20 Flowers That Grow by the Ocean: Your Ultimate Coastal Blooms Guide

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Coastal gardens can be an attractive and unique landscape option for plant enthusiasts. In this article, readers will discover 20 stunning flowers that flourish near the ocean.

These specially adapted plants can withstand the often challenging environmental conditions, such as salty air and sandy soils. With a variety of colors, sizes, and salt tolerance levels, there is an option for every seaside garden.

Dive into this helpful guide to create a beautiful, thriving coastal oasis that will be the envy of any gardener.

20 Flowers That Grow by the Ocean

Coastal environments can be challenging for plants, but there are a variety of flowers that have adapted to thrive near the ocean. Here are 20 beautiful flowers that grow by the ocean, perfect for enhancing your beachside garden.

1. Sea Thrift

Known for its pink or white pompom-like flowers, Sea Thrift (Armeria maritima) is a salt-tolerant plant that blooms from spring to summer in well-drained soil.

2. Beach Pea

Lathyrus japonicus, or Beach Pea, sports purple-blue flowers along sandy dunes, easily adapting to the harsh conditions of coastal areas.

3. Yellow Horned Poppy

Featuring yellow flowers and silver-gray foliage, the Yellow Horned Poppy (Glaucium flavum) thrives in sandy soils on coastal dunes.

4. Blue-Eyed Grass

Sisyrinchium angustifolium, the Blue-Eyed Grass, is a lovely flowering plant with small blue or purple flowers, suitable for sandy soils.

5. Sea Kale

Crambe maritima, also known as Sea Kale, produces attractive white flowers and is an edible plant that grows along coastal shores.

6. Beach Heather

Hudsonia tomentosa, or Beach Heather, offers yellow flowers and low-growing gray foliage, perfect for beachside gardens with sandy soil.

7. Sea Holly

Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum) boasts textured, thistle-like leaves and bluish-purple flowers, tolerating sandy or well-drained soils near the ocean.

8. Coastal Lupine

Lupinus littoralis, or Coastal Lupine, produces tall spikes of blue or purple flowers, thriving in sandy soils along coastal dunes.

9. Dune Evening Primrose

With its large, white flowers, the Dune Evening Primrose (Oenothera deltoides) is a showy coastal plant that flourishes in sandy soils.

10. Ice Plant

Ice Plant (Carpobrotus edulis) is known for its colorful flowers and succulent foliage, tolerating the saline conditions of coastal areas.

11. Sea Purslane

Aizoaceae, also known as Sea Purslane, offers small, fleshy leaves and bright flowers which are able to survive in salty environments near the ocean.

12. Saltmarsh Mallow

Kosteletzkya virginica, the Saltmarsh Mallow, produces pink flowers and remains salt-tolerant, making it perfect for coastal gardens.

13. Beach Rose

Rosa rugosa, or Beach Rose, is a hardy plant with fragrant rose blooms that is tolerant of sandy, salty soils near the shore.

14. Sea Bindweed

As a beachside ground cover, Sea Bindweed (Calystegia soldanella) features pink, trumpet-shaped flowers and heart-shaped leaves.

15. Coastal Sunflower

Helianthus debilis, the Coastal Sunflower, is a salt-tolerant sunflower species that boasts cheerful yellow flowers and attracts pollinators.

16. Sand Verbena

Abronia villosa, or Sand Verbena, is known for its fragrant pink-purple flowers and flourishes in sandy coastal soils.

17. Seaside Daisy

Erigeron glaucus, the Seaside Daisy, produces lavender-blue flowers and thrives in sandy, salty environments near the ocean.

18. Beach Aster

With lovely purple flowers, the Beach Aster (Erigeron speciosus) is a seaside plant that grows well in sandy soils and salt-sprayed areas.

19. Sea Rocket

Cakile maritima, the Sea Rocket, offers purple flowers and fleshy leaves, adapting to the challenging conditions of sandy coastal areas.

20. Beach Morning Glory

Ipomoea pes-caprae, known as Beach Morning Glory, produces trumpet-shaped purple flowers and is a hardy plant that grows well in sandy, salty environments. Its sprawling vines and thick, fleshy leaves help it to withstand harsh coastal conditions, making it a common sight on beaches around the world. The flowers of Beach Morning Glory bloom in the morning and close up by midday, giving the plant its name. They are a beautiful shade of purple and attract a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies. Beach Morning Glory is an important part of coastal ecosystems, as it helps to stabilize sand dunes and prevent erosion. However, it can also be invasive in some areas, so it’s important to be mindful of its growth and spread.

Coastal Adaptations

Plants that thrive near the ocean have developed unique adaptations to withstand the harsh conditions of a coastal environment. These conditions include strong winds, salty air, and poor soil quality. It is essential for coastal plants to adapt in order to survive and flourish in these difficult environments.

One common adaptation among coastal plants is high tolerance for salt. Many coastal species can uptake saltwater and filter out the salt through their roots. Others have specialized structures to store and excrete the excess salt gathered. This allows these plants to grow in areas with salty soil and withstand salt spray.

Wind resistance is another critical adaptation for coastal plants. Strong gusts can damage delicate stems and leaves, so many plants in these environments have developed sturdy structures to withstand the wind. Some species have thick, leathery leaves which prevent dehydration, while others grow low to the ground to reduce wind exposure.

Drought tolerance is further crucial for plants that grow near the ocean. Many coastal areas have sandy, well-draining soil that does not hold water well. As a result, plants have adapted to survive in these conditions by storing water in their leaves or developing extensive root systems to absorb water effectively.

In addition to these physiological adaptations, coastal plants have evolved various growth habits and strategies to cope with the challenges of their environments. For example:

  • Some plants spread rapidly, forming dense colonies that protect them from erosion and wind damage.
  • Many species develop a strong, woody structure that allows them to endure strong winds and battering waves.
  • Some plants form symbiotic relationships with other species to utilize nutrients more efficiently, enabling them to survive in nutrient-poor soils.

Understanding these coastal adaptations helps gardeners and landscapers select appropriate plants for seaside gardens, ensuring a beautiful and thriving landscape even in challenging coastal areas.

Caring for Coastal Flowers

Coastal flowers thrive in the challenging conditions found near the ocean. These unique plants can tolerate harsh weather, strong winds, salty air, and sandy soils. To ensure their survival and growth, it’s essential to provide the appropriate care for these resilient species.

One key aspect in caring for coastal flowers is selecting plants that are well-adapted to the specific conditions of your seaside area. For example, lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a sandy soil plant that tolerates salt and drought, while yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a sturdy flower that sways beautifully in the coastal breeze.

Watering is crucial to the health of coastal flowers, but these plants typically require less water than their inland counterparts. This is because they have evolved to withstand drought-like conditions. However, it is important to pay attention to the water requirements of each plant, as some coastal flowers may still demand regular watering.

When planting coastal flowers, choose a well-draining soil mix to prevent root rot. Mixing in sand or perlite can help improve drainage. Additionally, consider amending the soil with organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to provide the necessary nutrients for optimal growth.

Protection from strong winds is also important for coastal plants. Utilize natural or constructed windbreaks, or plant more robust, wind-tolerant shrubs, like Yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria) and wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera), alongside more delicate flowers to shield them from harsh gusts.

Maintaining a proper balance of sun and shade is also vital for the growth of coastal flowers. Many of these plants prefer full sun, while others can withstand partial shade. Be sure to research the specific requirements for each species as you design your seaside garden.

Finally, be mindful of pests and diseases that may affect your coastal flowers. While salt-tolerant plants are generally more resistant to these issues, closely monitoring your garden and addressing any problems early on is essential for maintaining a healthy, vibrant sanctuary by the ocean.

Creating a Coastal Garden

Designing a coastal garden can be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. Selecting the right plants that can thrive in the unique conditions near the ocean is key to creating a flourishing and vibrant garden. Here is a list of some stunning flowers that grow well by the ocean:

  • Yarrow – available in various colors such as yellow, red, pink, orange, and white, this sturdy flower is perfect for seaside gardens.
  • ‘Silver Mist’ – a semi-evergreen perennial with shimmering silvery-blue flowers that can withstand cold winters in heavy soil.
  • Olearia x scilloniensis ‘Master Michael’ – a rounded evergreen shrub with wavy-edged leaves and a pale felt-like underside.
  • Euonymus japonicus – an excellent choice for hedging in coastal gardens, this evergreen shrub has large, oval glossy green leaves and is tolerant of salt.
  • Cuphea – this colorful plant blooms all summer in bright red, pink, or orange flowers and is well suited to salty soil and drying winds.

When planning your coastal garden, do not forget to incorporate colors that reflect the ocean theme. This will help your garden blend seamlessly with its surroundings. Some colors to consider include silvers, olive greens, purples, whites, blues, and yellows. You may also want to add vibrant, hot colors, using plants such as kniphofias, to create a striking contrast.

To ensure the success of your coastal garden, it is essential to consider factors such as salt tolerance, soil type, and exposure to winds. Providing protective barriers or windbreaks can help protect your plants from harsh coastal conditions. Additionally, using native plants, whenever possible, is a practical choice as they are already adapted to the local environment.

By choosing the appropriate plants and considering the unique challenges of a coastal landscape, you can create a beautiful and resilient garden that thrives near the ocean.


Flowers that thrive in coastal environments are truly remarkable. Their ability to tolerate salt spray and withstand challenging weather conditions makes them essential components of seaside gardens. In this article, we’ve presented 20 unique and beautiful ocean-growing flowers, proving that coastal areas can support thriving plant life.

Many of these flowers, such as Apple Blossoms, Butterfly Bushes, and California Poppies, add pops of color to their surroundings, providing a breath of fresh air to the landscape. Others, like Geraniums, Lavender, and Periwinkle, emit lovely fragrances to further enchant beachgoers and gardeners alike. It’s also worth noting that several of these plants, like Bee Balm and Hummingbird Fuchsia, benefit the ecosystem by attracting pollinators and providing habitats for various creatures.

These coastal flowers come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, demonstrating the diverse array of botanical options available to seaside gardeners. The plants can be cultivated in well-drained soil and typically prefer sunlight, although some can flourish in shady conditions as well.

In summary:

  • Coastal flowers possess various colors, shapes, and sizes
  • Many of these plants offer delightful fragrances and vibrant colors
  • Some flowers benefit the ecosystem by attracting pollinators and providing habitats
  • Seaside gardeners can choose from a wide variety of options to beautify their surroundings

Ultimately, these 20 flowers that grow by the ocean serve as a testament to the resilience and beauty of nature. They remind us that even in harsh conditions, life endures, and we can all appreciate the picturesque charm that these plants bring to the coastal landscape.