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See them in our herbaceous borders

Heleniums are a group of 40 or so species of annuals and herbaceous perennials native to North America.  They all have daisy like flowers (see our article on Daisy Plant Family) and come in a range of colours from reds and oranges through to yellow.

All Heleniums are fantastic, easy growing additions to the summer border and all are loved by bees and butterflies. Depending on variety, heights vary from 30cm to over 2m and flowering periods vary from June to October. Most varieties available in the UK are herbaceous perennials.

They grow best in sunny spots in most soils with the exceptions of very dry or wet soils. They start growing new roots in February or March so this is the best time to plant them and divide older clumps. As with most herbaceous plants, they benefit from lifting and dividing clumps every three years or so (discard the older woody section in the middle and replant the outer sections into as many clumps as you need).

Most varieties have reasonable winter seed heads and upright stems and can be left until late February before cutting the old stems back to the ground. They are generally pest and disease free.

Some of our favourite varieties:

Helenium 'Butterpat' - pure yellow flowers August and September, to 1m tall.

Helenium 'Dunkle Pracht' - dark orange-red from late summer, 1.2m tall.

Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty' - coppery-red flower early July to September, 1m tall.

Helenium 'Rubinzwerg' - Ruby red from July to September, 60cm tall.

Helenium 'Sahin's Early Flowerer' - orange flower heads from early summer to autumn, to 1m tall.

All the varieties mentioned above have the AGM, but not all types of Heleniums do.

AGM Logo


AGM  (Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit).  This award indicates that this plant is recommended by the RHS following plant trials during which the plant met strict criteria testing its garden worthiness.  More information




Back to our favourite August plants