How to Plant Alyssum


The darling of summer annual baskets, window boxes, and borders, sweet alyssum creates a soft, dense blanket of abundant blooms in mild weather. Adored for its white, pink, and lavender flowers, dark green foliage and pleasing scent, alyssum has a place in just about any garden type or location.

Step 1

Choose a location in full sun with well drained soil. Alyssum is also an excellent choice for containers, window boxes, and hanging baskets.

Step 2

Plant alyssum starts in beds several inches apart to allow for mature plant growth. If using as a ground cover, plant 6 inches apart with plants in staggered rows to maximize mature coverage. In containers, alyssum is happy to be crowded and will likely solve the space problem by trailing down over the side.

Step 3

Water transplants well and keep alyssum moist throughout the summer. Check containers and baskets frequently during hot weather to ensure adequate moisture. Water if the soil is dry to a depth of one inch.

Step 4

Fertilize with a diluted liquid plant food at half strength every two weeks. This is especially important for alyssum in containers because of the loss of nutrients from frequent watering and draining.

Step 5

Revive alyssum that has stopped flowering in the mid-summer heat by cutting back the spent bloom florets and watering consistently. New growth should return within a two-week time period.

Step 6

Cut back alyssum plants before winter and leave in the ground. In USDA zones 3 to 9, alyssum may self-seed and return in the following spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Alyssum starts
  • Garden shears
  • Liquid fertilizer


  • Michigan State University Extension, Lobularia--Sweet Alyssum, Alyssum
  • University of Illinois HortAnswers, Sweet Alyssum
  • Clemson University Cooperative Extension, Hanging Baskets and Window Boxes

Who Can Help

  • The United States National Arboretum, USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: grow sweet alyssum, plant alyssum, care for alyssum

About this Author

Desirae Roy began writing in 2009. After earning certification as an interpreter for the deaf, Roy earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Eastern Washington University. Part of her general studies included a botany course leading to a passion for the natural world.