Iberis – Candytuft
Candytuft, a low growing evergreen shrub, is, in reality, one of the best flowers in its class. It grows from 9 inches to 12 inches high and spreads out making low mats that are covered with flat, dense clusters of the purest of white flowers. This perennial Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) comes into bloom the last part of April and lasts through June. I. gibraltarica is the largest of the Candytufts, but is somewhat more straggly in growth. It is very showy because the clusters of white flowers are deeply tinted rose lavender. The foliage of Candytuft is evergreen, which makes the plant attractive throughout the year. This is the larger and showier of the two species but is not as hardy.
UTILIZE. Candytuft, besides being one of the best white flowers for cutting, is also invaluable to use in rock gardens, to cover bare spots, to use in beds. Candytuft, with its evergreen foliage, is one of the best plants grown for edging purposes. Some of the varieties are fragrant, which makes them more useful as cut flowers. The plants are used in hanging baskets, porch boxes and are grown as pot plants.
GENERAL. The plants form a dense mat and when once established should not be moved. They do best in the sunshine. A moderately rich soil and plenty of water are the most important requirements. If the true I. gibraltarica is grown, it will need careful protection in the northern states.
PROPAGATION. Those plants grown from seed, are usually straggly the first year. They are easy to raise from seed, which germinate in two weeks but the best plants are obtained from cuttings which root easily. Cuttings should be made in September and wintered over in a cold frame where they can be kept moist.