grow colorful statice for fresh cutting and great everlasting flowers
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Statice (Limonium sinuata)
Statice is an annual plant that grows fast from seed to flower, quickly producing many long stems of papery flowers in a wide assortment of colors. As fresh flowers they’re great bouquet fillers.
The papery flowers dry easily without wilting to make colorful, voluptuous bouquets on their own, or in mixed dried bouquets and wreaths.
And, wow, do those flowers attract pollinators! Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and skippers (do you know what they are?).
They don’t need a lot of water. I plant them in good, amended garden soil and apply compost if/when they overwinter.
Individual flowers are about a quarter inch wide, with a papery, colored calyx surrounding a small white flower. Clusters of flowers are arranged along the top of the flowering stem. The stems are about a foot long-making them super for fresh and everlasting bouquets.
When dried, the calyx remains and the white flower disappears. And the calyx maintains that beautiful, intense color!
Growing the Plants
Staitce grows quickly from seed. It forms a flat basal group of leaves, to about a foot wide.
Generally planted as an annual, if your winters are fairly mild, statice can become a perennial. In my area, with frosts and a few snowstorms each year, most of them go through the winter easily, which simplifies life! Plus it gives an early start on harvesting flowers.
Statice seeds are easy to start-no special instructions. Flowering is within 4 months, so start them early if you need your flowers early. If they overwinter where you are, they’ll produce a lot of flowers early the next spring.
Full sun, good garden soil, regular water, and an annual addition of compost. And there’s no need to overdo anything-it’s an easy plant to grow!
Statice is from the dry areas of the Mediterranean.
Harvesting flowers will encourage more stems to grow. Just cut at the bottom of the stem. Basic post-harvest handling if you’re using them fresh.
For dried flowers, bunch them together and hang upside down in a cool, dry, darkish place.
There are different colors to choose from. To me the absolute best are:
White, or Iceberg, is always good and full looking. It’s a great bouquet filler.
American Beauty is a bright rosy red color. I love this one, especially in dried florals because it’s so bright and cheery. But it produces most in the first flush of flowers, not later in the summer.
Twilight Lavender is my favorite of the purples. It’s a light, bluey purple but it has full flowers and abundant long stems. The above photos are Twilight Lavender.
Apricot Shades is a mix of apricot to pale rose, in soft, subtle shades. They’re wonderful for fall colored
Roselight is a pretty, light rose color.
Here are the other most available statice colors:
Midnight Blue, a dark bluish purple, but I never like how it performs. It often doesn’t open up all the way, and doesn’t produce many stems. But it is a nice dark color.
Royal Purple is another whose performance I never like, but it provides a nice dark purple color.
Yellow, or Gold Coast, is shades of yellow. I think it’s most useful for dried florals.
Heavenly Blue is a clear, sky blue.
How Many Plants
Three to five plants of each of your favorite colors would give you plenty for fresh bouquets. With some extra for drying.
Space them 1 ft. apart.
My preferred source of seed is Pinetree at superseeds.com. They have smaller packets for a very reasonable price, and they have all the colors. There are a lot of other sources, too
When I grew a lot of statice, too much really, because it’s so easy to do, I’d let some go to seed. The next spring volunteers came up in a nice range of colors. The color I liked most was a nice ivory. It was much softer than the white and mixed with well with other flowers. It’s something to try for.