Alyssum, Royal Carpet
Colorful, storybook edging for borders and beds.
Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.
Full Sun, Part Sun
Height The typical height of this product at maturity.
Spread The width of the plant at maturity.
Ornamental Use Ways in which the product may be used in the garden for ornamental effect.
Life Cycle This refers to whether a plant is an annual, biennial or perennial. Annuals complete their life cycles in one year; biennials produce foliage the first year and bloom and go to seed the second year; perennials can live for more than two years.
Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.
Alyssum may be sown directly in the garden after frost or planted as a potted plant.
Sowing Directly in the Garden:
- Direct sow seeds in average soil in full sun to part shade after danger of heavy frost.
- Sow seeds 6 inches apart and barely press in; light aids germination.
- Firm soil lightly and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings will emerge in 8-10 days.
Planting Potted Plants:
- Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
- Most plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. If compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost. After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments are needed for the following season.
- Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
- Set level with the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water.
- Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
- Use the plant tag as a location marker.
- Keep soil evenly moist but not wet.
- Shear plants back by one-half after the first flush of flowers has ended to encourage new buds to form.
- Plants self-sow so allow some to set seeds.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
- Remove plants after they are killed by heavy frost in fall to avoid disease issues the following year.
- Alyssum performs best in areas with relatively cool summers, but can grow anywhere.
- Alyssum makes a great temporary ground cover and grows nicely with dianthus, violets, and thyme. Plant alyssum between stepping stones or in paving cracks, or grow it in containers. Alyssum also makes a great addition to a butterfly or seaside garden.
- Alyssum has a sweet fragrance. Plant where you can enjoy this, such as in a windowbox. Because of the fragrance it will also attract bees, butterflies and many beneficial insects such as lady bugs.