How do I grow the Alyssum Carpet of Snow plant

How do I grow the Alyssum Carpet of Snow plant?

The Alyssum Carpet of Snow plant is very easily grown from seed in the ground or raised pots. And here’s how you can do it:

  1. Prepare and loosen the soil of the garden bed or pot. 
  1. Sow the alyssum seeds in their bed.
  1. Mist the soil to keep it moist.
  1. Wait for the seeds to germinate within 8 to 10 days.
  1. When they have grown 2 inches tall, trim your plants so they’re 6 to 8 inches apart.

Learn more about planting these tiny flowering alyssum beauties. Here, we will also delve into how to grow them indoors and how to properly care for them.

How do I grow alyssums indoors?

How do I grow alyssums indoors

Growing alyssums indoors entails a different approach. For this, follow the steps below:

  1. Get a seed tray with several small receptacles.
  1. Fill each one with a seed-starter mix.
  1. Give 1 to 2 weeks for the seeds to germinate.

Tip: we recommend using a seed tray that comes with a dome or a rectangular cover to help achieve the optimum temperature and humidity for the seeds.

Alternatively, you can use a heat mat to jumpstart or hasten the seed germination process.

 When should I plant sweet alyssum?

When should I plant sweet alyssum

When you should plant alyssum depends on whether you plan to grow it outdoors or indoors.

  • For outdoor alyssums:

You should plant sweet alyssum outdoors after the winter season. While it can tolerate light frost conditions, it’s best to grow them from early spring.

Like most plants, these wonderful shrubs need warmth and moisture to survive, and these two things are amply provided to them in spring.

Be aware that there can be some instances when the plants become inactive in the middle of the summer.

But don’t worry. Keep tending and caring for them as usual, and soon, when temperatures have lowered going into autumn, they’ll resume their growth.

Alyssum Carpet of Snow Spacing

When sowing the seeds, make sure they’re spaced 2 inches apart from each other. 

Once the alyssum has become 2 inches tall, spread out the plants so they have 6 to 8 inches of space between them, allowing them to grow fast and comfortably.

  • For indoor alyssums:

You can start planting indoor alyssums as early as six to eight weeks before the winter or the last frost of the year.

How to Add Young Alyssums to the Garden

How to Add Young Alyssums to the Garden

Young alyssums or seedlings are best planted in the garden this way:

  1. Locate them in a sunny spot and well-drained soil in your garden.
  1. Make sure you give them ample space of 8 to 12 inches in between.
  1. Add compost into the soil to benefit their development.

Young alyssums can be terrific as border, container, and ornamental garden plants. If you have any extra seedlings with you, you can situate them around your other spring plants.

That’s since they grow well through the fall and can outlast other flowers. So when the others grow inactive or shed petals, they can fill in their spots in the meantime to decorate your house.

How to Take Care of Sweet Alyssums

How to Take Care of Sweet Alyssums

Now, let’s take a look at the various care aspects of the sweet alyssum plant:

  • Sunlight

Will Alyssum Carpet of Snow grow in the shade?

Yes, but alyssums love to get full morning sunlight to grow and flower at their very best. Typically, six to eight hours of sunlight daily will be enough for your valuable sweet alyssum.

However, if the weather is too hot and dry, you can just relocate the potted plant to a sun-shaded location, or its leaves will suffer from burns.

  • Soil

You should only plant the alyssum in damp, well-draining soil so it can get the water, air, and nutrients it needs to survive.

They prefer a loamy potting mix with a pH value of 6 to 7, which is slightly acidic to neutral. Speaking of which, loam creates the ideal soil texture for the plant, being a blend of the three main soils: silt, clay, and sand.

  • Temperature and Moisture Level

Generally, the flowering plant prefers cooler locations and can’t do well in zones at more than 85℉ (29.44℃).

The alyssum plant is also winter-hardy and can amazingly live in USDA cold hardiness zones 5 through 9.

Plus, a normal humidity level between 50 and 60 percent would be good for the alyssum. But, if for some reason, there’s high moisture content in the air, reduce watering your plant.

  • Water

Water the alyssum regularly once a week until the top one inch of the soil is moist. And while doing so, don’t splash over the leaves or flowers, as this will lead to mold formation or root rot.

Also, if you grow the plant in a hot or dry environment, such as on the beachside or in a shadeless spot, you would have to water it more frequently.

  • Fertilizer

Feeding sweet alyssum depends on two factors: its planting location and condition.

The first time you sow the seeds in the ground, a time-release fertilizer added to the soil would be a huge help for its development.

Usually, in-ground alyssums don’t require fertilizer, as their soil already provides them with the essential nourishment they need.

That said, if the soil isn’t optimal, you can feed them with a balanced granular or liquid fertilizer.

On the other hand, those planted in pots definitely need to be fed with the same to produce a showy carpet of blooms and foliage and have a healthy plant structure.

What’s more, if the flowers have fallen or wilted, you can feed the plant with fertilizer to encourage more to grow soon.

What is the correct way to deadhead or prune alyssums?

What is the correct way to deadhead or prune alyssums

If you see drooping or dead flowers, pinch them off gently with your fingers. For bushy or overlapping sets of leaves, use a clean garden shear to trim them until they’re removed.

Rather than prune alyssum in late fall or winter, do it in spring and summer. These are the times when they’re actively growing, so those you’ve cut can easily be replaced with new ones.

Deadheading or pruning your alyssum is essential to caring for it. The reason is that it will keep them neat and productive to bear new and beautiful flowers and leaves.

How should propagating an alyssum be done?

How should propagating an alyssum be done

Here are the steps for breeding your perennial sweet alyssum plant:

  1. Take a partially ripe cutting from the mother alyssum plant.
  1. Transfer it to a pot filled with a propagating soil mix, one of which can be equal parts of peat and coarse sand.
  1. Dip the bottom 2/3 of the alyssum cutting in rooting hormone.
  1. Give a couple of hours or overnight for the substance to absorb into the plant.
  1. Incubate the cutting in a covered pot or a propagator in the direction of light sun. 

A propagator is like a miniature greenhouse where the young plant can get controlled nourishment and care as it grows.

How do I protect the alyssum plant during the winter?

How do I protect the alyssum plant during the winter

You can protect the alyssum plant during the winter by placing a protective cloth on it or cutting half of it. However, potted ones must be relocated inside the house until the frost has passed.

Some of the alyssum plants seed and multiply by themselves. In the next season, you can allow these seeds to grow by pruning away the dead shrubs, or if you don’t want them to self-seed, deadhead the flowers as they fade.

What are the common insects and diseases that can harm alyssums?

What are the common insects and diseases that can harm alyssums

Some common insects that can prey on the alyssum are the following:

  • Cyclamen mites – A severe infestation of the alyssum will cause crinkled leaves and stunted growth.
  • Caterpillars – These crawling insects can feed and bite holes in the foliage of the alyssum plants.
  • Diamondback moth – These dragon-fly shaped creatures feed on the main parts of the plant and can alarmingly harm it and stunt its growth.

The diseases that can befall an alyssum if not properly cared for include

  • Hairy mildew – This disease stem from overwatering most of the time. It shows on the underside of the leaves with purple or white hairy fungi spots.
  • Fasciation – This is a form of severe plant deformity which results from the plant’s damaged growth tips. You can mostly observe it in abnormally shaped leaves and stems.
  • Clubroot – This is a disease that mostly affects the cabbage family. It results in the plant becoming stunted or limped or having yellow leaves.
  • Botrytis blight (gray mold) As the name suggests, Botrytis blight resembles gray blisters on the surface of the plant.

A plant suffering from gray mold is at risk of death. That’s because all of its parts are affected including the buds, flowers, leaves, stems, and even the roots.

  • Root and crown rot – A soaked-through plant will most likely develop root and crown rot. This leads to a variety of issues, such as wilting, stunted growth, and dropping leaves.

How do I make the alyssum plant flower?

How do I make the alyssum plant flower

You make sweet alyssum have a wonderful and abundant cluster of blossoms by giving it the proper care in terms of its soil, light, water, fertilizer, and pruning needs, which we’ve discussed previously.

To recap, use loamy, moist, and well-draining potting soil for the Alyssum Carpet of Snow. And make sure that the soil’s pH is a little acidic to neutral as well.

Put it in the direction of mild, full or partial sun for at least six hours every day. Water or moisten the top inch of the soil at least once a week.

During the summer or spring growing season, you may have to remove or cut off spent flowers and trim bushy leaves and woody stems.

In addition, you have to feed it with a water-soluble fertilizer that has an equal balance of phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium, at best.

Can the alyssum plant bloom for the second time?

Can the alyssum plant bloom for the second time

Alyssum Carpet of Snow Bloom Time

Yes, alyssums can bloom twice.

Because they like cool temperatures, alyssum thrives in spring (March to May), wind down in the summer (June to August), and spring back during the fall (September to November) with flowers that are very small and attractive!

It’s also great, as it can last longer than other plants. And, not to mention, they have a sweet honey fragrance that attracts pollinators like butterflies, bees, flower flies, and stingless wasps.

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