Growing Guide
plant thumbnail

Sea Thrift

Herbaceous Perennial Flower

Also known as Sea Pink, Thrift
Armeria maritima
Plumbaginaceae Family

Small, mounded, grassy-leaved plants bear striking, rounded clusters of pink or white flowers on erect, wiry stems. Great for rock gardens and front of the border. Tolerates poor but well-drained soil.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun

Soil conditions:

  • tolerates droughty soil
  • requires well-drained soil
  • tolerates low fertility
Requires very well drained (preferably sandy) soil. The centers may rot out in wet, humid conditions or in overly fertile soil.

Hardiness zones:

  • 4 to 8
Possibly hardy in Zone 3.

Special locations:

  • rock gardens
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Ease-of-care: moderately difficult

Height: 0.5 to 1 feet

Spread: 0.5 to 1 feet

Bloom time:

  • late spring
  • early summer

Flower color:

  • red
  • violet
  • white
  • pink

Most cultivars are pinkish or white, but some are purplish- or rose-red.

Foliage color: dark green

Foliage texture: fine


  • cushion, mound or clump
  • grass-like

Shape in flower: flower stalks with flowers as globes

Rounded flowerheads borne above the plant on erect, wiry stems.

Special Considerations
  • salt
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Native to Northwestern Europe
  • evergreen
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed, division or separation - Sow seeds where desired in the garden in fall. Different varieties hybridize freely.

Make cuttings in summer.

Divide in the autumn or spring.

Maintenance and care:
Deadhead. If the centers rot out, cut the plants back severely. Divide and replant only healthy plant sections, discarding the rotten center.

Plants are evergreen. Do not prune in fall. Remove dead foliage in spring.

More growing information: How to Grow Perennials

‘Alba’: 5-inch plants with cream colored flowers that are short-lived and easily damaged by weather.

‘Dusseldorf Pride’: Bright red flowers on 8-inch plants. Blooms from spring until late fall.

‘Merlin’: Pink flowers on short stems.

‘Rubrifolia’: Deep red flowers on plants with dark, almost black leaves.

‘Robusta’: Strong, 10- to 12-inch plants with 3-inch-wide heads of pink flowers.

‘Ruby Glow’: Deep red flowers on 8- to 10-inch plants.

‘Splendens’: Vivid red flowers on 8- to 10-inch plants. Striking.

‘Vindictive’: Bright pink flowers on 6-inch plants.