The Lobularia maritima alyssum, or simply maritime alder, is a very popular plant among gardeners, especially when it comes to filling those small empty holes in the garden or adding a touch of color with some pots. In fact, they tend to like it a lot because this plant has very decorative flowers because they are very small but also very abundant.
If you want to learn what the care of the maritime alder plant is, join us in this EcologíaVerde article in which we offer a practical guide on the care of lobularia maritima.
Characteristics of lobularia maritima
The Alyssum maritimum, which is another scientific name it has, is a perennial plant that is very common in the Mediterranean basin, although it has now spread to many more areas with a similar climate. It is small in size, giving rise to clumps of 25 cm in height or less.
Highlights the maritime alder flower which, although very small, is produced in such large quantities that it completely hides the rest of the plant. They appear in late spring and, if the temperatures are cool enough, they can last a long time. Normally, these flowers are white, although there are varieties such as the purple lobularia maritima, which give rise to flowers of that color or a pinkish tone.
You may have seen alyssum or lobularia flowers for sale for consumption. But, is lobularia maritima edible? The truth is that it is and, in fact, its flowers have a taste that is slightly reminiscent of honey, and can be consumed without the slightest problem. Furthermore, between properties of lobularia maritima They are found to help eliminate fluid retention, in addition to acting as an antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
Location for lobularia maritima
The alyssum is a plant that needs a lots of sun, so its location should generally always be outdoors, in a very sunny area. In fact, the ideal is to place it in full sun.
However, since it is a species that needs temperate temperatures, it may be too cold or too hot in your area for the plant to develop properly. In fact, it is even possible for both to occur in the cold and hot seasons respectively. For this reason, there are those who choose to have lobularia maritima indoors. It is a risky decision that will require paying great attention to the plant and locating it in an area that is as lit as possible, always being careful with the magnifying effect of windows and glass.
Soil and fertilizer for alyssum
One of the most important points for the lobularia soil is that it offers a drain the best possible. For this reason, it tends to appreciate calcareous or sandy soils. It is not demanding with nutrients, so it does not need a substrate or soil with a large amount of organic matter. A mixture like the one we usually recommend, with peat, earthworm humus and coconut fiber, as well as perlite, will provide the necessary properties and nutrients for a long time.
That said, outdoors the plant will most likely not need fertilizer, while in a pot it is advisable to provide it with some fertilizer once a month in the warm seasonespecially to enhance flowering.
Maritime lobularia irrigation
lobularia is very drought resistant as long as it is in a temperate climate, requiring not too many risks. However, in hot summers it will be necessary to provide much more frequent watering, especially if we want the plant to develop its spectacular flowering.
Thus, it may be necessary water every 24 or 48 hours depending on the temperature. Of course, as always, it is very important to be careful and not flood the soil, which would greatly harm the plant. We recommend you also read this post on When to water plants.
Pruning and other care
These plants do not need pruning other than maintenance, that is, remove dried leaves and flowers or withered with well disinfected scissors. It is also a pest resistant plant, and only fungus will be a problem if you water it too much. If fungi appear, do not despair, because here you can discover several homemade fungicides.
Reproduction of lobularia maritima
The usual thing is to multiply this plant by seeds or by cuttings. We recommend planting lobularia maritima seeds in a nursery, at the beginning of spring, to later transplant the germinated seedlings to their final location.
- Prepare a seedbed with the substrate that we have described above, in a small container such as a plastic or yogurt cup, with drainage holes.
- Sow a maximum of two seeds per container, and then cover them with about 1 cm of substrate.
- Water abundantly with a sprayer that does not disturb the substrate too much, and place the seedbed in a well-lit place, even in full sun outside.
- In about 15 or 20 days, if there are no problems and you keep the substrate moist, they should germinate.
In the case of lobularia maritima cuttingsthe usual thing is to cut them after flowering, when they have already dried.
- Cut a good-sized branch and help rooting by covering the base with rooting hormone or organic homemade rooting.
- Plant your cutting in a pot with the appropriate substrate and already watered.
- In about four weeks, the cutting should have successfully rooted, giving rise to a new healthy and independent plant.
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