Have you admired certain dried flowers and wondered how they’d preserved so well? The flowers were probably statice.
Statice makes beautiful dried bouquets or to additions to dried arrangements. It is a lovely and colorful flower in the garden. It is an exceptionally long lasting cut flower for fresh bouquets, as well. Statice is a taller (two to three foot) plant with a cluster of small flowers at the top that grows in shades of purples, pinks, yellows, and white.
In gardens, statice has a lovely wildflower look that is perfect for your rocky or border areas. Statice makes a stunning container flower with its dense, papery blooms. Its versatility makes statice a worthwhile addition to any garden. But best of all, it is an annual that is easy to grow and maintain.
How to Grow and Care for Statice
Seeds for statice can be started indoors several weeks before the last frost of the year. Start seeds indoors in trays with potting soil. Spread the seed over the soil, and cover with a thin layer of vermiculite or peat. You can store trays in a basement or in a cold greenhouse with natural lighting conditions. While this is a frost tolerant plant, wait to place your transplants outdoors once the temperatures remain 55 degrees or above.
Seeds can be planted direct after the danger of frost has passed. Spread seeds over a level raked area in your garden and sprinkle a light layer of peat over the seeds.
Plant your statice transplants or seeds in well draining rich soil infused with sand. Statice prefers full sun; so provide a bright, sunny location for the best possible blooms. Water your statice seeds and transplants every other day until the plants are well established. Once mature, your statice plant will be quite drought tolerant, so plan on watering only once or twice a week when it is full grown.
A water soluble fertilizer applied every other week will provide continuous nourishment to this constant bloomer. Your statice should begin to bloom in early summer and continue through late fall. You will probably enjoy blooms even after the first light frosts of the season. Or, cut a few blooms and bring them inside. They will last in a vase for up to two weeks. Cut a bundle of statice and hang to dry upside down for several days. You will be amazed at how fresh these flowers appear once they are dried.
In some regions, statice will behave like a perennial and return year after year. Statice can be divided and transplanted easily, so you can share with your statice-admiring friends.
Statice Pests and Problems
Statice is a hardy, disease and bug resistant plant if cared for properly. The most common problem for statice is related to overwatering. If overwatered, it is prone to crown rot, leaf spot, rust and grey mold. To avoid these problems, you can water your plants at the base to help water go straight to the roots rather than pooling on the flowers. Sunshine will dry out the water, so make sure each plant receives plenty of rays each day.
If you live in a humid climate, make sure each of you statice plants has some elbow room for air to circulate effectively. And, plan to water your statice plants early in the day so they have time to dry out in the daylight. When preventative measures fail, remove dead or diseased portions of plants or entire plants to keep the other plants healthy.
Statice Varieties to Try
‘Art Mix’ is a colorful pastel assortment of statice in roses, creams, lavenders and gold. This is a perfect mix for drying as the colors dry true to their live colors.
‘Giant Blue Birds’ will add vibrant blue to your garden. For additional interest, the flowers of this variety are clustered so they appear to be birds perched on a branch.
‘Million Pink Sapphire’ is a lovely pink variety grown to burst with brightly colored flowers.
Want to learn more about growing statice?
Creative Commons Flickr photo courtesy of juliejordanscott