Sea Lavender



Similar to lavender (Lavandula dentata), the common name of this plant is derived from its mauve flowers and it enjoys coastal conditions, explains Judith Sleijpen.

Sea lavender (Limonium perezii ‘Perezii blue’) is a hardy, evergreen perennial reaching up to 60 centimetres in height and spreading 40cm wide.

Throughout much of the year, tall clusters of tiny, deep mauve flowers appear above the mound of large, leathery leaves.

‘Perezii blue’ prefers a sunny spot in organic-enriched, well-draining soil. It performs well in coastal areas, around swimming pools and as an edging for garden borders, pathways or retaining walls.

Mass-planted, the ornamental foliage forms an attractive, rounded mound that can be used for low maintenance areas. The flowers retain their colour and are very attractive in both fresh and dry floral arrangements.

This attractive perennial is easy to maintain. Simply remove spent blooms after the main flowering to stimulate further displays and apply a complete fertiliser in early spring to encourage vigorous growth.

Top gardening tips for February

  • Prune back fuchsias that have finished their first main flush of flowers and trim straggly native plants to maintain an attractive shape. Don’t cut back too heavily to avoid sunburn. 
  • Watch out for blackspot on rose bushes. This fungal disease causes mottling on the leaves and is more prevalent in high humidity. Gather up any affected foliage and place it in your garbage bin. Spray your roses with an organic fungicide.
  • Order your spring flowering bulbs from mail order catalogues or your local garden centre when there are plenty available. Store tulips and hyacinths in the crisper section of the refrigerator for a pre-planting chill until April or May when the soil is cooler.
  • Stake and tie dahlias to avoid stems snapping in strong winds. Check all trees and shrubs during their active growing period to prevent injury. Old pantyhose make for ideal, soft ties.
  • Get rid of snails and slugs. Place a shallow container of stale beer so the rim is the same as the soil level in your garden. The brew attracts (and drowns) these garden pests that like to hide in strappy-leafed plants such as agapanthus and daylilies.
  • Trim climbers such as wisteria, jasmine and grape vines. These vigorous growers tend to take over during the warmer months and may need to be pruned.

What’s on?

Plant Propagation Workshop: Learn the many methods of propagating, including cuttings, division, layering, grafting and more. Grow your own perennials, shrubs, and trees, including fuchsias, frangipanis, hydrangeas, lavenders, roses, camellias, orchids, maples and more. Comprehensive notes are provided and bookings are essential. 10am to 4pm, Sunday 27 February, Northern Beaches Community College (9970 1000) or

Backyard Beekeeping Workshop: Learn everything you need to know about bees, the equipment needed and how much honey you can expect. Find out what other products you can make such as beer, candles, soap, and cosmetic creams. Comprehensive notes are provided. 10am to 4pm, Sunday 13 March, Northern Beaches Community College (9970-1000) or

Judith Sleijpen is an experienced horticulturist, columnist, and garden designer, advising clients on all aspects of their gardens. For more information, phone 9907 6460.

Judith Sleijpen, Contributor, Peninsula Living Magazine

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