Height 15-45cm (6-18in) high
Planting distance 15-23cm (6-9in)
Flowers early summer to early autumn
Easy to grow and generous with their white and pink, candytufts are deservedly popular annuals. As they tolerate smoke and grime, they are a good choice for town gardens, where they can be grown in borders and rockeries, for decoration or for cutting.
To get a continuous display all summer, sow some seeds in autumn and the rest in spring.
Two species and their varieties are found in gardens.
Popular species and varieties
Iberis amara (syn. I. Coronaria), commonly known as rocket candy-tuft, is an upright plant, reaching 38cm (15in) high. Its fragrant flowers are excellent for cutting, as well as for border decoration. Iberis umbellata is a spreading plant (15-38cm/6-15in high) with compact clusters of white, pink and lavender flowers. Popular varieties include ‘Cream Flash’ (23-30cm high, creamy-white flowers); ‘Dwarf Fairyland Mixed’ (25cm/10in high plants with pink, red, maroon, white and lavender flowers); ‘Pinnacle’ (38-45cm/15-18 in high, pure white, dense and fragrant flowers); and ‘Red Flash’ (38cm/15in high plants with carmine-red flowers).
Sow the seeds in their flowering site, successively in autumn and in spring to ensure a continuous floral display all summer. Thin the seedlings to 23cm (9in) apart. Candytuft does well in any well-drained garden soil, including poor soil, and in full sun. Deadhead regularly.
Pests and diseases