Armeria Information – Care and Maintenance

Basic information about Armeria.  Includes Origin, Growing & Cultivation, Common Pests & Diseases, Interesting Facts & Uses,  and Garden Design Tips.

Armeria Origin

armeria bloodstone
Armeria ‘Bloodstone’

The botanical name, Armeria, is a Latin translation of an old French term ‘armoires’, a name for cluster-headed Dianthus, which this plant resembles.

The common name of ‘Sea Thrift’ is descriptive of its habitat – this genus is found alone coastlines and rocky cliffs near large bodies of salt water.

Growing and Cultivation

Armeria enjoys full sun and dry, poor and salty soils.  It has a remarkable tolerance for salt and copper concentrations in soils!  Will frequently do poorly and rot in the center if kept too moist.  To prevent this, it’s best to amend any heavy, dense soils with sand before planting.

Deadheading the spent flowers after bloom can encourage a longer season!

 

Common Pests and Diseases

Armeria close up
Armeria close-up

This plant is pretty disease and pest resistant – no common pests or diseases have been recorded!

If soil is too wet or poorly drained, Arabis can develop root rot.  It’s best to amend any heavy, clay soils with sand or even gravel to make it more amenable for this plant.

Armeria is frequently both deer and rabbit-resistant; the leaves are tough and spiky, so they are unattractive to dine on!

Interesting Facts and Uses

armeria on threepence
Armeria on Threepence coin

A. maritima was featured on the reverse of the British threepence coin from 1937 to 1952.

The plant conservation charity Plantlife chose ‘Sea Thrift’ as the ‘county flower’ of the Isles of Scilly in a 2012 marketing campaign.

 

The flowers of Armeria can be used in cut arrangements, and hold up very well in a vase.

Garden Design Tips

armeria in a garden
Armeria in a garden

This plant makes a neat, spreading mound of tough, grassy foliage in a becoming dark green.  The fine and linear foliage complements wider-leaved sun perennials nicely. The globular flower heads come in primarily pink, but occasionally white, red or purple varieties are seen.

Armeria’s salt tolerance, tough foliage, and neat, compact habit make it perfect for edging paths and driveways, where ice-melting salt is applied.  The heat and drought tolerance make it ideal also for any hot, sunny, poor soil area in your garden.  They’re also frequently utilized for rock gardens.

Purchasing Armeria

To purchase Armeria varieties, please visit our Sun Companion Plants Page.