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Sea Heath

Frankenia laevis

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Sea Heath (Frankenia laevis) at Garden Treasures

Sea Heath

Sea Heath

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  12 inches

Spread:  4 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  6

Description:

This vigorous slow growing spreading shrub is quite at home on sandy silty dry sites, and able to spread over rocky surfaces; a perfect choice for sunny groundcover or rock gardens

Ornamental Features

Sea Heath has masses of beautiful shell pink round flowers with violet overtones and yellow eyes along the branches from early spring to early summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. It has attractive grayish green foliage. The recurved narrow leaves are highly ornamental and remain grayish green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Sea Heath is an open multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Sea Heath is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Sea Heath will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in poor soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America.

Sea Heath makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Groundcover  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features