Armeria Maritima - Sea Pink or Sea Thrift
Armeria Maritima, commonly known as either sea pink or sea thrift, is native to Europe where it grows freely on rocks alongside the coastal waters.
It is also naturalised in the Northwest Pacific and Newfoundland seaboard areas, and in parts of South America.
In late spring, just as the bluebells fade, sea pinks come into bloom and flower all summer long, forming attractive carpets of colour on lichen covered seaside rocks.
They are perennial plants with short, pointed grass-like evergreen leaves, and have the ability to grow on rocks with next to no soil to sustain their roots.
Thrift grows well in sandy, well-drained, soil and is salt-tolerant.
How to propagate thrift
Propagation is by division or by seed.
Simply lift a clump out by the roots, and gently pull it apart to replant elsewhere.
Seeds can be saved once flowering is over, and replanted by scattering onto a mostly sand compost mixture in a pot, and placed in a coldframe.
How to Grow Sea Thrift
Sea pink are wonderful flowers to grow in rock gardens and in the cracks of paved walkways. Easy to grow, they require little to no maintenance once established.
All they require is to be planted in a position of full sunlight, in soil that is not fertile and well-drained or dry most of the time.
Sea pinks quickly rot and die if given too much water and an enriched growing medium.
Soils that contain high levels of copper are easily tolerated by thrift, which continue to grow well long after most other plants would have succumbed to copper poisoning.
In fact, sea thrift is one of the few plants that can grow in soils poisoned by chemicals and heavy metals.
Armeria maritima is a very low-growing plant with long stemmed flower globes in various shades from deep pink through to white.
It is a very attractive plant, and several cultivars have been developed that are available to buy for garden use, even away from the coastal areas.