How to Grow Iberis Plants in your Garden in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Annual Candytuft

Iberis can be grown as either hardy annuals or perennials in the garden; this page of plant biology advice provides information on how to grow the annual varieties of Iberis. For perennials see this page: Perennial Iberis.

Plants reach from 30 to 40 cm (12 to 16 inches) in height, making them good for use in rock gardens and at the front of garden borders.

They flower from early summer to the first frost of winter if you sow them sequentially.

Iberis has lance shaped leaves and fragrant umbels of flowers that may be pink, red, purple or white in colour.

Some of the common names for Iberis include Annual Candytuft, Rocket Candytuft, Iberis snowflake, and Globe Candytuft. Latin names include Iberis sempervirens, Iberis umbellata, Iberis amara, and Iberis gibraltarica.

Iberis gibralterica
Iberis gibralterica - Gibraltar candytuft by Old Itch; creative commons.

Iberis Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Candytuft: Rocket; Evergreen; Globe; Gibraltar,
Family: Brassicaceae.
Life Cycle: Hardy annual. Hardy perennial.
Height: 6 to 16 inches (15 to 40 cm).
Native: Mediterranean, Eurasia.
Growing Region: Annuals: zones 1 to 10. Perennials: zones 3 to 10.

Flowers: Annuals: summer until first frost. Perennials: spring.
Flower Details: Purple, red, white, pink. Umbels. Racemes. Fragrant.
Foliage: Lanceolate. Evergreen. Dark green.

Sow Outside:
Annuals: 1/8 inch (3mm). Sow every ten days from the last frost until the end of summer. Spacing 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm).
Perennials: 1/4 inch (6mm). Before the last frost or in autumn. Spacing 8 to 24 inches (20 to 60 cm).
Sow Inside:
Use peat pots. Germination time: two to six weeks. Temperature 70 to 80°F (21 to 27°C). Six or seven weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.

Requirements: Full sunlight or partial shade. Good drainage. Soil pH 6 to 7.5. Average soils. Perennials prefer a richer soil. Regular watering. Light prune for prolonged blooming season/ to tidy up perennials. Propagate: Take cuttings from perennials following flowering.

How to Grow Annual Candytuft

When growing Annual Candytuft outdoors from seeds they should be sown every 10 days or so.

Start this sowing process from the last frost of spring until the middle of summer.

The seeds of Candytuft should be planted at about 3 mm (1/8 inch) deep into a sunny part of the garden.

Most Iberis species like to have a soil that is slightly acidic to neutral (pH 6 to 7) and good drainage; the soil type is not too important.

If you want to first grow Annual Candytuft indoors, then start the process about two months before they are due to be transplanted in the garden. Put out from the last frost until summer. Transplant them every two weeks for continuous blooms.

It will take about two or three weeks to germinate candytuft seeds at a temperature of 21 to 30 degrees Centigrade (70 to 86°F).

Caring for Annual Candytuft and other Iberis Plants in the Garden

Once growing it is important to water annual Candytuft and other Iberis members regularly.

It is best to let the soil become dry, then water again; and repeat this cycle.

Following flowering a light trim will lead to more flowers, as soon as plants appear to be dying then remove them for the garden and replace with new Candytuft plants.

Common Questions

How many members does the Iberis genus have?

The Iberis genus includes about 30 to 40 species.

Do Annual Iberis make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Iberis are fantastic garden plants, and are particularly valued for their bright, dense clusters of flowers and compact growth habit. They are often used in borders, rock gardens, and containers for their attractive, evergreen foliage and vibrant spring blooms.

Which annual Iberis species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The most frequently grown annual species is probably Iberis umbellata (Garden Candytuft), which is cherished for its vibrant colors and long blooming period.

Are members of the Iberis plant genus fragrant?

Annual Iberis species typically do not have a strong fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow annual Iberis?

Annual Iberis prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They are perfect for flower beds, borders, and containers.

Is Iberis invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, annual Iberis plants are not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove annual Iberis plants from my garden?

Annual Iberis plants can be removed by pulling or hoeing them up. Since they are annuals, they will complete their lifecycle within a year.


The Iberis genusincludes several annual species popular for their attractive, tightly-packed clusters of flowers. The most well-known annual species is the Iberis umbellata, commonly known as Globe candytuft or Garden Candytuft. Its vibrant blooms in shades of pink, purple, and white make it a popular choice for ornamental purposes.

Annual Iberis plants thrive in full sun and prefer well-drained soil. Sowing of seeds can be done in early spring after the last frost. Regular watering is necessary, but ensure the soil does not become waterlogged to prevent root rot. These plants bloom throughout the summer, providing a colourful display and attracting beneficial pollinators to the garden. Their low maintenance and continuous flowering make them ideal for borders, rock gardens, and containers.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Iberis Annual Candytuft plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Stock, Petunia plant, and Arabis plants.