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Annual and Perennial Flowers for Seaside Gardens

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Many plants grow well by the sea, so it is not impossible or very difficult to have a seaside garden. When native seaside vegetation is supplemented by “exotics” (in this case non-seashore native plants), a garden will lack nothing that is needed to be delightful–and unmistakably a seaside garden.

At a distance of 500 feet or more from the shoreline, there is often little difference between a seaside garden and any other except for perhaps a more or less persistent wind from one direction. The presence of any large body of water has a stabilizing effect on temperature, tending to reduce the extremes of heat and cold.

Salt spray may be an element of the special conditions that prevail close to the oceanside, while soil that is light and sandy is characteristic unless the location is on an elevated coast which sometimes provides fairly good soil. These things can affect the choice of plant material.

Morning glory, Convolvulus tricolor
Morning glory, Convolvulus tricolor

Annuals and Perennials for Seaside Gardens

Common NameBotanical NameZones
Black-eyed SusanRudbeckia spp.3-10
Blanket flowerGaillardia spp.2-10
Cape plumbagoPlumbago auriculata8-11
CatmintNepeta spp.4-9
CoreopsisCoreposis spp.3-9
Dusty millerCentaurea cineraria6-11
Morning gloryConvolvulus tricolorAnnual
GazaniaGazania rigens8-10
GeraniumPelargonium spp.Annual
Sea lavender, Limonium
Sea lavender, Limonium
Common NameBotanical NameZones
Grasses, ornamentalVariousVariable
LavenderLavandula spp.5-8
Moss rosePortulaca grandifloraAnnual
Russian sagePerovskia artriplicifolia3-9
SantolinaSantolina chamaecyparissus6-9
Statice; Sea lavenderLimonium latifolium3-9
Vinca, annualCatharanthus roseusAnnual
YarrowAchillea spp.3-9

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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