Position – Full sun
Soil – Poor, well-draining, slightly alkaline
Flowering Period – February to august
Hardiness – Fully hardy to hardy
Erysimum are annuals, biennials or woody-based perennials. Dense clusters of often fragrant flowers sit above short, thick stems and narrow lance-shaped leaves. They’re easy to grow, excellent for cutting, trouble free and rabbit proof too! Many varieties have a long flowering period; some boasting flowers from March through to July. This coupled with the huge range of vibrant and subtle, shades and scents make them a firm favourite within any garden. You should expect to see Erysimum grow to an approximate height and spread of 30-50cm (12-20”).
Erysimum are found naturally growing in Mediterranean conditions, much like rosemary, thyme and cistus so if you have thin, sun-baked soils then you should be able to produce fantastic results. In general, Erysimum thrive on poor, neutral to alkaline, well-draining soils in a position of full sun. If you have wet, boggy or acidic soil you should probably avoid planting them.
Common sub-shrub-like and alpine cultivars will tolerate several degrees of frost over short periods of time whereas others will not. Erysimum are intolerant to long periods of winter wet and strong winds as this will cause wind-rock and neck-rot. Where possible, use an open-ended cloche during winter to provide some protection. Smaller varieties are great for containers which can be protected in a well-ventilated, unheated greenhouse throughout winter.
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