The Q&A Archives: Starting Alyssum Seeds

Question: I would like to use sweet alyssum as a ground cover in my garden. Is it possible to start them from seeds now,
this late in the summer directly in the ground? If not, could I start the seeds indoors and then transplant them before the winter? Would they survive? Also, can you cut back the alyssum so they don't get rangy?

Answer: Sweet Alyssum is an annual plant that self-sows readily if the spent flower spikes are left on the plant. It's best to plant the seeds in the early spring so they'll grow and flower in spring through summer. You can shear the plants back by half when they've finished flowering and they'll produce a second flush of bloom. But, if you cut the plants back, they won't have a chance to self-sow. Since annual plants die back after they've finished flowering, you can expect Sweet Alyssum to make an attractive groundcover in the spring and summer, but it probably won't grow year around, even in your warm-winter climate. Hope this answers your question!

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