johnaw(z5 OHIO)May 18, 2008

I have a Butterfly and Hummingbird garden and I have Alyssum in it and so far I see nothing of them coming up. Last Summer late summer early Fall 3 of them dead, they turned rotten and the other 3 was still growing and now I see nothing of them.

I was told that they are very hard to grow because what happened to the first 3. If you was to replace them with something else what would you replace them with?

I need to get them before things get sold out.

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Alyssum should be one of the easiest annuals to grow. They self-seed freely, and even though the original plant doesn't make it through the winter in colder zones, you should get tiny seedlings underneath and in the area of the dead plant. They're definitely easy to dig up or rake over and probably destroy when/if you do a spring clean up.

I always buy a few market packs just in case I don't get volunteers. The white does much better for me than the purple or rose varieties; the colored varieties seem to die out over the summer - and I've liked the white "Snow Crystals" best as it has slightly larger flowers.

Last summer was unusual in many areas - heat, drought, etc. Alyssum will need water every now and again if you don't get rain. I wouldn't give up on them - buy a market pack of already blooming seedlings, put them in where they get plenty of sun, water a little and just let them grow. They do get a little limp for a week or so while they're settling in - resist the temptation to over water - but suddenly they spring up and should be in continuous bloom until the first hard frost knocks them down.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 3:52PM
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johnaw(z5 OHIO)

I am talking about the Perennial not the annual plant I hope you understand. For some unknown last summer when I came back from vacation the 3 that I was talking about just looked as if they rotted and the other 3 looked very good. Than came Janurary erly Feburary I cut everything down to the ground and cleaned the bed off.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 4:02PM
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proudgrma(Zone 5)

I've never heard of perennial alyssum. I grow a lot of annual alyssum as borders in my perennial beds. At the end of the season I leave the alyssum through the winter, and when Spring comes, I gently shake the dead plants to let the seeds fall to the ground. I also buy a flat of alyssum and space them out around the area. In addition, I sometimes sprinkle a couple packs of Crystal Snow alyssum in the area and gentle tamp it down. It is the most beautiful and full border of alyssum, and the smell is incredible! The alyssum is seen at the lower edge of this picture. Is that what you have in mind?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 4:22PM
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Oops, sorry. Were yours the "Aurinia Saxatilis" commonly known as Basket of Gold or Dwarf Goldentuft or Gold Dust or similar name?

Yellow alyssum flowers prefer sun and thrive in well-drained, poor soil. These perennial alyssum plants are drought-tolerant. Requires watering in prolonged dry spells in the summer. Following flowering, stems should be cut back to about a 3/4 of their size to encourage good growth the following year.

It's possible you just got some bad plants, or your soil doesn't drain well where they were planted. Rot can often be a water issue.
As a replacement, I'd try some of the low growing sedums, also called stonecrop. Many varieties and colors.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 4:40PM
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johnaw(z5 OHIO)

Anything else besides stonecorps. I am not big on them and this bed is for Butterflies and Hummingbirds

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 5:06PM
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You might have to do a little independent research if you're looking for a specific type of plant in a spectific color to do a specific thing. There are many, many plants that attract hummingbirds and butterflies and the selection changes depending on where you live, but your posts don't give any kind of hint as to what YOU would like in your garden. I could recommend that you plant milkweed if you want to attract Monarch butterflies, but you might find milkweed ugly.

Check out the Hummingbird Garden and Butterfly Garden forums here and post a question for the experts there. Up in the left corner click where it says "Other Forums" and look for the alphabetical listings in the Type of Garden column.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 6:39PM
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justmetoo(z5 IL)

a short term fix for this summer you might try lantana and salvia (both annual for you) which can be purchased locally at your nursery. Lantana can be the shorter or the taller and butterflies and hummingbirds love them epecially the red/orange hues. For Salvia, I plant Salvia guaranitica 'Sapphire Blue'. Reasonable price of between $3 and $4 a pot.

Favorite butterfly plants in my garden is a number of buddleia and the good old purplecone flower and garden phlox. I put out touches of red for hummers like salvia coccinea 'lady in red'.

Yeah, annuals mixed in with my perennials but the Lantana can be overwintered if one desires and the salvia sometimes reseeds. If not for like $20 a season you can just replace them and see you're picking out healthy plants and have no shipping cost.

If you really want a perennial type plant you might try google. Google perennials for hummingbirds and butterflies and you'll find plants that may interest you.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 8:13PM
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