How to Grow and Care For Evergreen Candytuft ‘Iberis sempervirens ‘
Iberis sempervirens (Evergreen Candytuft) is a lovely low, sprawling, woody-based perennial that will brighten your landscape in mid to late spring. With its numerous clusters of 4-petaled white blooms and tiny yellow spots on each petal, it is one of the cleanest garden whites. The blossoms contrast sharply with the foliage’s short, dark green leaves. Native to Europe, the candytuft plant (Iberis sempervirens) has successfully adapted to most USDA zones. A few must-dos are required for proper candytuft care and continuous performance of the flowering, evergreen perennial, which ranges in size from 12 to 18 inches (31–46 cm).
It is recommended to plant candytuft from potted nursery beginnings in the early autumn in warmer climates where it is evergreen and in the spring in colder locations where it dies back in the winter. Candytuft is a long-lived plant that will enliven your garden for many years, despite its slow growth, which can take up to 10 years to reach its maximum size under perfect circumstances. Evergreen Candytuft makes an excellent edging plant for borders, paths, and walkways. It looks great in rock gardens or cascading over the edge of raised beds, and it can also be utilised as a ground cover in small areas. A wonderful addition to cottage gardens, coastal landscapes, or container plantings.
Planting Evergreen Candytuft
Annual candytuft can be directly sowed in the spring or autumn where it will bloom. After preparing the soil, plant seeds in shallow drills and cover with a thin layer of dirt. When it’s dried out, water the seedlings, but let plants that were seeded in the autumn go dormant in the winter. Candytufts are perennial plants that may be purchased in pots. Plant them where and how you want them to grow. As you firm the dirt around the plant and water it in, make sure the top of the rootball is just below the soil’s surface.
Evergreen Candytuft Care
As the candytuft plant won’t thrive in shade or too wet soil, establishing the candytuft plant requires putting it in well-draining, alkaline soil in a sunny spot. The candytuft plant may require supplements, such as lime, in acidic soil. Candytuft is worth growing because the lovely flowers bloom from early spring through the summer and frequently again in the autumn. Plant the plants approximately 6 inches apart if you want them to act as ground cover; over time, they will spread out to cover the area.
Although most candytuft flowers are white, some cultivars include pink or purple blooms. This plant thrives in gravelly soil and would make an excellent tiny specimen for a sunny rock garden or border. When the candytuft flower’s blossoms have faded, trim the entire candytuft plant down to ground level to eliminate woodiness of the stems. This should be done at least every other year to keep this short, flowering beauty from growing too tall and spindly. The candytuft plant is essentially a woody plant, but it looks best as a herbaceous perennial. Candytuft does not require fertilisation, however it can assist assure profuse flowers. If sprayed in early spring, a slow-release fertiliser will aid in the growth of candytuft. For the best results, use a low-nitrogen, high-phosphorous mix. Follow the quantity specified on the product label.
After blooming, you can cut off the top third of the foliage to keep candytuft looking neat and keep it from growing too long. After flowering has finished, some gardeners prefer to use a string trimmer to do this deadheading. The plant in the border garden may get pretty straggly without this yearly pruning. Legginess could be advantageous if you are growing candytuft flowers behind a retaining wall. Only prune them in this situation if you believe the stems are beginning to look overly woody. New, untainted growth will result after pruning.
There are numerous ways to propagate candytuft, but simple root division is the quickest and simplest. This is how you do it:
Shovel up the entire root cluster in the autumn, right before the plants go into winter hibernation. Divide the clump into two or three pieces using a sharp knife or garden trowel. Verify that each segment contains a strong cluster of roots as well as stems. Replant the fragments right away in their new sites, into thoroughly loosened soil that has been improved in drainage (if necessary) by amendment. Stem cuttings can also be used to grow candytuft plants, although the process of getting the cuttings to root takes some time.
Typical Pests & Plant Illnesses
Candytuft suffers from root rot, which is a disease that is frequently present when the plant grows in soggy, poorly drained soil. Plants that have been severely harmed must be removed. Numerous fungal diseases, such as down mildew, powdery mildew, grey mould, rust, and fungal leaf spots, can cause issues. Fungal illnesses are rarely lethal, but they are more prone to occur in humid environments with poor air circulation. A fungicidal spray can be used to treat these diseases if the deforming appearance is regarded unacceptable. The majority of bug pests don’t bother candytuft, but you can have issues with slugs, snails, and caterpillars.
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