If you live in a cloudy place with very little sun, alyssum might not be the best plant for you to grow!
Alyssum grows and flowers best with 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day. However, excessive exposure to the sun in hot and drought conditions can be too much sun for an alyssum plant.
However, alyssum cannot do well in full shade or locations that offer the majority of the day in the shade.
Do Alyssum Like Sun or Shade?
Alyssum likes the sun, and definitely more than shade. But that doesn’t mean these plants won’t need any shelter from the sun at times!
Originating from dry and barren areas such as the Mediterranean where little shade is offered. But, this suits these plants fine as they are not very demanding. Their ability to grow in awkward places where most plants wouldn’t, shows this characteristic.
How Many Hours of Sun Do Alyssums Need?
Naturally, alyssum will prefer more sun than shade, and understandably so. Without their quota of sunlight, these plants will not grow and flowering cannot be expected either.
Provide alyssum with 6 to 8 hours of sun a day to induce optimal growth.
Anything less than 6 hours is insufficient for these plants that ideally love full sun. If morning sunlight is not full, you may have to increase the number of hours to compensate for the poor sun exposure in the mornings.
Try to avoid providing afternoon sun to them. That’s because the afternoon sun may prove too intense. Besides, Alyssum would need the Sun after night-time darkness to kickstart photosynthesis.
Signs of Too Much Sun for Alyssum
Alyssum likes the sun but sometimes it can prove too much for these plants! You’ll have to spot the signs in time if you don’t want to lose your alyssum. Leaving it too late can be fatal but catching it in time can help you redeem the plants.
Signs your alyssum is getting excessive sun are:
- Fading or brown leaf coloring
- Wilting and drooping
- Scorched leaf edges
- Dry and cracked soil
Once these signs start appearing, be fast to catch them. You can start to reverse the effects by placing the plant in a less sunny place and offering more water until it recovers.
After the plant recuperates, you can think about getting a better location to plant it.
Why Alyssum Needs Sun
All plants need sun, but alyssum is not as tolerant to moisture. So, these plants cannot go long without the sun or with less than the required amount of sunlight. Why does alyssum need so much sun?
Here are three very important reasons why alyssum needs sun and lots of it!
#1- Dependent on Photosynthesis
Alyssum is not excessively nutrient-hungry. Meaning that the plant is majorly powered by the food it synthesizes through photosynthesis. Poor sunlight or less than sufficient hours will negatively affect their ability to photosynthesize enough food.
By providing alyssum with enough sunlight, you provide it with the major raw material for food production. Growth, flowering, and seed production will depend heavily on this food and energy for growth.
#2- Intolerant to Moist/Wet Soil
Coming from an origin where they grow in-between rocks or even in sand, alyssum don’t take well to wet or even moist soil. Such conditions affect the plants rapidly by inducing rotting.
Roots will be the first to be affected by excessive moisture followed by lower stem regions. By this time, the top-most parts of the plants also begin to suffer. Luckily, sunlight can heat up the soil and cause the evaporation of all excess water.
#3- Threat of Disease
Overly wet conditions come with more dangers apart from deteriorating the alyssum plant through rotting. Fungus and bacteria prefer moist and warm conditions that are created with watering and lack of sun.
Without the sun conditions remain cool and moist, inducing a perfect environment for fungal growth. The fact that fungal spores can be found anywhere doesn’t make matters any better.
As soon as a suitable environment begins to develop, fungal spores will take advantage.
Therefore, sunlight heating up the air and eliminating moist conditions plays a significant role in keeping alyssum plants healthy.
What Happens If Alyssum Doesn’t Get Enough Sun?
If these plants don’t get the right amount of sunlight, their growth and health will be affected. The plant will hold on for as long as it can. After this, it will start to deteriorate. A lack of sun would cause the following effects.
- Leaves could suffer first if the lack of sun is very drastic. However, the addition of overwatering and no sun could affect the roots first.
- The plants would not be able to carry out photosynthesis and synthesize materials for growth and other vital reactions.
- The plants would not grow and carry out their life cycle.
Symptoms of Lack of Sun
How do you know if your alyssum plant is getting enough sun? Answering this is quite easy, just take a look at your plant and make an assessment. All plants lacking sunlight share the same appearance. These are some symptoms of lack of sun in alyssum plants.
- Pale green to yellow colored leaves
- Small and visibly stunted growth
- Poor or no blooming
- No new growth or very little growth
- Leggy or underwhelming growth
Notice any of these symptoms and you should consciously make an effort to provide more sun to your alyssum.
Does Alyssum Need Shade?
By now we have made it obvious that alyssum likes the sun and needs it very much to grow well and even survive. However, where does this leave these plants when it comes to the question of shade?
Alyssum is best left with shade in the afternoon when temperatures are at their peak and sun exposure is at its maximum.
Also, alyssum does not fancy hot seasons with an extended drought. If you don’t want them to succumb to heat and dehydration, you must provide shade. Even if it means creating some artificial shade with a tarp!
When Does Alyssum Need Shade?
In times of severe heat waves, alyssum would do best with some shade. Also, when less water is being provided, these plants need shade. If shade is not provided in these conditions, you may witness some symptoms of sun scorching and dehydration.
Partial shade is acceptable if you are in a region where the climate is very hot.
Sun & Temperature For Growing Alyssum
It’s not just sunshine that plays a part in making your alyssum germinate (if growing from seed), grow and flower. Temperature also plays a key role.
Alyssum grows best in USDA zones 5 to 9. Generally, these areas see a shared temperature range between -10℉ to 30℉.
These alyssum plants are not very cold-hardy and will die in freezing temperatures. Bringing them indoors is a suitable idea to help the plants survive. However, you will need a grow light to act as sunlight.
The plants will not be growing and will be dormant. But, they still need light to survive and make usable resources.
Where To Place Alyssum?
You can place an alyssum anywhere you wish, even in the house! On just one condition. Make sure to give them 6 to 8 hours in the sun.
Planting them in your vegetable patch is good too as alyssum has many advantages to aid the garden and its plants too. There are several plants that will benefit from alyssum companion plant growing.
They make wonderful container plants, and they look awesome in hanging baskets too! Or if you have space, put them out bordering the garden where the sun is most prominent. Feel free to put them in those spots you know only a sun-loving plant will survive.
Putting mature alyssum in the sunniest spot in the garden is essential if you want to have the plants flower very well. It’s no secret that their sweet-smelling flowers are an attraction to more than our noses.
Alyssum needs a lot of Sun and anything less or more than the required amount will be sure to create ill effects in the plants.
Your alyssum plants need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day for optimal growth and flowering. These plants prefer full sun but will thrive best in partial shade when in severely hot climates.
It is best to grow alyssum in USDA zones 5 to 9 and they will have to be protected in freezing cold temperatures in winter as they are not cold hardy.
Depending on the location and the climate, alyssum could be an annual or a short-lived perennial. In colder climates, it acts as an annual while in warmer climates it takes up the role of a short-lived perennial plant.
Yes, alyssum can grow in pots and make for the perfect addition to porch pots or even hanging baskets since they offer high air circulation. You can even bring them indoors as long as that spot has enough sunlight.