Missing – Alyssum Maritimum
We all love a good filler for our baskets, especially one that has so much density and colour. Alyssum has always been that flower for years. Both varieties of Alyssum and Lobularia have been a staple in our baskets and containers, so you may have noticed for the past two years we have stopped using them and stopped selling them. If you hadn’t noticed we stopped using these beautiful flowers. But why? Alyssum are packed with colour, fragrance, and just a jaw dropping radiance. Why take it away? Well it is a simple reason. This flower is a magnet for field bugs. Two years ago the field bugs left the canola early and devoured the flowers immediately. Customers were buying them and then two days later all of the flowers were eaten and the plants infested with little black bugs. We had these bugs enter our greenhouse the year after and eat the flowers before we could even get them ready for sale. So we have decided to pull them from our shelves for the near distant future, hoping to break up the infestation. However, regardless of the break in their use I still wanted to discuss them, partly to explain why you may not be seeing them around anymore and to give further details on what these flowers are like. So we have touched on why the flowers have gone out of use for the time being, let’s get into the details of the flower itself.
At our greenhouse we always worked with two kinds of Alyssum: Lobularia and Alyssum Maritimum. Both come in white, pink, and purple. Lobularia is a trailing variety that will spill out and hang down in a basket or container, though it is not an aggressive trailer. Alyssum Maritimum on the other hand is more of a clumping flower, opting to fill out your baskets and containers rather than spill over. Alyssum is a flower that is sensitive to moisture, their preference leaning more towards the dryer side of things. Alyssum are quick to react if they are over watered. They also prefer to have lots of warm sunlight and protection from wind. When left in the shade they will become scraggly and rather unattractive. For best results, keep these flowers in the sun. Keeping these flowers in a protected area and out of the wind is also great for best results. Their flowers are very small and delicate, with a strong wind the petals are quick to release and fly away, leaving your plants bare and once against, rather unattractive.
All things said and done if you can keep your Alyssum in a sunny, well drained, and wind protected area you can have some incredibly looking baskets and containers…..However you will have to wait to have those baskets, not only is it winter but we also need the field bugs to chill out and lose their taste for Alyssum.