Growing Helenium

Golden yellow blooms on a helenium plant in a garden.
Helenium grows well in moist, even wet, poorly drained soil. Humus added to dry or sandy garden soils will help retain moisture. As natives they like low meadows and the edges of damp woodland areas. This is a page about growing helenium also known as sneezeweed and Helen's flower.

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March 15, 2006
Growing: Helenium
Botanical Name: Helenium
Life Cycle: perennial
Planting Time: summer and fall
Height: 2' to 4'
Exposure: full sun
Soil: moist, well-drained soil is best; plants growing wild are adaptable to drier soil conditions
Hardiness: best in zones 3-8
Bloom Time: mid summer to fall
Flower: daisy-like flowers in yellow, bronze, orange, red; some hybrids have solid centers with colored tips
Foliage: green
Propagation: seeds or division in spring or fall
Suggested Use: beds, borders, cut flowers, butterfly garden and fillers
Growing Hints: Purchase plants from nurseries in summer and fall or start seeds indoors several weeks before last frost date in the spring. Plants should be spaced 12 inches apart and mulched with 3 inches of compost around their base to help keep their roots moist.
Pinch stems back by 8 to10 inches in June (just above a new let of leaves) to encourage bushier growth. Remove spent foliage and prune stems in the spring.
Interesting Facts: The name "sneezeweed" comes from the fact that the leaves and flowers of Heleium were once used for snuff. The flowers attract both bees and butterflies. Closely related to the sunflower, Heleium grows wild in the western mountain states and can be toxic when small amounts are ingested by grazing livestock over an extended period of time.
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