How to Grow and Care for Sea Holly

sea holly


Plant Type: Perennial Bloom
Family: Apiaceae
Sun Exposure: Full sunlight
Watering: Low water resistant
Colors: Green, blue, purple, silver, white
Size: 2-3 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide
Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9 (USDA)
Soil Type: sandy, well-drained
Soil pH: Neutral to acidic
Propagation: best by seeds
Toxicity: No Toxic

The Sea Holly (Eryngium), also known as the sea holly plant, is a beautiful perennial bloom. They have bright purple or blue flowers that are sure to liven up your garden through the summer and fall months. If you are hoping to add a sea holly to your garden, you may need to find a special nursery. Finding these seeds can be tricky, but they are worth the search. They are fun and showy flowers you will enjoy for years to come.

While they may be difficult to find in some areas, that will likely be the only hurdle you’ll face with these plants. Sea holly are low maintenance and need little work from the gardener. They often grow 2-3 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide. They are particular about soil, so be sure to plant them in a sandy, well-drained environment. These plants love the sun! Put them in a spot in your garden that sees the sun all day. They bloom in the summer and fall months so planting them in your garden during the spring months is best.

If you are ready to add beautiful flowers that do not need much work from the gardener, the sea holly is for you. Follow this guide to give your new plant the perfect home in your garden.

Sea Holly

About the Sea Holly

Sea holly plants originated in Europe. Their flowers are often blue or purple and the stems of the leaves depend on the variation. Some of these plants even have a silver tint to their stems that reflects light. They are unique and fun plants to grow in your garden. The flowers are long-lasting and great for cutting. You can enjoy your cut flowers in a vase inside your home or give them to someone special.

While gardeners and florists love the sea holly plant for its beauty, so do wildlife. You will see more bees and butterflies in your yard once you plant these beautiful flowers. Pollinators love to visit these plants.

The sea holly flower is an easy to care for plant that will bring fun, beautiful flowers to your garden. Less work means you have more time to enjoy the blooms!

Growing the Sea Holly

The key to growing a happy and healthy sea holly is picking the right spot in your garden. These plants do not like to be moved, so you want to pick the best spot the first time. Because they are tap-rooted plants, they do not do well if moved from their original location. Selecting a spot is simple. Make sure they have proper soil conditions. They like dry, well-draining soils. They will also need a spot that sees a lot of sunlight. Protection during the winter months helps keep them strong. So place them in an area that can provide that as well.

These flowers can bloom from seeds. If you are growing from seed, sow them in the summer or fall months. This will allow them to germinate in the springtime. You can also sow sea holly seeds inside. You’ll want to chill them in your refrigerator for four weeks before placing them in your garden.

You should know that these flowers often need support. If you plant them with a flower that is more sturdy, it will help your new plant have stability. They will need help standing up right when they grow tall.

Sea Holly

Propagating the Sea Holly

Because of the plant’s tap root, they are not the easiest to propagate. If you would like to do so, you need to dig up the plant during the summer months. The whole plant needs to be dug up, including the tap root. You will then cut the root, but be sure to not cut more than one-third of the plant’s mass. The next step is to replant the clump you cut immediately. The roots need to be placed in individual sections. Using compost rather than only ground soil will help with their growth. Placing the root in a small pot works best.

Sea Holly Varieties

There are many types of sea holly flowers on the market. Some of the most popular varieties are the jade frost, blue glitter, and sapphire blue. The jade frost is one of the hardiest of the species with blue-green leaves with white edges. The blue glitter has gray and blue flowers that bloom several flowers per plant. The sapphire blue variation is the type of sea holly most associated with the plant. It has the classic blue and violet flowers, making it a popular choice amongst gardeners. Another variation of the plant is called tiny jackpot. This type grows to be 14 inches tall, hence the name!

Sea Holly

Caring for the Sea Holly

Watering Your Plant

While their tap root can make repotting or propagating difficult, it does have some benefits. The tap root allows the plant to be drought tolerant. Once the plant is established, it will rarely need a watering. Unless you are having a scorching summer or prolonged drought, your plant should not need extra water. Extra water can actually damage the sea holly. So be sure to keep your plant far from other flowers in your garden that need more water. Too much water on the surface of the plant can cause the flower’s crown to rot.

Pruning Your Plant

Your new plant will not need much pruning. However, deadheading the flower is necessary. When you deadhead your sea holly, you will encourage new blooms. Other than that, there isn’t much to be done with these flowers. They are easy to manage.


Fertilizing Your Plant

Your beautiful flower will not need many extra nutrients. They are not heavy feeders. You may want to make sure your soil is getting enough organic matter, however. This will keep your plant happy and healthy. You can add compost to your plant during the middle of the growing season to promote healthy growth.


This plant is not picky when it comes to soil, but it will need soil that drains well. Because of the reaction it has to extra water, making sure the soil drains well is key. The plant’s soil should be dry, sandy, and packed with organic matter. They can handle growing in less than ideal soil. Yet be sure to provide your plant with the soil properties it needs. Well-draining soil is important, as the plant can develop root rot from too much moisture.


These plants love sunlight. Make sure your sea holly plant is getting a full day of sunlight in your garden. They can survive in partial shade, but you will get the most blooms with more sunlight. The less light they have, the more weak their stems will be as well. Giving your plant more light will not only give you more blooms, but also keep your flowers standing up straight.

Pests and Diseases

Sea holly do not suffer from many pests or diseases. Another reason these plants make great additions to your garden. The biggest issues you could face with these plants are root rot or powdery mildew. These diseases are easy to avoid though. Make they have a dry, well-draining soil, and your plant shouldn’t have any issues.

As for pests, they don’t experience hardly any. They attract helpful pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Deer and rabbits do not seem to care for these flowers.

Temperature and Environment

These flowers can handle hot summers, yet they do best in climates that are more mild. They are easy going in most environments, but the cooler the better to keep them happy. However, if you experience intense winters, plant them in an area that is protected. Another option is planting them them in a container. This way you can bring them indoors during harsh summers or cruel winters.



If you are looking for a beautiful flower that is easy to take care of, the sea holly plant is for you. There are several variations that show off different bright blooms. They make great additions to anyone’s garden.

They may be a bit difficult to find, so check out specialty nurseries. Many will have them as seeds or established plants. Once you have your new flower, caring for it will be easy. As long as you place your new flower in a sunny spot in your garden with well-draining soil, you will be good to go. Planting them around more sturdy flowers can support them as they grow. So keep that in mind when you pick your perfect spot. You can also grow them in containers and keep them inside during harsh summers or winters.

These plants have a tap root, which can make it difficult to propagate. However, it is not impossible. The tap root has several benefits, though. It will allow your plant to survive droughts. You will not need to water your plant often.

As long as your sea holly has a sunny spot in your garden with dry soil, it will grow beautiful flowers for years to come!

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