Growing Sea Thrift Plants: How To Care For Armeria Maritima

Armeria Maritima [Ar-MER-ee-uh Mar-ih-TEE-muh] is an herbaceous perennial plant, belonging to the sea lavender family Plumbaginaceae (blue plumbago).

This plant is native to temperate coastal areas and mountains in the northern hemisphere, mainly northern Europe and also found in North America.

Blooming Sea Thrift Plants (Armeria Maritima)

This flowering perennial plant has various geographical subspecies which mainly differ in pollen structure and flower morphology.

It is a low-growing, compact evergreen plant which sprouts clusters of tiny flowers.

This non-invasive and non-aggressive plant is also known by various common names, including:

  • Common Thrift
  • Siberian sea thrift
  • Interior sea pink
  • California sea pink
  • Thrift sea pink
  • Sea Thrift

Armeria Maritime Care

Size & Growth

This evergreen, compact plant grows around 6″ – 12″ inches tall from a woody taproot.

It has a mounded tuft which slow expands and includes numerous dark green, needle-shaped, and stiff leaves with hairs around their margins in most cases.

Flowering and Fragrance

During the bloom time mid-spring, Armeria Maritima has a bloom color of lavender to bright pink flower color which are in tiny round clusters.

The flowers are subtended with papery bracts, purplish on top of leafless, unbranched, and slender flower stems.

All of the flowers include five petals connecting at the base with five stamens.

Best flowering requires large plugs or mature plants.

Foliage color is silver and type is deciduous.

Forms linear grass-like dark green leaves up to 4″ inches tall.

The Dusseldorf Pride variety has deep pink to wine-red flowers.

Light & Temperature

This flowering plant prefers full sun and part shade. For optimal growth the plant requires high light.

The ideal temperatures for this plant are between 60° – 65° degrees Fahrenheit (16° C – 18° C) if the night temperature is below 55° degrees Fahrenheit (13° C) than it drastically slows down the growth of this plant and increases crop times.

USDA zone – hardiness zone 3 – 9.

Watering and Feeding

It is best to water the new plants every day for the next few weeks.

Once plants are fully established, watering must be adjusted as per the soil type and weather.

Watering after two to three days is preferred for best growth.

The moisture is held longer in clay soil as compared to sandy soil, so it is essential to water the plant regularly in sandy conditions.

The soil moisture should be checked by using a small trowel or finger to dig in the soil and examine it.

The plant requires water if first 2″ – 4″ inches of the soil appear to be dry.

Use fertilizer in the soil when prepping beds for the new plants.

It is best to feed the established plants during early spring and once again during its growing season.

Avoid feeding the plant during late growth season as it will stimulate growth which would be damaged because of its first frosts.

Soil & Transplanting

Armeria Maritima splendens grow best in well-drained, lean soil.

This plant doesn’t tolerate moist soil and is drought tolerant.

Prolonged moist soil might result in rotting from the center and eventually killing off the whole plant.

Therefore, too fertile soil, heavy clay, and extended moist soil must be avoided, which is the reason why this plant is known to be short-lived.

However, if it has a proper setting to grow, it can survive for numerous years with minimum maintenance.

Grooming and Maintenance

Deadhead the common thrift plant to enhance its growth.

If its center is starting to rot, it is best to cut it back severely.

Divide the plant, discard the rotten center, and replant the healthy sections.

This plant is evergreen so avoid pruning during the fall season, and remove all the dead leaves during the spring season.

How to Propagate Common Thrift

The ideal propagation of Armeria Maritima is through seeds.

It is recommended to soak the seeds in warm water for 8 hours before sowing in sandy soil-filled pots.

The germination process of this plant is completed in two to three weeks at 59° degrees Fahrenheit (15° C).

Once the plant becomes large enough to manage, it is best to transfer the seedlings in individual pots to grow in cold frames during the first winter.

Plant it out in early summer or late spring.

The division should be done during the spring season or after the plant has flowered.

Plant large divisions straight in the permanent position.

However, it is better to pot small divisions to grow in a cold frame in the light shade until they start rooting.

Afterward, the plant should be transferred to its permanent position.

Sea Thrift Pest or Diseases

This plant mostly grows disease-free, pest free, and is deer resistant.

However, keep a check on crown rots, which is caused due to poor drainage and winter wet.

Be on a lookout for rust as well.

California Sea Pink Uses

Thrift seapink is best used massed together in sandy to gravelly or dry beds, as a perennial border, or in rock gardens.

A compact plant type for edging, border fronts, rock gardens or use as a ground cover.

Makes a good cut flower.

The mounded compact shape of this plant provides a stunning textual contrast to other types of low-growing plants.

Place the plant in a position where it won’t be overgrown by fast-spreading taller perennials.

This plant may be utilized with smaller plants in mixed containers.

Armeria Maritima is excellent for trough gardens which offer good drainage.

It is rarely utilized in herbal medicines, but it is antibiotic, which is why the dried flowering perennial is used in obesity treatment, urinary infection treatment, and for treating certain nervous disorders.

It should not be utilized as an external antibiotic poultice since it might result in local irritation or dermatitis.