9 Great Plants for Seaside Gardens

These great plants stand up to coastal conditions beautifully.

Pride of Madeira (Echium candicans)

Actually from Madeira, this plant produces wonderful spikes of blue-purple flowers along the coast in poor soil and with practically no extra water. Bees love it.

Canna 'Tropicanna'

Bright orange flower and big, purplish, banana-like leaves links seaside gardens with the tropics. Just don't plant it where wind will shred the leaves.

Shore pine (Pinus contorta contorta)

This Northwest coastal native makes a terrific windbreak, and takes well to shearing (like Japanese pines).

Crocosmia 'Emily McKenzie'

Has grassy leaves and elegant orange flowers with a red eye. Multiplies and spreads from corms with little care beyond occasional weeding.

Salvia uliginosa

This 5-foot tall, 4-foot wide perennial produces its sky-blue flowers from summer through fall with little care. Spreads by rhizomes.

Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum')

Growing 5 feet tall and wide, its soft, feathery flower heads sway in the slightest breeze.

Geranium 'Rozanne'

Colorful and long-flowering in mild weather along the coast.


An artichoke relative (obvious when you look at the two plants side by side), this has edible stems and thistle-like flowers. But most people grow it for its architectural good looks. It gets very tall (to 12 feet) in the Northwest. Do not plant in mild-winter climates, where it has become an invasive weed.

Verbena bonariensis

Tall and slender, this perennial sways in the wind and delivers a lovely blue haze of flowers through much of summer. It also self sows in the garden without being a pest.

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