Limonium latifulium [lim-OH-nee-um, lat-ih-FOE-lee-um] synonymously known as Limonium platyphyllum [lim-OH-nee-um, plat-TY-fil-um] is a flowering clump-forming perennial.
Famous for its showy flowers, the plant type is commonly known as:
- Sea lavender
- Perennial statice
- Broad-leaved statice
- German statice
Despite the common name ‘sea lavender,’ the plant is not from the lavender family.
Instead, it is a part of the Plumbaginaceae family, which is known as the plumbago or leadwort family.
While the genus is distributed across Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and Australia, it is widely found in southeast and central Europe.
The genus name is derived from the Greek word leimon, which means meadow.
It refers to the natural meadow habitat of the plant.
This is why it is a gardeners’ favorite to grow in mass.
Did you know German statice and other Limonium species are known as ‘everlasting flowers’?
This is because the calyx of the flowers remains on the flower stalk even after the petals have fallen.
Sea Lavender Care
Size & Growth
Sea Lavender is a deciduous or evergreen perennial.
It’s also clump-forming, bearing tiny lavender-colored flowers on long stems.
These nearly leafless and multi-branched flower stalks arise from a basal rosette.
They can grow to a spectacular height between 2’ – 2.5’ feet and have an equally wide spread of wispy stems and dark green leaves.
These leaves are broadly spoon-shaped, leathery, oblong-elliptic, and 6” – 10” inches long.
In ideal growing conditions, the plants grow at a medium growth rate.
It may take the plant 3 to 4 years to mature when started with seeds.
Cuttings may move the germination along much quicker.
Flowering and Fragrance
The sprays of tiny lavender flowers are the crowning elements of the German statice.
During the bloom time between early to late summer, the plant bears long wiry stems decorated with tiny flower heads.
The light color and wispy stems all give the plant an ethereal and cloud-like look similar to lavender plants.
Each flower is about 1 cm and has 5-lobed calyx and corolla.
They are excellent when planted in mass and as cut flowers.
Light & Temperature
The plants are hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9.
The hardiness shows the plants prefer moderate temperatures.
For best growth, plant them in a south-facing window or in a location getting full sun.
Watering and Feeding
When it comes to watering and feeding, broad-leaf statice doesn’t have special needs and is drought tolerant.
Water the plants regularly to maintain sufficient moisture in the soil but be careful about overwatering and drowning the roots.
The plants benefit from a light fertilizer during early spring.
Soil & Transplanting
Sea lavender plants need soil moisture and do their best in well-drained garden soils.
The plants also grow well in sandy loams and tolerate heavy clay soils. Poor drainage may lead to root and crown rot.
As for transplanting, there is no need. Plant the divisions or cutting and sow the seeds directly outside.
It’s best to avoid transplanting to protect the root system.
Grooming and Maintenance
German statice plants growing in heavy or clay soils may need to be staked.
Cutting back the foliage and deadheading after the plant has flowered is recommended for continued blooming.
How to Propagate Limonium
Propagation of the sea lavender is done by seeds, division, and cuttings.
If you’re propagating with seeds, sow them on the surface in the springtime.
Plants started with seeds usually take 3 to 4 years to mature.
Divide the plants in early spring.
This may be difficult to do as the root system is long and sensitive, susceptible to damage.
Taking root cuttings is another option.
Limonium Pest or Disease Problem
Sea lavender plants are generally free from any pest and disease.
They are also deer resistant.
Depending on the plant and location, the plant may be susceptible to crown and root rot problems occasionally.
This mainly happens when the soil gets too wet and when there isn’t any good circulation.
Remedying this with good air circulation and improving soil drainage.
Suggested Sea Lavender Uses
While German statice produces some of the best season cut flowers, they look just as striking when planted in other locations.
Plant them in rock gardens, herbaceous borders, flower beds, coastal gardens, and gravel gardens.
The lavender-blue flowers provide contrast and a burst of color to any perennial garden.
They look great grown in masses in meadows and other landscapes.
Another option is to cut the flowers and display them in containers or dry them.
The flowers attract pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds, so use them in pollinator gardens.