Those of us who want to attract pollinators need to know how to do so. Bees like certain types of plants, so you can set up your own bee garden to bring them in. The bees will help to pollinate your plants, so you’ll have a garden that thrives.
Alyssum flowers attract bees. They’re small plants that are often referred to as sweet alyssum because of their sweet smell. Alyssum plants grow to between four and six inches tall. They have clusters of small flowers that come in a variety of colours.
The UK bees population has been scarce since the end of WW2. We can all do our part to help bring it back by planting annual flowers for bees or making use of resources like beebombs. Keep reading to find out more about alyssum flowers and how to grow them.
Why Does Alyssum Attract Bees?
Alyssum has a sweet scent. All varieties of bees are attracted to sweet smells. Alyssum flowers produce a strong smell that bees can detect from far away.
This plant’s flowers grow in clusters, too. That means there’s plenty of nectar for bees. The flowers bloom throughout the year, so bees have plenty of nectar to take back to the hive.
How to Grow Alyssum From Seed
When you plant alyssum from seed, make sure you do it after the heavy frost season is over. You’ll want to plant them on average soil. Alyssum seeds are tiny. It’s a best practice to scatter them on top of loosened soil.
Start watering them with a fine mist. Since the seeds are so small, watering with a hose or can will only wash the seeds away. Once the seedlings show up, you can water with a watering can.
How Far Apart to Plant Alyssum
Plant alyssum plants about 15 centimetres apart. They need room to spread, as they will do that. Many gardeners use sweet alyssum as a filler for this reason.
Does Alyssum Like Sun or Shade?
Alyssum likes the sun. This plant thrives best with at least six hours of direct sunlight. It does not do well with high heat, though. So, if you’re planting alyssum in a climate that has intense afternoon sun, you’ll want to protect your plants during that time of day.
Alyssum plants do fine with some shade, as long as they get the hours of sunlight they need, also.
Does Alyssum Come Back Every Year?
Generally, alyssum comes back every year. In climates where there’s no intense hot season, alyssum flowers bloom throughout the year. Alyssum plants behave more like traditional annual plants in climates with dynamic seasons.
Encourage Solitary Bees to Stay with Bee Hotels
Planting alyssum and other bee-favoured plants, like those included in beebombs, will attract bees into your bee garden. But you can do more to make them stay.
Not all bees are part of a colony that lives in a hive. Some are different types of solitary bees. They live alone and are good pollinators because they spend a lot of time flying from plant to plant.
Setting up bee hotels encourages solitary bees to stay in your garden and help pollinate. Bee hotels are nests you can either buy or build yourself. Give those solitary bees somewhere to live along with the alyssum flowers they love and they won’t want to leave. Take a look at these fun bee hotel ideas.
Where to Buy Alyssum Seeds
Alyssum flowers bloom in different colours. You’ll see them in violet, mauve, white, peach, pink, yellow, and even wine red.
You can purchase alyssum seeds through a variety of retailers. One of the easiest ways to get them is to order them online. They come in packages of about 1,500 seeds and get delivered straight to your home.
Alyssum works well to attract bees. UK bees are coming back and you can do your part to help the pollinator population thrive by planting your own bee garden. You can fill it with plants like alyssum that bees love. Add some bee hotels to keep the solitary bees around, too.
Alyssum is easy to grow and care for. It does well in mostly sunny climates with cooler temperatures. You can scatter alyssum seeds throughout your garden to fill in gaps, too. The bees and your garden will flourish.