How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Statice

Statice is a beautiful flowering annual or perennial that adds color to flower beds and makes a long-lasting cut flower. Cut flower gardener Melissa Strauss shares how to grow and care for this fun and interesting plant in your garden.

Clusters of purple statice flowers nestled among lush green foliage, creating a vibrant contrast in a garden setting.

Contents

If you’re a fan of dried flowers, it’s likely that you’ve already heard about statice. If you haven’t, you’re in for a real treat! This is one of the most excellent flowers for drying and using in arrangements, and it’s so easy to grow!

Statice Overview

Clusters of yellow statice flowers and leaves illuminated by bright sunlight.
The statice is a perennial in zones 8-11 and an annual elsewhere.
Plant Type 4-9
Family Plumbaginaceae
Genus Limonium
Species 120
Native Area Mediterranean Region, Asia, Africa, Canary Islands, North America
Exposure Full sun
Height 4″-7′
Watering Requirements Low to moderate
Pests and Diseases Spider mites, slugs and snails, cucumber beetles, mealybugs, fungal diseases, viruses
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Fertile, sandy loam
Soil pH 6.0-7.0

What is Statice?

Statice is a wonderfully easy-to-grow flowering plant that is perfect for the cutting garden. Its long, sturdy stems and brightly colored clusters of papery blooms have an exceptional vase life. This are one of the very few flowers to retain almost all of its color when you dry it. 

Often referred to as everlasting flowers, these plants go by many common names, including sea lavender and sea pink. These sturdy, drought and deer-resistant plants make wonderful filler in the garden and cut arrangements. Let’s take a look at this lovely, nostalgic plant and how easily you can grow it in your own flower garden. 

History

A close-up of purple and white statice flowers in full bloom, showcasing delicate petals and vibrant colors.
These can be included in arrangements to celebrate achievements.

Statice has a long history of symbolism as a cut flower. Remembrance is the number one most common symbolic application, as statice truly does last a lifetime. Memorial wreaths and arrangements often contain this flower.

They have common use as a symbol of success, as well. They can be added to an arrangement celebrating a new job or graduation. For the most part, they have a long history of representing good feelings and well wishes. 

Native Area

A statice plant displaying white flowers at its apex, surrounded by additional plants in the background.
This plant thrives in high-salinity coastal gardens.

The Limonium genus is a large one. Comprising close to 120 hundred species, they are native to many areas of the world. The bulk of species are native to a smaller area, including the Mediterranean Basin, the Canary Islands, and parts of Central Asia. 

They are small, perennial shrubs that have woody stems and are well-adapted to areas of high salinity. Salt in your soil won’t bother these one bit, making them excellent for the coastal garden. You will find this plant growing in alkaline, sandy soil.

Characteristics

A colorful bouquet featuring statice flowers in hues of purple, pink, white, and yellow.
The main appeal is the colorful papery bracts.

Statice are semi-woody, perennial flowering plants. They grow between four inches and seven feet tall, with long, sturdy, winged stems. Most garden varieties grow between one and three feet. There are very few leaves on these stiff stems. The leaves that exist grow outward, coming to a point at the end, which faces upward. 

With so many different species and even more varieties, the flowers differ throughout the genus. The most noteworthy trait is that they bloom within papery, colorful bracts or calyxes. Within the bracts, the flowers are small and white or yellow. The bracts can be purple, pink, apricot, gray, lavender, white, or yellow.

These plants are warm weather bloomers and are perennial in mild climate Zones 4-9. Many gardeners grow these plants as annuals. They are fast growing and bloom in their first year. They also reseed themselves freely, so you might see them popping up again next year, even in cooler climates. 

Uses

 Bouquets of purple and lavender statice flowers wrapped elegantly in brown papers.
Statice is renowned for its long-lasting retention of vibrant blue and purple colors.

Historically, this plant has many medicinal applications, but none are still in use modern day. In the garden, statice is an ornamental plant. Its long-lasting blooms add lots of color to the flower bed. This plant is very versatile and tolerant, so it finds a lot of use in gardens with poor, rocky soil and high salinity. 

Statice is most famous for its use as a cut and a dried flower. It retains its color for a very long time, including the intense blue and purple shades. The bracts fade very little over time.

Where to Buy

Young statice seedlings feature fuzzy green leaves growing under soft sunlight.
Its seeds are readily accessible from nurseries and online retailers.

From seed is the most common way to cultivate statice. The seeds are widely available at nurseries and through online retailers

Planting

A brown butterfly perches gracefully on lavender statice flowers, showcasing delicate wings and intricate patterns.
Plant statice seeds in groups of three.

Start statice indoors 8 to 10 weeks before your last frost in peat pots that can be planted directly in the garden. This plant is sensitive to root disturbance. If you’d like to sow them outdoors, wait until the soil is workable, and sow groups of three seeds two to four week after your last frost.

The seeds need light to germinate. Whether directly sowing them or starting them in cells, make sure to press them lightly into the soil, rather than covering them. 

Plant seeds in groups of three, 12 inches apart. When the seedlings are two inches tall, thin them to one every 12 inches. It takes between one and two weeks for seeds to germinate. Keep them moist during germination and until they establish roots and harden off. 

How to Grow

These plants are hardy and easy to grow. They tolerate a wide range of soil types, including poor and sandy. They are drought-tolerant once established and require very little care. Simply cut the flowers and watch your plants grow more. 

Light

 Purple statice flowers bathed in gentle, ethereal light, casting a serene and soothing glow over their delicate petals.
Provide six to eight hours of morning sun and partial afternoon shade.

Statice plants like a lot of sunlight. They need light to germinate, and they need plenty of it to produce their colorful blooms. However, too much intense sun in the afternoon can cause the colors to lose some of their vividness. 

The best condition for this plant is full sun. If you can give them six to eight hours of sun early in the day, this is best. Some shelter from the afternoon sun goes a long way, especially in warmer climates. 

Water

A brown butterfly rests gracefully on a cluster of vibrant pink statice flowers in full bloom.
Young seedlings need watering every two to three days.

Once established, these plants are drought tolerant and should be fine as long as they get about an inch of rain weekly. Seedlings are a different story, though. While your plants are young, make sure to water them every two to three days. Once they harden off and establish in the landscape, you can taper off to once-weekly waterings. 

Soil

A close-up of thriving statice seedlings in rich, dark soil, showcasing green leaves and delicate stems.
These plants tolerate salt and alkaline soil well.

This is not a plant that likes to be root-bound. In a container or otherwise, statice plants like to stretch out their roots. Because of this, the best type of soil for this plant is loose and aerated. Soil that compacts easily will crush the roots and keep your plant from reaching its full potential.

The ideal soil for this plant is fertile, sandy loam. If you are starting out with sandy soil, amend it with some compost or topsoil. Salinity is not important. These plants tolerate salt very well. The ideal pH for the soil is between 6.0-7.0, so slightly acidic to neutral. Alkaline soil isn’t usually an issue, though. 

Temperature and Humidity

Clusters of pink statice flowers bathed in radiant sunlight, creating a striking floral display.
Plant in a warm, dry area with good air circulation.

Statice prefers the warm temperatures of its native climate. Its roots will withstand the winters of Zone 8, but the foliage will die back in a freeze. As a perennial, give your plant’s roots some protection in winter by laying down a layer of mulch. As an annual, this plant will die back in winter. 

While it is tolerant of some humidity, its native climate is warm and dry. In areas with high humidity, make sure to plant this one where it will get plenty of air circulation. Keep the interior of the plant thinned out. 

Fertilizing

Hand holding clumped slow-release osmocote fertilizer granules against a blurred green backdrop.
They benefit from monthly fertilizing with a high potassium and phosphorus formula.

As an annual, you don’t have to fertilize. However, if you want extra flower power, give your plant a dose of slow-release fertilizer about one month after planting. A balanced formula is fine. Perennial plants will benefit from once monthly fertilizing with the same type of formula. Stop fertilizing in the fall. 

Maintenance

 Green and peach statice flowers, illuminated by warm sunlight, create a vibrant display of contrasting colors.
Remove dead portions in spring for new growth.

This is a cut-and-come-again plant, which is what makes it so great for the cutting garden. The more you cut the flowers, the better the plant can focus on producing new ones. Throughout the growing season, if you choose not to cut the plant while in bloom, remove the spent blooms. This will give you the maximum blooming impact for the season. 

When dealing with it as a perennial, follow the same guidelines. Feel free to trim off any dead or damaged stems and foliage. The plant will die back in winter, leave it intact until spring and then remove the dead portions if you prefer. It will not interfere with new growth. 

Growing in Containers

An orange cup holding a statice plant with feathery foliage, placed on a round table.
Use a well-draining potting medium for potted plants.

Statice grows well in containers, provided the container is large enough and has proper drainage. Choose a 9-12″ pot at minimum. Terracotta pots are great for this plant as they wick water away from the roots. Use a potting medium that drains well, and make sure that your chosen container has drainage holes in the bottom. Your potted plant will require more frequent watering than those in the ground.

Propagation

You can propagate statice plants by seeds or cuttings. It is most common to grow these plants from seeds. But, if you wish to carry over your annual plants to the next season, you can take cuttings in the fall and propagate them indoors. 

Seeds

Statice seedlings flourish in rich, dark soil; their green leaves and stems emerging from the earth.
Sow seeds outdoors after frost danger or indoors up to 12 weeks earlier.

To propagate from seeds, you’ll need to purchase or harvest the seeds from your plant. Purchasing seeds is simple; you will find them at most seed retailers. Harvesting them requires more patience, but it isn’t difficult. Allow the seed heads to dry on the plant, or cut them and hang them to dry. Collect the seeds and store them in a cool, dry location until you’re ready to germinate them. 

You can directly sow the seeds after the threat of frost has passed or start them indoors up to 12 weeks ahead of time. Start your seeds in a loose, well-draining potting mix, pressing them lightly into the surface. They require light for germination, so don’t cover them, and set them in a sunny spot. Keep them moist. Germination can take up to two weeks. Harden off your seedlings before transplanting them. 

Cuttings

White statice flowers in full bloom contrast beautifully with a soft, blurred backdrop of lush green foliage.
Store cuttings in loose, moist potting mix and wait for roots to grow.

To propagate from stem cuttings, choose a strong stem and cut just below a node. Strip any leaves from the bottom of the cutting and dip the end in rooting hormone. Rooting hormone is optional, but it will speed up the process. Plant your cuttings in a loose potting mix and keep the soil moist. It can take some time for this plant to root from cuttings, so be patient- it will happen!

Pink Poker

Long clusters of 'Pink Poker' statice flowers, vibrant and radiant, bask in the sunlight.
This plant features whimsical stems with pale pink spikes.
botanical-name botanical name Limonium suworowii ‘Pink Pokers’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 20”-30”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

You’ll love the whimsical stems on this plant! Also known as Russian statice, this species has a different appearance and is earlier to bloom than other types.

The long, graceful stems sport tons of pale pink flowers and will produce two or three flushes over a season. They have only basal leaves and very few, so they are wonderful for cutting, and they dry beautifully. 

Seeker Blue

Purple and white Statice flowers growing lushly in the garden.
The ‘Seeker Blue’ cultivar is prized by florists for its long, strong stems.
botanical-name botanical name Limonium sinuatum ‘Seeker Blue’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 30”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

‘Seeker Blue’ is a florist staple. The long, strong stems and interesting branching habit make these incredible for cutting and drying. Bluish-purple blooms are bright and eye-catching. These will retain their color when dried, and make gorgeous additions to the dried floral arrangement as well. 

Fortress Purple

A bouquet of deep purple 'Fortress Purple' statice flowers bathed in soft light.
These flowers are a rosier purple than ‘Seeker Blue’.
botanical-name botanical name Limonium sinuatum ‘Fortress Purple’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 24-30″
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-10

‘Fortress Purple’ is similar in form to ‘Seeker Blue,’ but with a rosier purple hue. The long, winged stems are attractive and branch well toward the ends. A cluster of violet blooms sits atop each branched stem. They retain their color well in drying and will last a long time. 

Twilight

A close-up of clustered blue 'Twilight' statice flowers, showcasing vibrant color.
This variety can last several weeks as cut flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Limonium sinuatum ‘Twilight’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 24”-30”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-10

‘Twilight’ is the best of both worlds. This variety blooms in a range of shades of purple. Much like the sky at twilight, there are shades in the rose family and others with more blue tones. As cut flowers, they will last for several weeks to a month. They can last a lifetime dried with proper care. 

Common Problems

Statice plants are fairly carefree, as they are resistant to most pests and diseases. There are a few environmental issues that may crop up. Let’s cover those so that you can identify them if they happen to your plant. 

Pests

A close-up of white mealybugs clustered on a green plant stem, affecting plant health.
Provide pollen and nectar sources to attract beneficial insects.

Mealybugs and spider mites are the most common pests to go after this plant. These can weaken the stems and leave you with floppy plants that aren’t very good for cutting and don’t look very nice in the garden. Fortunately, both of these pests have plenty of natural predators. 

Send them away with a strong stream of water from a hose. Attract beneficial insects to the yard by providing sources of habitat with plantings. If this doesn’t work, an application of neem oil should do the trick. Apply it in the early morning so that it dries in time for pollinators to visit. However, pruning and careful may rid your plant of pests without the need for sprays.  

Diseases

A statice plant features vivid purple flowers, standing against a leafy backdrop.
Ensure healthy plant growth by planting in well-drained soil.

Most of the disease issues that you’ll encounter with this plant are fungal in nature. Statice likes warm weather, but it’s not well-adjusted to humidity. Too much moisture as humidity or overwatering can lead to fungal disease. 

Avoid these issues by planting in well-drained soil and only watering when the soil is dry to avoid root rot. Plant in an area with good ventilation and air circulation to keep away powdery mildew. 

Statice is also subject to aster yellows and mosaic viruses. Both are deadly and highly contagious. If you notice your plants growing deformed and slightly reddened flowers and leaves, or if you notice a mosaic of green and yellow on the leaves, remove the plants. Do not compost them, and only plant resistant plants in that area going forward. Control insects, which are vectors of these viruses to prevent them.

Sun Stress

A statice plant displaying clusters of purple and white flowers in full bloom atop slender stems.
Make sure your plant receives morning sun for optimal growth and color.

Too much or not enough sun can be an issue for this plant. Too little sun will leave you with leggy growth and pale or yellowing foliage. Plant your statice where it will receive six or more hours of daily sun.

On the other hand, too much sun can bleach the flowers and foliage and cause stress to the plant. Remember that the morning sun is as effective as the afternoon sun but much cooler. The more sun you can provide in the morning, the better. Some shade in the afternoon will help preserve the color of your foliage and flowers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Statice Plants Toxic?

No, this plant is safe for pets and people. Don’t worry about curious animals or children with this one, it won’t cause any harm.

Will Rabbits Eat Statice?

No, wild animals are not attracted to the plant. It’s not impossible, but very unlikely that rabbits or deer will munch on this plant.

When Will My Plants Bloom?

Statice can bloom nearly year-round in mild climates. As an annual, it will bloom from early summer through the fall. This is a long bloomer.

Final Thoughts

For the cut flower gardener, this warm-weather flowering plant is a must-have to add to the cutting garden. If you are looking for a plant to provide lots of long-lasting color, this one will do the trick in your flower beds. It dries beautifully and will last for many years in dried arrangements. 

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