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
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
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 (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
Back to our
favourite August plants