Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) organically grown flower seeds. Floral Encounters.
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Item # Packet size Nett Weight Number Seeds(approx) Price Qty
Small 0.19 g 500 seeds $2.00
Medium 0.38 g 1000 seeds $3.50
Large 0.95 g 2500 seeds $6.00

Please note: all seeds are sold by weight and seed count is approximate.

To keep seed prices low much of our seed is semi cleaned. More Info

 

Alyssum is a very tough little full sun plant that no garden should be without. It germinates readily and can grow in almost on almost any soil that is well drained although it prefers poorer soils and will produce more flowers when planted there. Too much rich soil brings more leaves and less flowers. Alyssum makes a wonderful ground cover, a living mulch under prized plants where it beats out the weeds. It can even be used to cover whole areas like a lawn of flowers. Its continuous production of sweet smelling flowers is a magnate for pollinators including butterflies, bees, native bees and even humming birds. All these insects also attract those who eat them, so if planted around prized plants such as vegetables or roses the predators will also clean up any insect pests that are lurking there. Alyssum is very salt tolerant and is a great plant for shore side gardens (hence its name maritima) where it will bloom on almost pure sand. It will grow out of cracks in a blacktop driveway, on almost pure gravel and in other areas where no other plant seems able to find water. Its fairly drought tolerant but will need some water if there is no rain. Once planted needs no maintenance just enjoy all the beautiful flowers. In warmer zones it will flower all year but above zone 7 its dies back in winter. Deer don't seem to eat it much, rabbits will if there is nothing else. It's reported as edible, it tastes like broccoli, so it's your choice if you consider that edible or not.

Description of Alyssum (Lobularia maritima).
This tough plant grows quickly and can reach 3-9" tall (7.6-23 cm). From very early in its life it begins to produce masses of tiny cross-shaped, 4 petal flowers that are most commonly white but some cultivars offer pale pink and purple. Flowers are clustered together at the end of each branch as dense terminal racemes. They are extremely sweet smelling (hence the name) with a delicate honey-like fragrance and so prolific that the foliage is often not visible. The leaves are narrow, lance-shaped, slightly hairy gray-green leaves. The plants are very shallow rooted so are easily susceptible to environmental changes. Alyssum is not cold tolerant so it will die back in zones above 7 so is grown as an annual. In zones 8 and warmer it will act as a perennial and continue to grow all year long. White varieties usually have the most scent and are more robust than their colored counterparts.

Growing Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) from Seed.
Seeds need light to germinate so do not cover.
Can be either grown by direct sowing or indoors for early start.
We recommend direct sowing for this plant as it produces much stronger more robust plants and it germinates quickly and easily. Often pot grown plants if not given sufficient light and airflow tend to be straggly and weak and take more time to recover once planted out so time gained by early sowing is lost. However if growing for use in planters, hanging baskets or transplanting to mulch starting indoors is best. Try to get transplants outside - in their pots - to harden off as soon as the frost is past so plants can toughen up and begin producing flowers as soon as possible. For more details on growing seeds see our General Growing Instructions.

Direct sow. Remove all the weeds and other items from the desired location rake the ground and ensure there is a coating of fine soil. Sprinkle the seeds carefully on the ground at a distance of about 3" (7.6cm) apart then gently step on the to press them down and give good contact with the soil. Mist lightly and keep moist until the seedlings germinate. Do not water with a hard hose setting as this can wash all the seeds into one location resulting in uneven flower spacing. Seedlings can be transplanted afterwards but its more time and effort.

If planting on a slope take care to ensure good adherence to the soil as heavy rains - or hard watering - can wash the seeds to the base of the slope.

Location and Care of Alyssum (Lobularia maritima).
Needs full sun for best results. It prefers soil with a reasonable amount of organic content as this helps to keep moisture around its roots. Alyssum is very shallow rooted so it will dry out quickly in very well drained soils such as sandy loam. While it is quite happy in hot dryish areas it needs a soil that will hold the moisture but is still well drained. It does not like soggy or waterlogged soils. It will tolerate some drought in the right soil but not a prolonged one it will flop and stop producing flowers. A weekly watering if its not rained should keep it happy. In very hot zones some shade from the noon sun would be suitable to ensure it does not dry out too much. In cooler areas full sun is essential for good flower production in shade the plants become leggy and don't flower much.
This is an ideal plant for shore areas as its is fairly salt tolerant - salt in the air not full salt spray. It can be grown in large areas to form snowy mounds covering otherwise unused ground or around other plants as a sort of living mulch. Once in full bloom the spreading branches keep moisture from evaporating as much which is beneficial to all other plants. The masses of blooms attract bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects so planting near or around vegetables as a much also aids in them. It can be planted in mulched areas to make them look nicer and give more color to the garden.

Where and how it grows will depend on your climate. If you usually have plenty of rain then it can be encouraged to grow in cracks in walls, even on almost pure sand. In areas that don't get as much water then a lusher soil will be needed and added water required. Whatever your location it's a great plant to have.

Sweet Alyssum has a mounding flowing habit so it is great for hanging baskets or cascading out of planters. It will grow almost anywhere there is full sun.

Space plants at least 4 inches (10 cm) apart they will grow to 6-10" (15-25cm) and form one continuous mat. Alyssum does better on poorer soils so do not feed the plants much as this can encourage leaf grow rather than flowers and often this may trap too much moisture and the plants can rot. For the same reason don't overwater, once a week should be enough and less if its rained. In many places no care at all will be needed once the plants have started to grow.

Sheering Alyssum (Lobularia maritima).
Some growers recommend shearing the tops off the plants every now and again to encourage more flower development. We suggest doing this only if your plants start to look leggy and stop producing flowers. Often if plants become weaker its easier to just sow a few more seeds around them and then pull the plant out as the new ones begin to grow. Often Alyssum will self seed and come back every year making your job easier. They never really become a problems since they are shallow rooted and very easy to pull up if they are unwanted. However think carefully before you pull extra flowers might be a good thing.
How to sheer. If you have just a few plants, a pair of scissors will do the job. If a large plot or even a 'lawn' then you can always set the mower on a high space setting and cut the whole lot down. Test on one area before you cut all the plants to make sure you are happy with the results. Medium jobs are best done with sheers.
Sheering can be time consuming and cause backache we don't recommend it unless you really feel its necessary.

Insect attraction a real benefit.
The masses of sweet smelling flowers that bloom continuously are a magnate for pollinator insects. The plant is usually covered in bees, butterflies and even hummingbirds are attracted to the nectar. This massive inflow of insects also attract insect predators. To this end planting them around vegetable gardens or roses can be highly beneficial as the attracted predators then move on to clean out any aphids or other pests that have taken up residence on your prized plants. A must for all pollinator or butterfly gardens.

Culinary Uses of Alyssum (Lobularia maritima).
The flowers and even the young leaves are edible. They are quite pungent and taste a little like broccoli leaf but a little more spicy.

Medical uses of Alyssum (Lobularia maritima).
Alyssum has not really been used much in Western Herbalism although it has been reportedly used to treat gonorrhea due to its astringent properties. In Afghanistan it is reportedly used in the treatment of asthma and nervous disorders. At one time it was apparently used to treat rabies which is where the common names madwort and healbite were derived. This suggested use was apparently to help calm anger, whether this was from the rabies itself or to treat the symptoms has still to be explored.

Caution.
Some people with very sensitive skin get a rash from handling this plant.

Other names.
Seaside lobularia, gum alison, madwort, healbite, sweet Alison, and Mary's cushion.