Statice (Limonium sinuatum) is also called sea lavender. It is native in the eastern and southern Mediterranean regions. While technically a perennial, statice is usually grown as a half hardy annual. It has winged stems and grows to about sixteen to twenty-four inches. The leaves are deeply lobed and waxed at the margins. Flowers come in white, yellow, blue, or red. They have a papery-texture and occur in comb like clusters. Individual flowers are tubular and tiny. Flowers occur in the summer and early autumn. This plant is often cut and dried so that it can be used in winter flower arrangements.
Statice spreads from nine inches to fifteen inches. It requires full sun to do well. Once established, it prefers warm and slightly dry soil. It will suffer root rot if the soil is not well drained. One way to help the drainage in your soil is to add organic matter such as compost. Till the area you are going to plant statice to a depth of six inches. Cover that with three inches of compost. Till the compost in well and it will soak up excess water in the soil and then release it gradually as the soil dries out.
Statice is deer resistant and is not invasive or aggressive. It is propagated from seed. Sow seed in the prepared flower bed after all danger of frost has passed. It requires dark to germinate so cover it well with soil. It germinates in fourteen to twenty-one days.
Statice may also be started indoors eight to ten weeks before the last frost of the season. Keep the soil at a temperature of 70 degrees while it germinates. Keep the trays or pots in complete darkness until the majority of the seeds have germinated. You can then remove the cover and place the tray or pots in a sunny location. Thin and transplant the seedlings to pots when the first true leaves have appeared. You can transplant the plants outside after the last frost. Remember to space them at least fifteen inches apart so they can spread without crowding one another. Statice is vulnerable to a variety of fungus so there needs to be plenty of room for air to circulate to prevent the various fungi from getting started. Water the base of the plant when you do water so you do not get the flowers or leaves wet.
Maintenance of statice is fairly easy. Pinch back the plants for a bushier plant. Do not over water. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer such as a 10-10-10 in mid-August.
Too dry statice, cut them with a stem of twelve to fifteen inches. Cut them when three fourths of the bracts are open. The rest of the bracts will open while drying. Hang the statice upside down in a dark room with good air circulation. In a week to ten days, you will have dry flowers. If you keep them out of the direct sun, the colors will remain pretty for years.