Alyssum belong to the Cruciferae family and are indigenous to the Mediterranean region. Alyssum are regarded as self-sowing annuals in all zones, although they are able to tolerate a mild frost. The plants are densely growing and can grow to heights of 3 to 10 inches. The tiny, sweet-smelling blossoms of alyssum range in color from pink, white and even purple. They are grown in hanging baskets, as garden edging and even as ground cover.
Planting Alyssum Seeds Indoors
Alyssum can be directly seeded into your garden, but to get an early start on germinating your alyssum seeds, start them indoors about three to four weeks before spring.
Put seed starting mix into your planting cells or your peat pots. Thoroughly saturate the seed starting mix in the planting cells, but just lightly mist the soil in the peat pots until they are well moistened.
Place a few alyssum seeds into each of the planting cells or peat pots. With your finger tip, push the seeds firmly into the soil. Cover with no more than approximately 1/16 inch of the seed starting mix. Spray the surface of the soil with water until it's well dampened.
Put your alyssum seeds where they will have warmth and light. At least six to eight hours of light each day and in an ideal temperature of above 65 to70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check on the seeds every day or so, and keep your alyssum seeds moistened by using your plant mister or garden sprayer. Germination time for alyssum is generally seven to 14 days. Once your alyssum seeds have sprouted, keep them moist, but not soaked.
When your alyssum seedlings have grown to about 2 to 3 inches in height, decide where you want to plant them; in hanging baskets, containers, such as barrels, or directly into your flower garden.
To plant your alyssum seedlings into soil, dig holes which are slightly bigger than each of your planting receptacles and are approximately 3 to 5 inches apart in rows which are 12 inches apart. For planting in containers, make sure to use a good quality potting mix, fill up the container with potting mix, water until the water starts to come out of the containers drain holes.
Push up gently from the bottom of a planting cell to remove an alyssum seedling. Don't remove the seedling from a peat pot, the peat will disintegrate in the ground. Center the seedling in the hole and push the soil in around the seedling, firming the soil with your hand or trowel as you go. Water each of the alyssum seedlings thoroughly.
Planting Alyssum Seeds Outdoors
To sow alyssum seeds directly into a place in your garden, make sure to choose a sunny location. Remove any rocks, weeds, sticks or any other objects that might interfere with the germination of the alyssum seeds.
Push a few alyssum seeds into the soil, spacing should be approximately 3 inches apart, cover with no more than 1/16 of soil. Gently mist the whole area you planted your alyssum seeds, being careful not to displace any of the seeds. Place planting stakes around the area where you planted your seeds, to help mark the location so you know exactly where to water.
Use a fine mist of water to keep the area where you planted your alyssum seeds moistened, but not drenched. Germination time for seeding alyssum outdoors varies, but typically is 10 to 14 days.
Once your alyssum seedlings have grown to about 3 to 4 inches in height, thin them out to no less than 6 inches apart.
Things You Will Need
- Alyssum seeds
- Seed starting mix
- Potting mix
- Peat pots or planting cells
- Planting stakes
- Plant sprayer, or garden mister
- To care and maintain your alyssum, Floridata suggests watering your alyssum only when they are dry, since over watering can cause the plants to rot.
- When planting alyssum, keep in mind they prefer sunny locations and although they aren't overly fussy about soil, they prefer sandy (or loam) soil types.