If you are looking for an evergreen perennial ground cover, look no further than the mountain alyssum plant (Alyssum montanum). So what is mountain alyssum? Keep reading to find out more about this interesting plant.
What is Mountain Alyssum?
This little flowering beauty is hardy in USDA zones 3-9, drought-tolerant once established, and excellent cover for rock gardens and other niches that are more difficult to plant. Growing mountain alyssum is a low ground cover only reaching 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm.) in height with a 12- to 20-inch (30.5 to 51 cm.) spread.
The evergreen foliage of grey-green color sports plentiful, little, yellow flowers in late spring through the early summer. Rapidly growing mountain alyssum plants will soon fill in rocky borders or alpine landscapes with a riot of yellow blooms so prolific the foliage can barely be seen.
How to Grow Mountain Alyssum
The answer to, “How to grow mountain alyssum?” is a short one as mountain alyssum care is easy as can be. An undemanding specimen, mountain alyssum will grow and flourish in almost any soil type, from loamy to sandy, with either an alkaline to neutral to acidic pH. It prefers well-draining soil and full sun exposure, although it will tolerate light shade.
Mountain alyssum plants can be grown from seed and, in fact, will self-seed if allowed to do so. It is much quicker to purchase seedlings from your local nursery where they may also be found under the names ‘Mountain Gold Madwort’ or just ‘Mountain Madwort.’
Plant the mountain alyssum spaced 10 to 20 inches (25.5 to 51 cm.) apart in a rock garden, border, or even as a container specimen with other alpine plants. After the second or third growth season, the plants may be divided in the early fall.
Mountain Alyssum Care
Caring for mountain alyssum plants is as easy as planting them. As mentioned previously, this plant is not fussy about water and indeed has a certain amount of drought tolerance.
Clip the tops and remove fading blooms to encourage a bushy habit.
Mountain alyssum is fairly resistant to both pests and diseases although it is susceptible to aphids and root rot.
This native of the Mediterranean is an ideal addition to any rocky landscape and will provide a riot of golden spring color with minimum care.