Iberis umbellata. Umbels of fragrant flowers unfold from a central point in pink to off-white on annual plants that grow 20-30cm (8-10") tall with a spreading habit. Iberis prefers well drained soil in full sun, and has a remarkable characteristic of blooming just weeks after sowing. Direct sow Candytuft Iberis seeds from last frost date to mid-July for continuous blooms. Iberis may self sow in the right conditions, but will not become invasive. Try planting some Iberis seeds for use in xeriscaping, as the plants are quite drought tolerant. This plant looks good in containers, and is highly attractive to beneficial insects over a long flowering period.
Iberis umbellata is an annual plant originating in Spain. It is a distant relative of the cabbage.
Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun – some afternoon shade is appreciated
Start indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date, around early to mid-February on the coast. Or direct sow outdoors from your last frost date, every two weeks into July for a continuous bloom period. Seeds should germinate in 10-20 days. Ideal soil temperature for germination: 21-30°C (70-85°F).
If starting indoors, use peat or coir pots and bottom heat. Only cover seed by a couple of millimeters (1/8″) of soil. Transplant out after last frost at 15-30cm (6-12″) apart.
Iberis does not respond well to transplanting or being moved. Direct sowing may be simplest. Choose any well-drained garden soil with a neutral pH range of 6.0-7.0. Trim plants lightly after flowering to encourage a second bloom. Iberis may self sow.