Eryngium Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Eryngium plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

Sea Holly, and Eryngo: Cultivation & Garden Use

Members of the Eryngium plant genus are hardy and half hard perennials.

They have spiny leaves of blue or grey, and spiky white or blue flowers that bloom in the second part of Summer.

Depending on the species, they can range in 30 cm to 1.2 m (1 to 4 feet) in height. They therefore make great plants if you want something a little bit unusual in the garden border.

Spiny cilantro eryngium

Some common names Eryngium include Sea Holly, Spiny cilantro, and Eryngo.

Eryngium Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Eryngo, Sea Holly, Rattlesnake master.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial. Half hardy perennial.
Height: 12 to 48 inches (30 to 120 cm).
Native: Europe, Asia, Northern America.
Family: Apiaceae / Umbellifera.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10.
Flowers: Middle to late summer.
Flower Details: White, blue, greenish. Cone-shaped. Spiky. Tight umbels.
Foliage: Prickly. Yucca-like. Silver, blue. Basel rosette.
Sowing: Surface. Germination time: one week to three months.
Seed: Method 1: Seeds should first be sown into flats in the autumn. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist. Bring the flats indoors at the beginning of spring and keep at 65 to 75°F (18 to 24°C). Transplant seedlings when they are strong.
Seed: Method 2: Mix seeds in a moist growing medium, then put in flats, wrap in a large plastic bag, then stratify by refrigeration for three weeks. Next bury the flat as described above. Once seedlings emerge transplant them to their final location.
Requirements and care: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Poor soil. Soil pH 5.0 to 7.0. Water during prolonged dry spells. Provide support if needed. Winter gravel mulch. Propagate: by taking root cuttings in the spring.
Miscellaneous: Has long taproots. The species Eryngium yuccifolium gets its common name of Rattlesnake master because it was used as a traditional native Indian cure for snake bites in Northern America.

How to Grow Sea Holly (Eryngium)

If you plan to grow Eryngium species, such as Sea holly, from seed, then first they should be planted into a flat within a black bag (in the spring). Then place in the fridge for three weeks.

The flat should next be sunk into the ground. Dop this in a shady location of the garden. Germination usually takes anything from one to ten weeks.

Once the Sea Holly seedlings have emerged, they should be transplanted into an area of the garden that is located in a sunny area, and that has good drainage.

Sea Holly likes to grow in a soil that is light and slightly acidic to neutral (pH 5 to 7). It is best to space smaller Eryngium at about 40 cm (16 inches) apart and larger ones at between 75 and 90 cm apart (30 to 36 inches).

Caring for Erysimum plants in the Garden

If you require more Eryngium plants, then cuttings can be taken in the spring.

Sea holly plants can pretty much look after themselves, but give them a little water in prolonged dry spells. you may need to stake larger varieties to protect them from the wind.

Common Questions

How many members does the Eryngium genus have?

The Eryngium genus contains around 250 species.

Do members of Eryngium make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Eryngium, also known as Sea Holly, is a great choice for drought-tolerant gardens and provides unique, thistle-like blooms.

Which Eryngium species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Eryngium bourgatii (Mediterranean Sea Holly) and Eryngium planum (Flat Sea Holly) are often grown by gardeners.

Are members of the Eryngium plant genus fragrant?

No, Eryngium flowers are not known for their fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Eryngium?

Eryngium loves full sun and well-drained soil. It's particularly suited to xeriscaping or drought-tolerant gardens.

Is Eryngium invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Eryngium is not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Eryngium plants from my garden?

To remove Eryngium, carefully dig up and remove the entire plant, including the root system.


The Eryngium genus comprises around 250 species of annuals and perennials native to dry, rocky habitats worldwide. These striking plants are grown for their spiky foliage and thistle-like flowers, which can be blue, purple, white, or green.

Eryngium plants prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They can be grown from seeds or division. Excellent in borders, they also make great cut flowers or dried flowers. They are drought-tolerant, deer-resistant, and attractive to pollinators, making them very versatile garden plants.

I hope that you found this guide on how to grow Eryngium plants in your garden. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Ammi majus, Fennel plant, and Myrrhis plants.