Flowers

Alder (Alyssum)

Plants of the genus Alyssum are very interesting for gardens, especially when you see that you have very few empty spaces; although they can also be grown in pots. And it is that its size is small, and its flowers… its flowers are wonderful!

Knowing its characteristics and its care will be very useful to know where you should put your copies. So here you have your complete file.

Origin and characteristics

The Alyssum are a genus of about 170 species of annual or annual plants, herbaceous or rarely shrubs of low height, which grow between 10 and 100cm. They are native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, found mainly in the Mediterranean region. The leaves are oblong ovoid, and produce yellow, white, pink or purple flowers.

Species

The main species are:

  • Alyssum serpyllifolium: it is endemic to Algeria, Morocco, France, Portugal and Spain. It is a perennial, woody herb that produces yellow flowers. Its maximum height is 30-35cm.
  • Alyssum garnatense: it is a plant known as a golden spikelet native to the center and south of the Iberian Peninsula. It grows between 5 and 12cm in height, and produces light yellow flowers.

The Alyssum maritimum is the former scientific name maritima Lobularia, also known as sea alder or sweet alyssum. It is an annual or perennial plant depending on the climate, which reaches 30 centimeters in height and produces white or purple flowers. It is native to the Mediterranean region and Macaronesia, and is used as a medicinal plant for being a diuretic and for helping to eliminate kidney stones.

What are their cares?

If you want to have a specimen of alder, we recommend providing the following care:

Location

It has to be placed outside, in full sun.

Earth

  • Pot: being very adaptable, you can use universal growing medium without problem. But if you want, mix 50% mulch + 30% perlite + 20% worm castings.
  • Garden: it grows in all types of soils, as long as it is from neutral to clayey and has good drainage.

Irrigation

Irrigation is one of the hardest tasks to master. When they also tell you that it is much easier to lose a plant if you water it excessively, what usually happens is that we water… but little. And that’s not good either. So, to get your Alyssum to grow well, you need to know when to water it.

During the summer, as it is usually a very hot and dry season in many places, you will have to water very often, but the rest of the year not so much. For the avoidance of doubt, it is best to check the humidity of the soil, for example with a digital humidity meter, or by inserting a thin wooden stick (if it comes out practically clean when it comes out, water it; otherwise, don’t water ).

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Liquid guano

If it is planted in the garden, it is not necessary to fertilize it; On the other hand, if you have it in a pot, I advise you to pay it once a month with organic fertilizers, such as the guano (liquid) that you can get here. Do not forget to follow the instructions specified on the package since, although it is natural, there is a risk of overdose as it is highly concentrated.

Multiplication

The Alysssum multiplies by seeds in spring and the shrub species also by cuttings after flowering. Let’s see how to proceed in each case:

Seeds

  1. The first thing to do is fill a seedbed (like this one here ) with universal growing medium.
  2. Then, the seeds are sown, placing a maximum of two in each alveolus.
  3. They are then covered with a thin layer of substrate.
  4. Finally, it is watered and placed outside, in full sun.

This way they will germinate in 2 or 3 weeks.

Cuttings

When the flowers have wilted, cut a piece of about 30 centimeters, impregnate the base with rooting hormones or homemade rooters, and then plant it in a pot with previously watered vermiculite.

If all goes well, it will emit its own roots after a month.

Plagues and diseases

It is a very resistant plant to the usual pests and diseases, but if the growing conditions are not suitable it can be affected by mealybugs, aphids, and if it is watered excessively, by fungi. The first two are fought with potassium soap (on sale here ) or diatomaceous earth (get it here ), and the last with copper or sulfur in spring and fall.

Pruning

You don’t need it. Perhaps just cut the withered flowers and the dry leaves with scissors – for example, such as sewing or children’s scissors – previously disinfected with pharmacy alcohol or a few drops of dishwasher and water.

Rusticity

It will depend on the species, but in principle they resist weak frosts down to -7ºC.

What did you think of Alyssum? Have you heard of this plant? If you dare to have a copy, enjoy it!

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