A little bit about Iberis candytuft
If Iberis candytuft hasn’t appeared on your plant radar, you may be pleasantly surprised. A swathe of small but showy flowers (some with a delightful fragrance) in shades of white, pink, red, mauve or purple make it a great groundcover or mass planting choice. Bees, butterflies and birds love this plant, it’s easy to grow, frost hardy and makes a great cut flower. The plant’s name comes from its Spanish and Cretan origins. ‘Iberis’ refers to Iberia, the Roman name for Spain while ‘candytuft’ means ‘the tufted plant from Candia’, Candia being the former name for Crete.
Botanical name: Iberis sempervirens
Common name: Candytuft
Height: 20 to 25 centimetres Width: 30 to 90 centimetres
Ideal position: Iberis candytuft likes a sunny spot sheltered from strong winds. Make sure the soil is light, well-drained and moist, preferably with added lime or dolomite. Take care not to crowd your plant as it can become spindly and will flower poorly.
Suitable spots: Iberis candytuft makes a great garden or container plant.
When does it bloom? Flowers open in late winter through to spring and when not flowering, the plant forms a rounded bush.
Pests and diseases to watch out for: Keep an eye out for slugs. If you have pets, use pet-friendly pellets (pet-friendly when used in accordance with packet instructions), like Multiguard Snail & Slug Killer. If spider mites set in, control with Natrasoap. Iberis candytuft can also suffer from root rot, so spray with a systemic fungicide like Amgrow RotGuard if needed.
How to prepare for planting
Prepare the soil with organic matter plus a pre-planting soluble fertiliser at one-third of a cup per square metre. A light dressing of dolomite or lime is appreciated.
After winter flowering, give your plant complete slow-release fertiliser. Your plant will also benefit from a liquid feed once a month during flowering.
Deadhead regularly to encourage continuous blooming. Iberis candytuft may self-sow but is unlikely to become invasive.
Keep down weeds by mulching or shallow cultivation.