Growing Guide
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Sweet Alyssum

Annual Flower

Also known as Carpet Flower
Lobularia maritima
Brassicaceae Family
Synonym: Lobularia maritimum

This fragrant plant is valued for its dainty foliage and tiny white flowers. Its creeping habit makes it very useful for edging and for filling in gaps in pathways and stone walls. Easy to start and get to flower even if planted as late as July.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
  • part shade
Performs best in cooler weather.

Soil conditions:

  • requires damp soil

Special locations:

  • outdoor containers
  • rock gardens
  • xeriscapes
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: annual

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 0.2 to 1 feet

Spread: 0.75 to 1 feet

Bloom time:

  • late spring
  • early summer
  • mid-summer
  • late summer
  • early fall
  • mid-fall

Flower color:

  • violet
  • white
  • pink

Foliage texture: fine

Shape: spreading mass

Shape in flower: same as above

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America
  • fragrant
  • butterflies
Special uses:
  • direct-seeding
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed - Direct seed in garden in mid- to late spring, or indoors 4 to 6 weeks before last frost. Do not cover the seeds, as they need light to germinate.

Germination temperature: 65 F to 70 F

Days to emergence: 14

Maintenance and care:
Trim to encourage flowering.

More growing information: How to Grow Annuals

Rhizoctonia root and stem rot
Varieties come in different shades of purple and pink, varying heights and spreads, some with double flowers (on varieties that florists use) and some with larger flowers.

'Snowdrift': white flowers are larger than traditional alyssum. Grows from 3 to 6” tall.

‘Easter Bonnet’ Series: blooms earlier in the season and retains its mounded shape and attractive appearance longer into the growing season than traditional alyssum. White, purple and pink shades for flowers.

‘Basket’ Series: these plants spread quickly, and are grown especially for hanging baskets. Flowers in shades of white, pink, purple, yellow and peach.

‘Aphrodite’ Series: white, yellow, peach, purple and pink shades for flower colors. One of the few annual alyssum varieties with yellow blooms.

‘Wonderland’ Series: purple, white or pink flowers on compact (3 to 6” tall) plants.

‘Snow Crystals’: flowers are white and larger than traditional alyssum flowers.

'Rosie O’Day': early blooming, 4” tall plant with spread of nearly 1’. Rosy red flowers hold their color long into the growing season.

‘Trailing Rosy Red’: rosy pink flowers on long, trailing plants. Excellent for hanging baskets.