May 5, 2014 update:
As this post continues to be one of my most popular, I just added a new post with updated images over on Live Creatively Inspired (where I also blog regularly), so you can see how our Candytuft looks two years later. The link is at the bottom of this post!
I have a flowering plant recommendation for you:
Whether you love to garden, or you can't be bothered and just want to put something into the ground and forget about it, Candytuft is a plant you should pick up this season at your local nursery or home improvement store.
I wanted something to plant in the circled area (below) that was no-fuss.
|(photo taken in June 2011)|
Candytuft was the perfect solution!
|(photo taken March 2012)|
Candytuft is one of the first plants to light up the garden each Spring in a blanket of white. I like to describe it as "Alyssum on steroids" as the impact is a much larger and more vibrant blanket of white than Alyssum can provide. You can plant Candytuft in full sun to partial shade. In full sun, make sure plants have enough moisture; in full shade there won't be as many flowers.
Most garden books seem to agree that Candytuft is considered a perennial in zones 3 - 9.
Candytuft is evergreen. When we think of evergreens, most of us think of pine trees (or similar needle-type trees), right? Well, Candytuft is also an evergreen, meaning that the plant leaves stay green year-round. This is especially nice to see in the dead of winter, when most things are... well... dead or dormant.
Candytuft spreads in a behaved way. Ever have plants that spread like crazy? At first it's always fun to dig up a few of the spreaders and plant them elsewhere. But eventually you can feel as if your entire landscape will be taken over with the nonstop transplanting or dividing of plants. Not with Candytuft. It fills out nicely and spreads in a subdued way that you will appreciate.
Some experts recommend that you give Candytuft a light shearing after the initial bloom period is over or remove the seedpods as they appear, if you have the time and patience. Doing either of these things prevents the plants from getting leggy. You want the plant's energy to be spent on the plant, not on developing its own seeds. I left some of the seedpods on, however, for possible new plants to sprout up this season.
Candytuft stands up to heat and humidity. We live in southern New Jersey, where Summer is hot and humid. Candytuft seems to tolerate heat better than Alyssum, which can wilt easily if you have hot, sunny days in the latter part of Spring. I planted our Candytuft last Spring, and even during the hottest parts of the Summer months the plants continued looking almost perfect. There were a few yellow leaves that showed up when the plants needed some water, but those were few and easily picked off.
Not just one bloom period! Candytuft will often rebloom in the Fall. Although the Fall blooms are nowhere near the flowering abundance of the Spring blooming period, the Fall blooms are still quite pretty. There are several cultivars of Candytuft that will rebloom; check the plant information accompanying each plant when shopping.
Did I convince you? Let me know!
May 5, 2014 update: Click here to see how these stunning flowering perennials look two years later!