The Q&A Archives: Growing Alyssum From Seed

Question: I have started some alyssum from seed in my greenhouse. It has grown very well, however I am concerned that it is too leggy and will not bush out. This happened last year as well. Could it be the variety? What is the trick to getting it to look like the plants at the store? I planted burpee "carpet of snow" alyssum. Thank you very much for your time.

Answer: When seedlings become leggy it's usually because light levels are too low, even under greenhouse conditions. You can keep your seedlings short and stout by supplementing natural daylight with fluorescent lighting, kept about 2" above the tops of the plants. Lights should remain on 12-14 hours each day. After your alyssum have developed 3-4 sets of true leaves you can pinch them back to promote bushy growth. Feed regularly, provide adequate light and warm daytime temperatures, and your plants should be as robust as those you find in nurseries.

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