Sea Holly (Eryngium Planum ‘Tiny Jackpot’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Sea Holly (Eryngium Planum ‘Tiny Jackpot’): A Comprehensive Guide

Sea holly (Eryngium Planum ‘Tiny Jackpot’) is a striking and unique perennial plant that is cherished for its spiky blue flowers and its ability to thrive in coastal and drought-prone environments. This guide is an in-depth exploration of the key aspects of successful sea holly cultivation, including its cultural requirements, uses, water and sunlight needs, fertilizer and soil preferences, pruning techniques, propagation methods, common diseases and pests, as well as fun facts and botanist’s tips.

What is Sea Holly (Eryngium Planum ‘Tiny Jackpot’)?

Sea holly, scientifically known as Eryngium Planum ‘Tiny Jackpot’, is a species of flowering plant in the family Apiaceae. This unique perennial is characterized by its spiky, metallic blue flowerheads, surrounded by spiny bracts that give the plant its distinctive appearance. The ‘Tiny Jackpot’ variety is a compact and floriferous cultivar, making it a popular choice for gardens and landscapes.

Key Takeaways – Sea Holly (Eryngium Planum ‘Tiny Jackpot’)

Before delving into the specifics of sea holly cultivation, let’s summarize the key takeaways regarding this captivating plant:

  • Plant Name: Sea Holly (Eryngium Planum ‘Tiny Jackpot’)
  • Plant Family: Apiaceae
  • Common Varieties: ‘Tiny Jackpot’
  • Flower Color: Metallic Blue
  • Cultural Preferences: Well-drained Soil, Full Sun, Drought Tolerant
  • Uses: Ornamental, Coastal Gardens, Dried Flower Arrangements
  • Attracts: Pollinators
  • Resistance: Deer-Resistant
  • Propagation Method: Seeds, Division
  • Fun Fact: Sea holly is so named due to its historical use in folklore for protection against the evil eye.

Now, let’s delve deeper into the various aspects of growing and caring for sea holly.

Culture of Sea Holly (Eryngium Planum ‘Tiny Jackpot’)

Cultivating sea holly involves careful attention to the plant’s specific requirements in terms of water, sunlight, soil, and maintenance. Understanding these cultural aspects is crucial for promoting the plant’s overall health and ensuring its optimal growth and blooming.


Sea holly is primarily valued for its ornamental qualities. The unique texture and appearance of its metallic blue flowers make it a sought-after addition to gardens, borders, and coastal landscapes. Furthermore, its ability to thrive in dry and sandy conditions has made it a staple of xeriscapes and rock gardens. Additionally, sea holly’s dried flowers are popular for decorative and craft purposes, adding a distinctive touch to floral arrangements.


Sea holly is remarkably drought-tolerant once established, making it an ideal choice for arid and coastal regions. It thrives in well-drained soil and prefers to be on the drier side, making it essential to avoid overwatering. In fact, excessive moisture can lead to root rot and other issues, so it’s crucial to allow the soil to dry out between waterings, particularly in humid climates or during wet seasons.


For optimal growth and flowering, sea holly requires full sun. It thrives in bright, direct sunlight and may struggle to bloom in shaded or partially shaded locations. When selecting a planting site for sea holly, prioritize areas that receive at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day, ensuring the best chances for vigorous growth and prolific flowering.


While sea holly is relatively low-maintenance in terms of fertilizer requirements, providing a balanced and well-timed feeding can enhance its performance. A general-purpose, slow-release fertilizer applied in spring can provide the necessary nutrients for robust growth and abundant flowering without the risk of overstimulation. Be cautious not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowers.


Sea holly thrives in well-drained, sandy or loamy soil with a slightly alkaline to neutral pH. It is crucial to avoid waterlogged or compacted soil, as this can lead to root rot and other issues. Amending heavy clay soil with organic matter such as compost can improve drainage and promote a more hospitable environment for sea holly roots.


Pruning sea holly is essential for maintaining its vigor, controlling its size, and encouraging continued flowering. To promote new growth and prolong the blooming period, it is advisable to deadhead spent flowerheads promptly. In late fall or early spring, cut back the entire plant to ground level to encourage fresh growth in the coming season. This rejuvenation pruning also helps to prevent the accumulation of woody stems and promotes a more compact and bushy form.


Sea holly can be propagated through seeds or division, both of which offer viable methods for generating new plants. When collecting seeds for propagation, allow the spent flowerheads to dry on the plant before harvesting. Sow the seeds directly into well-drained soil in late summer or early fall, as sea holly seeds benefit from a period of cold stratification to break dormancy. Dividing established clumps in early spring can also yield new plants and help rejuvenate older specimens.

Container Popularity

The compact growth habit and striking appearance of ‘Tiny Jackpot’ sea holly make it an excellent candidate for container gardening. Its drought tolerance and adaptability to well-draining potting mixes make it well-suited for thriving in containers placed on sunny patios, balconies, or other outdoor spaces. When grown in containers, sea holly benefits from periodic watering and may require more frequent monitoring to ensure the soil does not become overly dry.

Common Diseases and Pests

Sea holly is generally resistant to most pests and diseases, owing to its innate hardiness and natural defense mechanisms. However, like all plants, it is susceptible to certain issues that can impact its health and appearance.

Common Diseases

  1. Powdery Mildew: In humid and poorly ventilated conditions, sea holly may be affected by powdery mildew, resulting in the development of a white, powdery coating on the leaves and stems. To prevent this fungal disease, ensure proper air circulation around the plants and avoid overhead watering. Fungicidal treatments may be necessary in severe cases.

  2. Root Rot: Overly wet or poorly drained soil can lead to root rot, characterized by wilting, yellowing foliage, and an overall decline in plant health. To prevent root rot, ensure that the soil is well-drained and that the plant is not subjected to excessive moisture.

Disease Diagnosis

When diagnosing and treating potential diseases, it is important to closely monitor the plant for any signs of distress, including changes in leaf color, wilting, or the presence of abnormal growths. Promptly addressing any suspected issues can help prevent the spread of disease and preserve the plant’s overall health.

Common Pests

  1. Aphids: These small, sap-sucking insects can occasionally infest sea holly, particularly when the plant is under stress or growing in overly moist conditions. Insecticidal soap or horticultural oils can be effective in controlling aphid populations without harming beneficial insects.

  2. Spider Mites: In hot, dry conditions, spider mites may target sea holly, causing stippling and discoloration of the foliage. Regularly hosing down the plant to increase humidity and using insecticidal treatments can help manage spider mite infestations.

Botanist’s Tips

To ensure the successful cultivation of sea holly, consider the following tips from experienced botanists and horticulturists:

  • Mulch: Applying a layer of organic mulch around the base of sea holly can help to conserve soil moisture, suppress weed growth, and insulate the roots during extreme temperatures.
  • Division: Periodically dividing mature sea holly plants can help rejuvenate them and prevent overcrowding, leading to healthier and more robust growth.
  • Attracting Pollinators: Sea holly’s unique flowers can attract a variety of pollinators, making it a valuable addition to wildlife-friendly gardens and habitats.

The inclusion of these expert tips into your sea holly cultivation practices can contribute to the plant’s overall success and longevity in the garden.

Fun Facts about Sea Holly (Eryngium Planum ‘Tiny Jackpot’)

  • The genus name Eryngium is derived from the Greek word erungion, which was used by Pliny the Elder to describe a different, yet similarly thistle-like plant.
  • Sea holly has been historically associated with protection and warding off evil, as evidenced by its use in traditional folklore and medicinal remedies.
  • The spiky, metallic blue flowerheads of sea holly make it a striking and distinctive addition to garden landscapes and floral arrangements.

Links to External Resources

For further exploration of sea holly cultivation and related topics, consider the following external resources:

In conclusion, sea holly (Eryngium Planum ‘Tiny Jackpot’) is a visually captivating and resilient perennial plant that offers a host of ornamental and practical uses in gardens and landscapes. By understanding and implementing the key cultural practices, disease management, and propagation techniques outlined in this guide, you can cultivate vibrant and healthy sea holly specimens, enriching your outdoor spaces with their unique beauty and charm.

Picture of Peter Taylors

Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.