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How to Care for a Statice Plant!

Stunning bright purple statice flower clusters

Genus Limonium

It has always been a dream of mine to have a garden filled with cut flower varieties. Imagine being able to waltz into your backyard to prepare a perfect dried flower bouquet or fresh flower arrangement every time you go to a dinner party! Along with lunaria annua and queen anne’s lace, I’m adding limonium to my list of new cut flower garden members.

The limonium genus has 120 different flowering plant species. Limonium is more commonly known as sea lavender, caspia, marsh rosemary, and statice. With names like that you’d assume they’d be related to lavender or rosemary, but they’re actually part of the leadwort and plumbago plant family, plumbaginaceae.

The reason why it’s called sea lavender is because it is a herbaceous perennial shrub that seems to love living in saline soils. It can be tricky to find plants that are tolerant to salt spray and saline soil, so make sure to add this one to your list!

Limonium plants are loved by gardeners for a ton of reasons. They are super easy to care for, they have really long lasting and showy flower bracts which makes them perfect for cut flower arrangements and dried flower bouquets. You won’t be able to find start plants in a nursery, but seeds are easy to find and they are just itching to get established in your garden!

What do Statice Plants Look Like?

Looking down at lovely cluster of purple statice flowers

Growth Habit

Starting under the soil, statice plants grow from underground rhizomes. Rhizomes are basically underground storage facilities that contain all the necessary moisture and nutrients a plant needs to survive harsher climates.

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From these rhizomes will grow sturdy stems of about 15-30 inches tall. Leaves grow close to the ground and the stem bears housed to branched corymbs of flowers.

Statice plants will grow either as long lasting annuals, meaning that the plant will perish after its first flowering period, or as a herbaceous perennial, meaning it will continue to blossom come spring as long as its growing conditions are met and maintained.

Leaves

With 120 species within the genus, there are bound to be variations in leaf color and shape. Many varieties will have simple leaves, whereas others will have lobed leaves.

A common trait when it comes to statice leaves is that they grow as a dense basal rosette at the base of the flower stem, hugging close to the ground. Foliage is usually a deep green color.

Flowers

Gardeners love statice flowers. Statice flowers have earned the nickname “everlasting flower” because their calyx remains on the plant after the true flowers have fallen away. This gives them the appearance of having eternal flowers on their stems, making them the perfect specimens for dried flower arrangements.

Flowers are produced at the end of long flower stems in branched corymbs. Statice flowers themselves are really quite tiny and have a papery texture to them (another great feature for dried arrangements). Dry statice flowers will be significantly less vibrant than fresh flowers.

Flower color will vary, with varieties bearing pink flowers, purple flowers, white flowers, or yellow flowers. They will usually bloom in the middle of summer and last well into the fall. They can be harvested for bouquets after they have gone to seed.

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What are some Popular Statice Species?

Gorgeous light purple papery statice flowers

Wavy Leaf Sea Lavender (Limonium Sinuatum)

Wavy leaf sea lavender also goes by names of notch leaf marsh rosemary or sea pink. L sinuatum is a species that is native to the Mediterranean basin and prefers to live in warm and humid locations.

Limonium sinuatum is a short lived perennial (or an annual statice) that is mostly treated as an annual plant. It can be identified by its leaves and stems that are covered in downy hairs, and short papery clusters of white, pink, purple, or yellow flower blooms.

German Statice (Goniolimon Tataricum)

German statice also goes by the name of Tatarian sea lavender and is native to places like Albania, Algeria, Green, and Romania. This is one of the smaller limonium species loved by gardeners in warmer regions.

Goniolimon tataricum can be identified by its low mound of blue/green foliage with a fine and delicate texture. From here grows airy plumes of star shaped white flowers that bloom in the late summer.

Pink Pokers (Limonium Suworowii)

Also known as the rat tail statice (which is not at all indicative of its appearance), pink pokers are some of the most beloved varieties of the limonium genus.

Limonium suworowii grows incredible tall and dramatic flower spikes that resemble pipe cleaners. This is a herbaceous perennial plant that bears the most showy of the limonium blooms, with magenta flower spikes that dry into a dull pink.

Sea Lavender (Limonium Latifolium)

This type of sea lavender is one of the most common garden varieties as it can grow in nearly any biome with vigor. This plant type is perfect for coastal gardens and gardens with poor soil as well.

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Limonium latifolium can be identified by its dramatic clouds of blue flowers or pink flowers that rise high above a dark green basal rosette of leaves. Flowers will often bloom in the late spring and last into the late summer.

Where is Statice a Native Plant?

Amazing light purple statice flowers growing in the wild

The biggest favor that you can do yourself as a gardener is learning where certain species are considered as being native plants before introducing them to your garden. Understanding the climate of a plant’s natural growing range better equips you to keep it happy in other parts of the world.

Statice plants can grow pretty much anywhere that has a temperature climate. Species are native species and also have become naturalized all over Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and North America.

Most statice plants can happily exist outdoors all year long in USDA growing zones 3 through 9, though there are other species that can only survive outdoors in warm coastal temperatures. Just do your research before picking a specimen.

What are the Ideal Growing Conditions of Statice Plants?

Now that we have all of the basic information about statice plants down, it’s time for you to learn how to keep one happy! Caring for statice is super straight forward. They get established quickly, they grow quickly, and their maintenance is minimal. Here are some things to remember:

Ornamental statice shrub growing with white flowers

Soil Type

The most important thing to note about statice plants is the fact that they really prefer to live in soil that is super duper well draining.

Light sandy soil is what they tend to grow in in the wild, because it is light in texture and it has the best drainage around. If you have packed soil in your garden, all you have to do is incorporate some sand to lighten it up!

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Water Level

Watering your statice plant won’t take up much time in your day at all. Most of the time natural precipitation will be more than enough water and these plants are decently drought tolerant.

Just remember to let the soil dry out completely between waterings. Simply dip your finger into the soil to determine if it is still moist underneath. Less than an inch of water per week is all that is required.

Sun Exposure

Statice plants are sun loving creatures. This means that they should be receiving direct sunlight exposure for a minimum of 6-8 hours per day.

If statice plants are planted in partial shade or full shade they will try to grow in the direction of the sun and can become quite leggy and fragile. This type of situation makes them prone to falling over, which we don’t want.

Focus image on dried white statice flowers in lovely clusters

Temperature

Statice plants are great when it comes to temperature tolerance. Their tolerance will vary according to the species, but overall they’ll do just fine if submitted to cold or hot temperatures.

The main thing to remember is that the soil needs to be at least about 50 degrees Fahrenheit for most specimens in order for a successful transplantation to occur.

Fertilizer

Statice plants don’t require any fertilizer in order to thrive. In fact, they seem to perform a lot better in poor soils!

Pruning

Though it isn’t necessary, pinching back spent flowers can help encourage a second blooming period for your statice plant. This works out nicely since you can just take those clipped stems and hang them upside down to create a dried flower arrangement.

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How do you Propagate a Statice Plant?

Focus image of pink dried out statice flowers on a stem

By now, you have all the information you could possibly need to grow your very own statice plant. Now all there is to learn is how to propagate one of your very own! This is best done by sowing statice seed. Here are some steps to get you going:

1. It is best to start you statice seeds indoors at least 8-10 weeks before that expected frost of the season. This way the seedlings will be big enough to be transplanted once the weather is warm enough.

2. Simply sprinkle some statice seeds into a large and wide tray and cover with a very fine layer of soil, as seeds require sunlight in order to germinate.

3. Next, place those pots in a south facing window and consistently mist the plants – they require moisture as they are first getting established. Sprouts should start popping up in 3-4 weeks.

4. Once the seeds are about 3-8 weeks old, they should be ready to be transplanted outdoors in the early spring. Bring them out from indoors so that they can have a cold period. Once temperatures are warm enough the plants will just explode.

5. Pick a spot on your property that receives direct sunlight exposure and soil that has been amended with sand. Dig holes that are about 12-18 inches apart from one another. Once seedlings are transplanted, water deeply. You’ll have statice flower clusters sprouting up in no time!

See? Growing statice is easy! Happy planting!

Dried flower arrangements of statice plants in clear vases

FAQs

Are statice plants deer resistant?

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Another reason why gardeners love statice plants is because they are resistant to grazing from larger pests like deer, rabbits, and squirrels.

How do you harvest statice flower clusters?

The best time of year to harvest statice flowers is in the late summer or fall after they have gone to seed. Simply grab small bunches and hang them upside down in an area that is drafty and dry. Leave them for a couple of weeks and soon enough you’ll have dry statice flowers that are ready to be put into dried arrangements.

How are statice plants used?

Statice plants are great for a natural garden design, but gardeners also love them because of their “everlasting flower”. They are the perfect plant for drying out and incorporating into dried flower arrangements.

What are the damaging agents to statice plants?

The main thing to remember about statice plants is that they are very susceptible to powdery mildew. Infected plants will develop a dust-looking layer on their foliage which can very quickly spread to other specimens. This can be avoided by remembering to water close to the ground rather than up above. This way, leaves won’t get wet.

Can statice plants survive winter temperatures?

Statice plants are great when it comes to temperature tolerance. Their tolerance will vary according to the species, but overall they’ll do just fine if submitted to cold or hot temperatures.

The main thing to remember is that the soil needs to be at least about 50 degrees Fahrenheit for most specimens in order for a successful transplantation to occur.

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Can a statice plant be grown indoors?

A statice plant can be grown indoors as long as it is placed in a south facing window, and in a pot that has plenty of drainage holes in it.

Can a statice plant be grown in a container?

Statice plants can live happily in containers as long as they’re placed in an area that receives a sufficient amount of sunlight.

Are statice plants perennials?

While annual statice is common, there are other species that are known to be short lived perennials.

What USDA growing zone can statice plants grow in?

Most statice plants can happily exist outdoors all year long in USDA growing zones 3 through 9, though there are other species that can only survive outdoors in warm coastal temperatures. Just do your research before picking a specimen.

How often should a statice plant be watered?

Watering your statice plant won’t take up much time in your day at all. Most of the time natural precipitation will be more than enough water and these plants are decently drought tolerant.

Just remember to let the soil dry out completely between waterings. Simply dip your finger into the soil to determine if it is still moist underneath. Less than an inch of water per week is all that is required.

What are some other common names for statice plants?

The limonium genus has 120 different flowering plant species. Limonium is more commonly known as sea lavender, caspia, marsh rosemary, and statice. With names like that you’d assume they’d be related to lavender or rosemary, but they’re actually part of the leadwort and plumbago plant family, plumbaginaceae.

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Should a statice plant be pruned?

Though it isn’t necessary, pinching back spent flowers can help encourage a second blooming period for your statice plant. This works out nicely since you can just take those clipped stems and hang them upside down to create a dried flower arrangement.

Do statice plants prefer full sun or partial shade?

Statice plants are sun loving creatures. This means that they should be receiving direct sunlight exposure for a minimum of 6-8 hours per day.

If statice plants are planted in partial shade or full shade they will try to grow in the direction of the sun and can become quite leggy and fragile. This type of situation makes them prone to falling over, which we don’t want.

Where can I buy statice plant seeds?

Though you probably won’t find an established statice plant in a nursery, you will be able to find statice seed packets in almost any garden centre, and they are very easy to find online as well.

What is the ideal soil type for a statice plant?

The most important thing to note about statice plants is the fact that they really prefer to live in soil that is super duper well draining.

Light sandy soil is what they tend to grow in in the wild, because it is light in texture and it has the best drainage around. If you have packed soil in your garden, all you have to do is incorporate some sand to lighten it up!

What is the easiest way to propagate a statice plant?

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Statice plant can very easily get established just by planting seeds.

How tall do statice plants get?

Statice plants aren’t too huge, and will commonly grow to be between 15 and 30 inches tall. This makes them great both for growing indoors and outdoors.

What time of year do statice flowers bloom?

Flower color will vary, with varieties bearing pink flowers, purple flowers, white flowers, or yellow flowers. They will usually bloom in the middle of summer and last well into the fall. They can be harvested for bouquets after they have gone to seed.