Coastal Gardening: Perennial Flowers for the Sea Coast

Sea Coast Perennial Flowers

Seacoast gardener? A collection of flowering perennial plants that grow well on the coast. From

Recently I discussed some of the challenges people face when gardening in windy coastal  conditions, and some counter-intuitive tips for gardening on the sea coast. The biggest struggle is finding plants that will thrive and bloom even with all that wind and salt. Trial and error is a big part of gardening, but it’s nice to have some plants that you KNOW will work, too!

I’ve tested all of these in gardens that are right on the bluffs above the ocean and they are all tough performers:

Sedum 'Autumn Joy' Geranium 'Rozanne' (2) Leonotis leonuris photo by macinate on Flickr
Erigeron karvinskianus Euphorbia photo by wlcutler on Flickr Phlomis fruticosa
Pink Flower Carpet Rose Salvia leucantha Geranium 'Patricia'

(Click on each photo to view larger) Clockwise from top left: Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’/ Hardy Stonecrop, Geranium ‘Rozanne’/ Rozanne Hardy Cranesbill, Leonotis leonuris/ Lion’s Tail, Phlomis fruticosa/ Jerusalem Sage, Geranium ‘Patricia’/ Patricia Hardy Cranesbill, Salvia leucantha/ Mexican Bush Sage, Rosa x ‘Noatraum’/ Pink Flower Carpet Rose, Erigeron karvinskianus/ Santa Barbara Daisy or Fleabane, Euphorbia or Spurge in center.

Some other great choices?

Lavenders of every variety (If you want to plant a lot of different lavenders, you may like to check out this book, Lavender: The Grower’s Guide, which has some wonderful photos that allow comparison on flower/ foliage color and plant form.)

Colorful Culinary Sages (Salvia officianalis) like ‘Icterina’, ‘Tricolor’, and ‘Purpurea’

Shasta Daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum) like the yellow ‘Broadway Lights’, the shredded, wild ‘Crazy Daisy’, or the petite ‘Snowball’

Tough varieties of Artemisia like ‘Powis Castle’

Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina) – check out FaireGarden’s lovely craft project to do with Lamb’s Ears!

Lavender Cotton (Santolina) with flowers like the petal-less centers of daisies

While many of these are common garden plants that you’ve seen before, if you choose unusual varieties, or combine them skillfully with heathers or ornamental grasses, there’s plenty of room to create new and exciting combinations so your garden feels like “you” – unique and personalized.

Want some more ideas on gardening on the sea coast?

Using Screens and Hedges to Block Wind on the Sea Coast

Shade-Loving Plants for the Sea Coast

Groundcover Plants for Coastal Gardeners

Perennial Flowers for the Sea Coast

Photo credits: photo of Leonotis by macinate on Flickr, Euphorbia photo by wlcutler on Flickr.

10 responses to “Coastal Gardening: Perennial Flowers for the Sea Coast”

  1. Gen,

    I’m really enjoying this series on gardening by the seashore, I’m learning alot and it’s great to have this info in one handy place to refer to. I didn’t realize geranium Rozanne was so hardy. She is a mainstay of my deer-infested garden here in CT. The deer eat almost every other geranium cultivar so Rozanne has a special place in my heart – I’m beginning to think there’s nothing Rozanne can’t handle.

  2. Euphorbia seems to be very resillient in many conditions. Lavender cotton is pretty. I started some lion’s tail from seeds I got int he swap–I just love its orange color. It’s nice to know it could live on a sea coast, if I had one, lol!

  3. Last year I decided to go with Native Plants. Here in KS, the wind, cold, heat, and drought play havoc with garden favorites. There are a lot of beautiful native plants in our area, so I planted them from seed, then transplanted the young plants out in the garden, they overwintered well, and all look good. Looking forward to a carefree blooming native flowerbed.

  4. Debbie, that’s great Rozanne handles deer in your area! Here, she takes deer only in low-traffic areas. I have one garden bed where there is a Rozanne at the end and one in the middle, and the one at the end gets browsed because it’s right on their normal pathway that they walk. The other Rozanne is fine! Deer. Can’t live with ’em…

    Monica, how fun that you’ve started Lion’s Tail from seeds! I am so bad at seed-starting! I think I am too impatient. I just want to start with a nice plump one.

    Suzanne, thanks so much for saying hello! Aren’t native plants wonderful? I hope you’ve had a chance to read Doug Tallamy’s book about them. It has really convinced me how important it is to incorporate them into my garden designs.

  5. Hi – I’d like to purchase either a few plants or seeds of Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Summer Snowball’. Could you ship them to me? If not, could you tell me of a retail nursery that I could check with?

    Thank you.

    Chuck Ingels

  6. hello,
    I see all these flowers that can survive coastal climate with the harsh wind and salt, but what about veggie gardens? Can tomatoes survive in coastal gardens?