Sweet Alyssum (Lobullaria maritima) is a favourite border plant. It lives up to its name as it does have a sweet fragrance. It is easy to grow and is used as a spreading ground-cover.

A popular border plant that quickly spreads to form a carpet it is also widely used in hanging baskets, where it it encouraged to cascade over the sides. Readily available for sale as seeds or seedlings from Nurseries in a number of colors from white to red.

Sweet alyssum is a low growing annual that makes an excellent plant for rockeries, and garden borders. Covered in masses of fragrant flowers it is long flowering and grows well in full sun to semi shade.


Excellent in the cottage garden it is also known as ‘Sweet Alysum’ with flowers ranging in color from white through to pinks and reds. Depending on climate Alyssum can flower almost throughout the year. Plants can be grown from seed which are easy to germinate.

Generally seen as suited to USDA Zones 4 -7 as an annual, 7 – 11 as a perennial.

In warmer climates Alyssum grows a lot better in shade than in full sun. It tends to look good in spring, bad in summer and comes again in fall.

Protect seedlings from slugs and snails. A humus rich moist but well drained soil is best. They are frost tender, and in cooler areas are best sown when the danger of frosts has past. Fertilize with an all purpose slow release fertiliser and water every 3 weeks with a liquid seaweed fertiliser.

You can shear plants back after the first flush of flowers, it seems to bring them back to life. If you do prune them, give then a good watering with a liquid seaweed fertilizer and keep moist for a few weeks.


With around 300 species called Alyssum, including, Alyssum (Aurinia) saxatile Compactum the popular ‘Basket of Gold’ or ‘Gold Dust’ it is a little easy to get confused. So look for cultivars such as

  • ‘Snow crystals’
  • ‘Carpet of Snow’
  • ‘Lavender Stream’
  • ‘Gold Dust’
  • ‘Wonderland Purple’


Easily grown from seed, or seedling plants.

Alyssum plants are available for sale from the following nurseries

Offering a wide selection of bulbs, perennials, grasses, herbs trees and shrubs. Includes: Alyssum (Aurinia) saxatile Compactum