The sea buckthorn is originally native to Nepal and has spread to East and West Asia and Europe as a result of Ice Age shifts. In the meantime it can be found in all German federal states and feels comfortable in calcareous sand and gravel soils in sunny locations. Sea buckthorn can be found both in the plain and up to 1800 metres in the Alps and 5000 metres in Asia.
It is mainly found in light pine forests, on dry river meadows and gravel fields, rocky slopes and gravelly shores of mountain streams. As a pioneer plant, it can also be found on sea coasts, dunes and steppes.
As secondary sites, for example, road embankments and gravel pits are populated by sea buckthorn. It is also used and cultivated as a hedge and ornamental plant.