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With thrift’s low mat of grassy green foliage, this plant looks good even when not in bloom. Once thrift begins its floral show—with wands of pink, red, or white ball-shape blooms dancing above the foliage—it looks even better! Thrift makes an attractive addition to regular gardens, trough gardens, and containers. It is even popping up in fairy gardens.
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Part Sun, Sun
Under 6 inches to 3 feet
4 to 12 inches
garden plans for Thrift
Also known as sea thrift or sea pink, this tough plant adds wonderful spring color to the garden—especially when used at the front. That's because of its playful blossoms, which resemble pompoms. Although thrift is tough enough to use in rock gardens, it is also appealing enough to use as a cut flower. For prettiest results, display the short stems in small bud vases.
Thrift Care Must-Knows
Thrift can be very easy to grow. Just keep in mind that this plant is native to coastal climates; in fact, you'll see it flourishing on the sides of cliffs. The species Armeria maritima gets its name from those maritime climates. Because thrift thrives in harsh, rocky conditions, this low-growing plant adapts well to drought and drying winds. Thrift's ability to stand up to salt spray is another notable adaptation, which means you can plant it near areas that receive sprays of sea water. Make sure you plant thrift in well-drained soil, because rot can be a problem when it is planted in dirt that's too heavy or stays too wet.
Thrift prefers full sun because it encourages the largest number of flowers and dries out the plant after rain and waterings. Thrift can also tolerate part shade. Too much shade, though, and thrift's foliage gets lanky and bears fewer flowers.
As thrift grows, it eventually forms dead spots in the center (which is typically a dense mat) due to age. Don't panic; this condition is quite normal after years of growth. Make thrift look verdant again by digging and dividing it, which makes the plant put out new growth. Trimming a plant encourages new branching at the base. Cut back flowers as soon as they're finished to encourage a second round of blossoms.
Breeders have focused on creating plants that flower beyond spring. Success on this front includes a series said to bloom the entire growing season as long as the gardener deadheads plants regularly.