Friday, January 21, 2011


Helenium "Dark Beauty"
an amazingly productive flower
heleniums are very tough once established 
only needing watering once or twice a week 

they grow to a good height of 120cm in full flower
making it ideal for a middle of the border display
planted enmasse provides a brilliant long lived floral display

Helenium "Dark Beauty" enmasse
heleniums seem pretty happy to establish in an only mildly improved soil
but the better the soil the bigger and better the plant establishment
so if you have access to good mulch or manure for Winter soil conditioning go for it
they do not like water logging, doing better on a well drained or slopped garden bed

(U.K. refereces say they need moist and constantly damp soil - but we haev not found this the case here on our harder drier soils)

Helenium "July Sun ?"
the unusual flowers have recurved petals curling down from the cone
this somehow deters people from these flowers in cutting bunches, as they mistake the recurved petals for wilting
just the same it is an excellent cut flower with a vase life of about a week
(longer if water kept very fresh and topped up) 
the flower works less well in arrangements
this is due to the slower water uptake caused by the foam

Helenium "Moerheim Beauty"
We mix our Heleniums into a hot and sultry garden bed full of dark and exotic colours of purples and deep reds. Lysmachia "Firecracker" with its deep purple leaves provides a wonder foil for the flowers.

Leave spent flowers to form dry cones for a lovely Winter display, white frost on the old seed spikes are lovely. Prune back the flowering stems in Mid Winter .

Divide established plants also in Mid Winter in Tasmania. I know that recommendations are to split these plants in Early Spring, but as our Winters are generally dryer then in the U.K. I prefer to get smaller split plants established before the wet and often water logged Spring. 
I'm not a fancy pants perennial splitter, I take to our Heleniums with a sharp edged spade once they are over 30cm wide - splitting a plant into fours directly down the plant middle.

cultivars we stock

"Dark Beauty" - a cultivar off "Moerheim Beauty" that has less of the orange streak infiltrating the petals, and great petal recurving. More vigorous and reliable then "Moerheim Beauty".

"July Sun"  - This plant was called "July Sun" when I bought it, but I tend to think it is another cross bred variation due to its orange petal streaks, rather then clear yellow that a true "July Sun" should have. However the variation we have is a reliable and vigorous plant, flowers readily and heavily.

"Moerheim Beauty" - the original favourite to come out of the U.K. it has less recurved petals then the "Dark Beauty", but has delightful orange streaks through the petals. Less vigorous, we have found its to be a lovely flowering plant but a bit "missish" - trying a few other locations to see if it can come right !

We are currently sold out of Heleniums this year. 
Pre order or get in early for next Springs stocks in September.

1 comment:

  1. Moerheim Beauty are my favorite out of the ones you are showcasing. I love the flecks of yellow with the red. Very pretty post.