Statice flowers are vivid Mediterranean imports that have found favor with florists, crafters, and home gardeners alike who appreciate the showy, long-lasting bracts. You won’t find statice plants in many nurseries, but the seeds are cheap and sprout readily even for those with brownish thumbs. Due to its funky, musty odor, you won’t want to bury your nose in a statice bouquet, but you will find the rugged plants a pleasing addition to rock gardens or seaside landscapes.
Get to Know Statice
The other common names of sea foam, sea lavender, and marsh rosemary are a clue to the tough nature of the genus Limonium, and the fact that it thrives in coastal gardens, shrugging off salty soil and sea spray. Statice plants grow 15 to 30 inches tall in all zones as a warm weather annual. Full sun exposure is an important growing requirement, for without adequate light the plants flop over.
Statice plants come in a palette of springtime colors including rose, white, pink, yellow, peach, and violet shades. The petite stiff flowers are actually bracts, and the true flowers are hiding inside. The foliage of statice resembles that of a dandelion in size and habit, ranging from lance-shaped to slightly lobed rosettes.
Statice Planting Tips
Statice plants are easy to start from seed and an economical way to fill up your cutting garden with blossoms. For earliest blooms, start the seeds indoors two months before your average last frost. The seeds are tiny, and only require a fine covering of soil.
Statice plants thrive in average, well-drained garden loam. Sandy soils are better than clay, so if your landscape has heavy soil you may have better luck growing statice in the container garden. The plants are somewhat drought tolerant, and will still look pert when you return from your summer vacation, especially if you help moderate soil temperatures with a three-inch layer of mulch.
Statice plants perform best with a bit of benign neglect. They like lean, poor soils on the dry side. Too much water or fertilizer causes the plants to flop or succumb to fungal infections.
As the blooming stalks of your statice plants grow throughout the season, they may droop onto the ground. You can support the plants with a grow-through ring stake, or by planting them densely so that they support one another.
Garden Design With Statice
Along with roses and lilies, statice plants are an essential element of the cutting garden. Statice flowers are very desirable as filler plants for bouquets because they are delicate-looking yet long-lasting in the vase. Statice flowers are one of the few flowers that look almost as beautiful dry as they do fresh, making them a craft favorite. Be sure not to plant dwarf varieties if you plan to use the flowers in bouquets or crafts, as long stems are important for flower arranging.
Statice plants favor the same growing conditions as globe amaranth, which is another easy to grow and dry flower for crafters. You can also pair statice with the money plant Lunaria biennis, which offers an intriguing textural contrast with its ethereal translucent seed pods that resemble coins.
Favorite Statice Varieties
- Fortress series: Thin stems and vivid colors sold individually or as a mix
- Midnight: For gardeners that crave deep blue flowers
- QIS series: Stands for quality in the seed; a favorite of professional growers