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August 2010
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Purple dwarf – Lobularia maritime – an annual plant

Lobularia maritime is an annual plant which grows up to a height of 2-4 inches. The flowers bloom in Spring/summer/fall and are purple in color. The flowers have florets that are ¼ inches wide and 1-2 inches wide clusters. The flowers have honey – like fragrance and acts as a low border plant.
The plants leaves are dense mound medium green and this plant is perfect for rock gardens, around paving stones, edging and a decorative indoor plant, looks beautiful as a hanging casket. It is beautiful as it spills over the casket, hiding its rim. The plant is found in all regions of North America as an annual. It grows in zones 4-9 as a perennial. Butterflies and bees are attracted to this plant.
The plant is also available in pink, lavender and white flowered forms too. It is usually known as Alyssum. It is a short lived plant and is fully hardy. Its common name is Sweet Alyssum and Sweet Alison. The seeds of this plant are yellowish and are in flat round seedpods. The seedling that is produced is bright green.

Growing conditions of Purple Dwarf

• The plant grows well in Full sun to partial shade.
• It prefers dry to moist soil.
• One can buy either plants or grow them from seeds too.
• If buying plants, buy healthy ones with no wilting.
• It’s preferable to buy plants that have not flowered yet.
• The plants need well drained soils.
• Water them moderately.
• If planting seedlings, plant them in early spring.
• Plant the seedlings about two weeks before average frost date.
• Space the seedlings to 6-8 inches apart.
• The soil needs to be dry to moist, but not overwatered.
• If sowing seeds, sow inside before last frost.
• If sown outside, sow them in spring/fall.
• Sow the seeds 1/16 inches deep.
• It will take around 15-20 days for the seedlings to emerge.
• In summer, water regularly.

Care for purple dwarf

• The plant grows well in Full sun to partial shade.
• It prefers dry to moist soil.
• For longer blooming, faded flowers need to be trimmed.
• The plants can be rejuvenated by shearing them back by half.
• In fall, discard plants.
• The summer heat can dry the plants, water them regularly.
• Dry the seeds from the seed heads and sow them during spring.
• It grows in zones 4-9.
• The plant does not like frost.

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