Armeria is a low growing, long-blooming perennial. It is both drought-tolerant and salt spray tolerant making it a good choice for both seaside and inland gardens. Sea thrift has grass-like leaves growing in tufts and commonly pink flowers on long stems.
The genus Armeria comprises dwarf perennials with evergreen leaves in rosettes and numerous flower-heads on wiry stems from spring to autumn.
Plant Armeria at the front of a border or as edging. Armeria is also a good choice for containers and rock gardens.
Armeria are often called sea-pinks and thrift.
Get to Know Armeria
- Plant type: Perennial
- Growing Zones and range: 4-9
- Hardiness: Hardy to -35°F (-37°C); drought tolerant once established; prefers cool nights
- Height and width: 3 to 8 inches (8-20cm) tall; 10 to 12 inches (25-30cm) wide
- Foliage: Linear, grass-like leaves in rosettes
- Flowers: Lollipop-like flowers 1-inch (2.5cm) across on wiry stems
- Flower color: Pink shades, red, white
- Bloom time: Mid-spring through early summer
- Uses: Sea Thrift is well suited for the coastal area, rock gardens; use sea thrift as an edging
- Common name: Sea thrift, sea pinks, thrift
- Botanical name: Armeria
- Family: Plumbaginaceae
- Origin: Pacific coast of North and South America
Where to Plant Armeria
- Plant Armeria in full sun in Zones 4-5; plant in light shade in Zones 6-9.
- Grow Armeria in well-drained, sandy soil. Sea thrift will tolerate poor, dry, sandy soil.
Armeria Uses and Companions
- Mass Armeria as a groundcover.
- Use Armeria as edging or foreground plants in a flower border.
- Add Armeria around rocks in a rock garden of use in a seaside garden.
- Good companions for Armeria include Iberis sempervirens, Lychnis coronaria, Stachys lanata.
When to Plant Armeria
- Set out established Armeria plants in spring or fall.
- Sow seed in the garden in spring; sow seed in containers in a cold frame in autumn.
Planting and Spacing Armeria
- Space Armeria 10 to 12 inches (25-30cm) apart.
- Sow seed 1/8 inch deep in evenly prepared soil in spring.
- Sow seed in containers in a cold frame in autumn.
How to Water and Feed Armeria
- Keep the soil moderately moist.
- Armeria can be fertilized spring with an all-purpose fertilizer.
- Mulch around sea thrift to keep roots cool and the soil moist.
- Divide Armeria in spring or fall every 2 or 3 years.
- Trim Armeria flowers to keep the plant flowering.
Armeria Pests and Diseases
- Where summers are hot, plants may rot from the center.
- Prone to spider mites and aphids when started indoors.
- Divide clumps in spring or fall every three years.
- Sow seed in fall or spring.
- Armeria seed will germinate in about 28 days at 60°F (15°C). Soak seed in tepid water for 3 or 4 hours before sowing.
- Root basal cutting in summer.
Armeria Varieties to Grow
- Aermeria juniperifolia: stiff, needle-shaped leaves; compact rosettes; flowers rose-pink or white; requires good drainage.
- Armeria maritima, common thrift: is the most popular species; tufted mounds to 12 inches (30 cm) high; flowers on 10-inch stalks are white, red, or pink blooms; blooms most of the year. Cultivars include: ‘Pride of Dusseldorf is wine-red flowers; ‘Alba’ is white on 5-inch stems; ‘Laucheana’ has crimson flowers;‘Rubrifolia’ has purple-pink flowers.
- Armeria pseudarmeria, plantain thrift has white or pink-toned flowers.