Sea lavender, a surprising flower perfect for drought, drying and more!

Limonium, sea lavender

Impossible not to feel the charm of the statice, sea lavender!

Key Limonium facts

Botanical nameLimonium sp.
Common names – statice, sea lavender, caspia
FamilyPlumbaginaceae (plumbago)

Types – annual, biennial, perennial depending on species
Height – 6 in to 3 feet (15 to 90 cm), depending on species
Exposure – full sun
Soil: light, well-drained, any pH

Flowering: summer  –  Foliage: some are deciduous, others evergreen

With its hundreds of tiny flowers forming cloud-like clusters of blue, yellow or soft pink, it’s hard to resist the enchantment!

Sea lavender description

Identification of sea lavenderThe botanical genus of statice (Limonium in Latin) includes annual, biennial and perennial species. The perennial species, furthermore, might have either deciduous or evergreen leaves. Sea lavender typically serves two purposes.

  • On one hand, their flowers are very interesting if you like preparing dried flower bouquets for your home.
  • On the other hand, outdoors, they’re perfect to flower difficult terrain, such as sandy, dry, salt-laden soil.

Perennial statice

  • Limonium latifolium (syn. L. platyphyllum, Armeria latifolia)

This particular statice, or sea lavender, forms rosettes with long, lance-like leathery leaves. They turn red as fall rolls in. The blooming is a like a fairy’s dream come true, small purple blue flowers seeming to float in the air.

  • L. bellidifolium (syn. Statice bellidifolia)

This species has evergreen leaves, again rosettes that form a clump with a woody stump. The small trumpet-like flowers are tinged with blue.

Annual and biennial statice

  • Limonium sinuatum

Dreamy Limonium sinuatum flowersOriginally a perennial, L. sinuatum is grown as an annual.

Unlike the other species, this statics has lanceolate and deeply marked leaves.

The blooming comes in a range of colors (pink, yellow or blue).

  • L. suworowii (syn. Psylliostachys suworowii)

This species is very different from the previous ones: the blooming forms tall panicles of pink or purple tube-shaped flowers. The foliage, on the other hand, is similar to that of its relatives: lanceolate and forming rosettes.

Planting sea lavender

Apart from Limonium suworowii, which prefers rich and moist soil, all other statice will favor sandy and well-drained soil. It also loves it when it’s growing in full sun. Planting is done from nursery pots either in spring or fall, but if you’re starting from seed you should really sow them in spring.

Pink-blooming limonium staticeFor perennials, simply dig a hole about 4 inches deep (10 cm), and settle the plant clump inside. It helps if you carefully break the root ball up a bit.

As for annuals, sow under cover at the very beginning of spring. Transplant to the ground or to the final pot when the sprouts are an inch or two tall (a few centimeters).

Space plants 20 to 24 inches (50 to 60 cm) apart, so that air may circulate among them well.

Caring for statice

On top of being beautiful, statice will come along fine without any help from your part. Extremely drought-resistant, it’s virtually useless to water. As for pruning, it depends.

Pruning and trimming

Sea lavender with a butterfly on itDepending on the species, you’ll have to follow different paths:

  • Plants with deciduous leaves must be cut back in fall or cleaned up at the end of winter. This helps new leaves burst through in spring.
  • For evergreen species, eliminate flowers as the start dying off.
  • Lastly, regarding annuals and biennials, trim the plant back when it has died off completely.


To grow new statice plants, simply divide the perennials in spring, or sow new seeds in fall or at the beginning of spring.

Diseases and pests attacking statice

Statice is a plant with a high resistance. Insects and diseases seem to never get a hold of it! Perhaps only L. suworowii occasionally falls victim to Botrytis and to powdery mildew.

Landscaping and pairing Limonium

Sea of sea lavender by the seaSea lavender is ideal when setting up a garden along the coast. It also excels in rocky terrain, or to decorate a mound. Remember to dry its magnificent flowers to create fabulous bouquets to decorate your house. One more thing: to increase the impact of its ethereal blooming, pair your Limonium with similar flowers such as gypsophila or Argentinian verbena.

Images: adobestock: Valdeon, CC BY 2.0: Gail Hampshire, Jay Huang, CC BY-SA 2.0: Sarah Murray; Pixabay: Jody Davis, Petra Fischer, Whisker Flowers

Written by Christophe Dutertre | With a formal degree in landscaping and an informal love of gardens, Christophe will introduce you to this passion we all share. Novelty, down-to-earth tips and environment-friendly techniques are marked on the map, so let's get going!