About Empress Rocket Candytuft: This plant’s genus name of “Iberis” indicates its original home on the Europe’s Iberian Peninsula. It often grows on the rocky slopes and hills of coastal regions as well as the rest of Europe. It became known in colonial American gardens in the late 18th century, and well known horticulturist Bernard McMahon first offered its seed for sale in the 1804 edition of his Catalogue. The common name “candytuft" actually originated from the flower's presence on the Mediterranean island of Candia, an ancient name for Crete.
Empress Rocket Candytuft Germination: Direct sow in fall for the earliest blooms, or after the last spring frost for early summer bloom. Plant more every several weeks for continuous flowers. Though these plants do not respond well to transplanting, they can also be started indoors in peat pots; sow just below the surface of the soil, keeping it evenly moist and at a temperature of 65-70 degrees F. Germination usually occurs within 15-20 days. This plant grows well in poor or sandy soil.
Growing Empress Rocket Candytuft Seeds: Keep these plants well watered but not soggy; they can tolerate short periods of drought, and grow best in well drained soil. Though they do not grow well in shade, they also prefer cooler temperatures and may die back in the heat of summer. They develop quickly, blooming 5-6 weeks after germination. Deadhead regularly for prolonged blooming; after flowering has finished, cut the foliage back by one third unless saving the seed. Though this plant will self-seed in good conditions, it does not become weedy. These flowers attract bees, butterflies, and birds.
Harvesting Empress Rocket Candytuft: For fresh flowers, cut long stems of flowers that have just opened and place them in water immediately; strip the leaves that will fall below the water.
Saving Empress Rocket Candytuft Seeds: After the flowers fade, a papery tan seedhead will form; the ripe seeds will be flattened brown ovals. Shake the ripe heads over a container to remove the seed. Store the cleaned seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Empress Rocket Candytuft Info: Origin: Southern Europe Other Common Names: Hyacinth Flowered Candytuft, Annual Candytuft, Bitter Candytuft Duration: Annual Bloom Time: Summer Height: 12-18 inches Spacing: 8-10 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 3a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 11,300 Produces a plant with small, pointed leaves and rounded clusters of tiny, fragrant white flowers.