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If you have a hot, dry spot with excellent drainage, you must give thrift a try. A small, tidy plant, it covers itself with adorable bobbing pink flowers. It's a charming groundcover, edging plant, or rock garden feature. When planted in large groups, it forms a mat of attractive grassy foliage and colorful marble-size balls of flowers.
Also called sea pink, this tough plant tolerates wind, sea spray, and is drought-tolerant. They do need well-drained soil to prevent root rot.
Part Sun, Sun
1 to 3 feet
4-12 inches wide
garden plans for Thrift
more varieties for Thrift
Armeria pseudarmeria grows larger in all respects than sea thrift. Leaves are wider, the plant grows several inches taller, and flowers are larger. Zones 6-7
'Morning Star Deep Rose' thrift
Armeria maritima 'Morning Star Deep Rose' has rich rose flowers that last for a long time over a mound of grassy green foliage. It grows 6 inches tall. Zones 3-9
Armeria maritima 'Rosea' has medium-pink, ball-shape blooms that rise 6-8 inches above grassy green foliage. Remove old flowers to keep it blooming. Zones 3-9
'Ruby Glow' thrift
Armeria maritima 'Ruby Glow' has deep pink blooms on 8-inch-tall stalks. Zones 3-9
Armeria maritima 'Alba' bears pure-white blooms on 8-inch-tall stems over grassy foliage. Zones 3-9
plant Thrift with
Showy, brightly colored flowers are saucer-shape, sometimes semidouble, over loose mounds of handsome dark strawberrylike leaves. Many of the best cultivars are hybrids between species. These plants do best in a well-drained, rich soil.
Named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, iris indeed comes in a rainbow of colors and in many heights. All have the classic, impossibly intricate flowers. The flowers are constructed with three upright "standard" petals and three drooping "fall" petals, which are often different colors. The falls may be "bearded" or not. Some cultivars bloom a second time in late summer. Some species prefer alkaline soil while others prefer acidic soil.Shown above: Immortality iris
Catmint is one of the toughest perennials you can grow. It's a proven performer during hot, dry weather, and the silvery foliage and blue flowers look great most of the season. Deadhead or cut back hard after first flush of bloom to encourage more flowers. Average, well-drained soil is usually sufficient. Tall types may need gentle staking; it sometimes seeds freely.As you might guess from the common name, catmint is a favorite of cats. They'll often roll around in the plants in delight.