Alyssum is a favorite ornamental annual to add color and contrast to various containers, hanging baskets, or garden beds. As with other annuals and tender perennials, regular, consistent watering is crucial to ensure blooming. If the plants are placed in a shady position for too long or in soil with inadequate drainage, the plants will suffer and could eventually die from root and crown rot.
How To Tell If Alyssum Needs to be Watered
Symptoms of underwatering and overwatering of Alyssum can look very similar. The earliest sign is a drooping of the branches and a withered look to the leaves. At this point, if the leaves are still green, the plant can easily be saved by stopping watering for a while (overwatered) or giving the roots a long drink of water (underwatered).
Within a day, Alyssum should have made a full recovery. More advanced signs of a watering problem include yellowing of the lower leaves, tips becoming crispy, and leaves falling off the plant. At this point, the roots or crown of Alyssum have started to die, and the only solution is to replace the plant.
How Often To Water Alyssum
Newly sprouted Alyssum seedlings need watering a little bit almost every day. Not only do smaller pots dry out faster than larger ones, but the new plants are still forming root systems and require more water than older plants.
Alyssum planted in the ground will require 1 inch of water a week. Break up watering sessions into 2-3 times a week to allow the soil to dry in between. When the top 1 inch of soil is dry to the touch, it is time to apply more water. Alyssum growing in pots will require checking daily to see if the top 1-2 inches of soil has dried out.
Humid weather will slow the evaporation from the soil. Gardening in an area that has rainy summers will reduce the frequency of supplemental watering required. If the container is sheltered or positioned under the roof eaves, watering will be needed regardless of whether there is rain.
Best Time To Water Alyssum
Alyssum prefers to be watered early in the day during the summer. This will give their foliage and root systems time to dry before nightfall. This plant is more prone to root and crown rot if left in cold and wet conditions. Watering in the winter is only necessary for Alyssum grown as a perennial. Water when nighttime temperatures are above 45 degrees F and the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry.
How to Water Alyssum
Step 1 - Feel the soil to test for dryness
Stick your finger into the soil. The first 1-2 inches should be fairly dry before watering. If the soil is still wet, leave it for another day or two.
Step 2 - Water thoroughly
Plants growing in the ground need 1 inch of water a week. This should be divided into 2-3 sessions.
Step 3 - Container-grown plants need more watering
Pots or hanging baskets need watering until water runs out of the drainage holes. This lets you know that the soil is fully saturated.
Alyssum Watering Tips
- Overwatering has similar symptoms to underwatering
- Alyssum in the ground needs 1 inch of water a week
- Container-grown plants need to be checked for water daily
- Excellent drainage is a necessity to prevent root or crown rot
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Author Robbin Small - Published 12-16-2022