How to Grow Lobularia Plants

Guide to Growing Sweet Alyssum, Sweet Alison and Snowdrift

The Lobularia genus contains small perennial plants that are often grown as hardy annuals in the garden.

They reach from 7 to 30 cm (3 to 12 inches) in height, making them great to use as edging plants.

They carry clustered flowers of white, pink or purple that have a pleasant fragrance and bloom from summer through to autumn.

Sweet Alyssum

Some of the common names for the Lobularia plant include Sweet Alyssum and Snowdrift.

Lobularia maritima
Lobularia maritima - Sweet Alyssum by Hortulus; creative commons.

Sweet Alison
Sweet Alison by Ibsut.

Lobularia Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Sweet Alyssum, Sweet Alison, Snowdrift.
Family: Brassicaceae.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial, commonly grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 4 to 16 inches (10 to 40 cm).
Native: Mediterranean.
Growing Region: Zones 5 to 8. As a perennial in zones 9 and 10.

Flowers: Summer and autumn. Year round in frost-free area.
Flower Details: White, purple, lavender, pink. Tiny. Four petals. Fragrant.
Foliage: Lanceolate. Oval.

Sow Outside: Surface. Before last frost or in autumn. Spacing 6 to 14 inches (15 to 35 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: four days to two weeks in the light. Temperature 60 to 70°F (16 to 21°C). Seven or eight weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.

Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Soil pH 5.5 to 7. Loam. Moist soil. Can survive in dry soils. Regular watering. Trim off spent blooms.
Miscellaneous: Genus contains five members which are often classified as synonymous with the Alyssum genus.

How to Grow Sweet Alyssum and Other Lobularia Plants in the Garden

When growing Sweet Alyssum, Sweet Alison and other Lobularia from seeds then sow on the surface a few weeks before the last frost of spring or in autumn. Lobularia plants species can grow in both sunny and partially shaded areas of the garden.

They prefer a soil that is a moist and loamy and of pH 6 to 7.

If starting off Sweet Alyssum indoors then start about 8 weeks in advance. The seeds require light and a temperature of 12 to 21 degrees Celsius (54 to 70°F) to germinate. This usually takes from one to two weeks.

Once ready the young Sweet Alyssum should be transplanted at about 20 to 25 cm (8 to 10 inches) apart.

Caring for Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia) in the Garden

It is easy to look after Sweet Alyssum; they need to be watered regularly; if you want a prolonged flowering period then cut back half of the Lobularia plants stems before flowering has occurred.

Common Questions

How many members does the Lobularia genus have?

The Lobularia genus consists of five species.

Do members of Lobularia make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Lobularia species are excellent for gardens or landscaping, providing a carpet of small, fragrant flowers that attract beneficial insects.

Which Lobularia species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The most frequently grown species is Lobularia maritima (Sweet Alyssum), prized for its profuse, sweet-smelling blooms.

Are members of the Lobularia plant genus fragrant?

Yes, Lobularia plants, particularly sweet alyssum, are known for their sweet, honey-like fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Lobularia?

Lobularia enjoys full sun to partial shade and prefers well-drained soil. It's perfect for rock gardens, borders, or hanging baskets.

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

At present, Lobularia is not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Lobularia plants from my garden?

For Lobularia removal, simply pull up the plants. They have shallow roots, so they're easy to remove. Keep an eye out for self-seeding.


The Lobularia genus, part of the Brassicaceae family, includes annual plants native to the Mediterranean region. Often used in rock gardens and borders, these plants are known for their small, fragrant flowers that are typically white or purple.

Lobularia prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Regular watering is necessary for optimal growth. Propagation is typically achieved through seeds, sown in the spring or fall.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Lobularia plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Malcolmia, Petunia plant, Nomocharis plant, and Heliophila plants.