well your soil drains before you plant your seedlings there.

Soil that doesn’t drain fast can benefit from the addition of compost, leaf litter, or grit-like sand.

Preventing weeds from growing in the bed will help your plants thrive by limiting competition for water and nutrients.

Sweet Alyssum Flower Problems

The sweet alyssum plant is low-maintenance and easy to grow.

Alyssum requires little attention, although it won’t thrive in wet areas or if there isn’t enough water.

It has a low susceptibility to pests but can develop stem rot or leaf blight if the leaves and soil never get a chance to dry out because of the constant presence of shadow.

When grown in humid conditions, sweet alyssum plants are susceptible to Botrytis blight.

Cut down the plants after they bloom to encourage a continuous supply of bright, delicious alyssum blossoms.


By removing spent blossoms from sweet alyssum, you can encourage the growth of new flowers and buds on the plants.

Instead of spending time deadheading a large number of plants, you can save time by shearing them by a third. Some species are able to easily self-seed.

Pruning is necessary to prevent the plants from becoming lanky and unruly.

Propagating Sweet Alyssum

This rapid-developing plant thrives in the early spring. It spreads rapidly from the seed.

Before the final frost, start the seeds indoors so you may move them outside when the danger of frost has passed.

Once established, alyssum can withstand light frosts, but delicate transplants are vulnerable to the cold.

Alternatively, you can sow the seeds directly into the ground once the soil has thawed and can be worked.

This plant is ideal for use as a filler or edger, where it may be placed alongside other plants to conceal bare spots in the soil and help them flourish.

This carpet-forming plant grows slowly and is rarely propagated in any other way.

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How to Grow Sweet Alyssum From Seed

Sweet alyssum is easily accessible as both seeds and flats for transplanting into gardens.

The seeds should be scattered on top of the soil and lightly pressed down so that they establish good contact with the soil and remain exposed to light in order to germinate.

Water frequently until germination, but don’t let the soil dry out completely.

Potting and Repotting Sweet Alyssum

Even in small spaces, sweet alyssum can flourish. Use high-quality potting soil and drill holes in the bottom of the container so that excess water can drain.

It looks great alone or mixed in with petunias and other low-maintenance plants in hanging baskets and window boxes.

To perform a transplant, fill the container with dirt, create a hole that’s slightly larger than the root ball, transfer the plant into the hole, and cover it with soil.

The soil level should be at least two inches below the top of the container.


Alyssum needs to be pruned back in the winter, covered with frost cloth, or brought indoors in containers to survive the winter.

Another option is to do nothing at all. It’s a prolific self-seeder, so when the ground thaws in late winter or early spring, you can clear away the dead branches to make room for the seeds that were left behind from the previous growing season.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Downy mildew, stem and crown rot, and overall decline can affect sweet alyssum if the soil drains poorly.

Avoiding overwatering is essential for the survival of these plants.

Sweet alyssum attracts butterflies, pollinators, and songbirds but faces major difficulties from various pests and illnesses.

How to Get Sweet Alyssum to Bloom

As its name implies, sweet alyssum has a pleasantly sweet scent, almost reminiscent of honey. Its blooms form dense clusters.

The entire process of a seed sprouting, growing, and blooming takes around two months. As summer progresses, it blooms in some areas.

There are spring and fall-blooming frost-resistant variants. Removing the faded blossoms from a plant is called “deadheading.” When fresh growth is desired, a water-soluble fertilizer can be applied.

Common Problems With Sweet Alyssum

In warmer climates, this plant can grow aggressively, spreading without much help from humans.

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However, expansion beyond such zones can be more challenging.

Temperatures above or below freezing, too much water, improper drainage, nutrient-poor soil, and an absence of sunlight all fall into this category.

Wilting Flowers and Foliage

The heat and lack of adequate drainage could cause alyssum to wilt if you haven’t planted it in a suitable location.

Alyssum struggles in very hot environments. Although most varieties would wither in the hottest part of summer, some have been bred to thrive under such conditions.

While water can be used to combat heat, it’s important that the soil be able to drain quickly and effectively.

To sum up, withering is to be expected. When temperatures cool down in the fall, there is hope for a recovery.

In addition to watering and feeding the wilted plant with a water-soluble fertiliser, you can prune it by a third to stimulate new growth.

Curling Flowers and Leaves

Look under the leaves and flower petals for tiny sap-sucking cyclamen mites if you see curling flowers and foliage.

If you have a magnifying lens, you can make out their shape as little oval spiders, but without one, you would never know they were there.

If your plant has a pest problem, you can treat it with neem oil or insecticidal soap. 2

Yellowing Leaves

A sudden increase in temperature, transplant shock, a lack of water, or insufficient soil nutrients can all cause your plant’s leaves to turn yellow.

If a leaf turns yellow on a plant, it means it is about to die.

A few yellow leaves on a plant are a warning indication but not necessarily a death sentence.

You should investigate what’s causing the problem so that you can put an end to its spread.

When a plant’s entire body wilts, the flowers and leaves die as well.

If you want your sweet alyssum to bloom again, you’ll need to prune it and move it somewhere warmer.

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