March 18th, 2015

Coastal Plants to Consider for Your Grande Dunes Garden

Great Coastal Flowers Varieties

Nothing brings as much joy as sitting back in your garden and enjoying the view, but living at the coast requires that your garden choices be able to stand up to strong winds as well as salty soil and spray. And that’s asking for a lot, so we’ve picked a handful of the toughest coastal plants that might be just perfect for you and your garden.

But first, let’s talk a little about gardening zones. In Myrtle Beach, we are in zone 8b according to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. This map divides North America into 11 separate zones where each zone is 10° F warmer (or colder) in an average winter than the adjacent zone. The hardiness zones are a tool that gardeners use to compare their garden climates with the climate where a plant is known to grow well. There are over 400 different types of perennials that grow well in zone 8, so the difficult part will be deciding what to plant in your garden.

Here are some solid plant choices that are strong southern favorites (and do really well in our zone).

  1. Yarrow – a hardy perennial with showy flower heads composed of many tiny, tightly-packed flowers. Their fern-like leaves are often aromatic. Yarrows are easy to care for and versatile: they are good for borders and are excellent for cutting or drying.
  2. Sea Pink – Sea pink flowers prefer well-drained soil in full sun in northern climates and part-sun in the South.
  3. Daylily – Often called “the perfect perennial”, due to its brilliant colors, ability to tolerate drought and frost and to thrive in many different climate zones, the Daylily is a vigorous perennial that lasts for many years in a garden.
  4. Gazania – These species are grown for the brilliant color of their flowerheads which appear in the late spring and are often in bloom throughout the summer into autumn. They prefer a sunny position and are tolerant of dryness and poor soils.
  5. Lavender – These unfussy, long-lived plants pump out beautiful foliage and flowers year after year. Plant in fall or spring when cooler temperatures help them get a healthy start.
  6. Switchgrass – This hardy, deep-rooted, perennial grass grows in late spring and can reach heights of over 8 feet. Great for ground-cover and natural habitats for a variety of birds.

If you are looking for some newer varieties for your garden, Burpee (the renowned seed company) has these great alternatives to consider but we love these options from Coastal Living too.

We’ve also included a handy garden plan from Better Homes and Gardens to help you decide where things should go and some tips on your perennial maintenance, but if you need a little bit of guidance from local experts, here are some gardening resources located close to Grande Dunes.

Happy planting!