Also known as armeria maritime, sea thrift is native to northern Europe and all around the Mediterranean Sea. This evergreen perennial produces grassy mounds from 2 to 5 inches high, with rounded flowerheads on stems that range from 6 to 12 inches tall. There are a variety of cultivars, with colours ranging from white, pink or red. Sea thrift can be used as groundcover, as an edging plant or planted in rock gardens. It is suitable for USDA zones 2 to 9.
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Things you need
- Sharp sand
- Sea thrift plants
- Complete fertiliser
- Pruning shears
- Gardening gloves
Select the site for the sea thrift. They need full sun all day and can tolerate dry, windy conditions and salty air. The Sea Thrift grows in any kind of soil as long as it is well drained. If you have problems with drainage, mix some sharp sand into the soil.
Plant sea thrift in late spring. Dig a hole that is larger than the container. Remove the sea thrift carefully from the original container. Inspect the roots to make sure they are not rootbound. If they are, gently separate the roots with your fingers. Place the sea thrift in the hole. Fill it with soil and tamp down gently to remove air bubbles. Water to settle the soil. Space sea thrift 6 to 8 inches apart.
Water sea thrift but do not allow the soil to get soggy, as prolonged wet soil will cause the plant to rot. Apply a light amount of complete fertiliser in the early spring. During humid weather or in sheltered conditions, the plant can develop rust. Treat it with a fungicide.
Watch for sea thrift to bloom beginning in mid-spring and continuing through late summer. Deadhead the plants’ spent flower stems to insure blooming. Sea thrift makes a good cut flower.
Divide established clumps of sea thrift in the spring. Dig up the clump, divide and replant about 6 to 8 inches apart. You can also grow it from cuttings taken in the summer.
Tips and warnings
- Bayer Advanced has an all in one rose and flower product that contains pesticide, fungicide and plant food. It is applied once a month by mixing in water and pouring at the base of the plant. Because it is systemic, it will take more than one month to begin fully working and a temporary spray or dust might need to be applied.
- Keep sea thrift away from children and animals. It is poisonous if ingested.
- Wear gardening gloves when handling, as the plant has spines and sharp edges.
- The pollen from this plant may cause allergic reaction.
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