The yellow or orange daisy flowers of sneezeweed appear in late summer adding bold color to the fall garden. Most Heleniums are perennials, but seed is available for an annual type.
|Helenium, Red Jewel||Helenium Dakota Gold 1 Pkt.||Helenium, Double Trouble|
All parts of this plant are poisonous. Do not ingest it. Use care when handling it as it may cause skin irritation.
Helenium’s flowers form at the stem tips of 2-5 foot tall, stiff stalks. The plants form clumps which look good massed alone or among shrubs. The blooms make great flowers for arrangements.
The grass green foliage is lance shaped and forms a nice foil to the flowers.
The silver foliage of Senecio cineraria or Silver King Artemesia look good paired with it.
Growing Helenium Plants
A drift of Helenium plants growing near a gazebo.
Site plants in full sun in rich, moisture retentive soil. Divide the clumps every 4 years or so–whenever they begin to lose vigor.
If you wish to increase your stock in the meanwhile, take stem cuttings in early summer.
Helenium is hardy in zones 3-9.
Buy Helenium Seeds:
Pinching the shoot tips a time or 2 in early spring will make the plants more compact and minimize the need to stake tall cultivars.
Cut the stems back by half after they bloom.
Different Types of Sneezeweed
Helenium autumnale ‘Bruno’
H. autumnale grows from 4-6 feet tall.
Each petal of the yellow disk flowers is distinctly separate. The blooms feature honey-colored, raised central cones much like those of coneflowers.
The flowers arrive in August and depart in November.
The orange petals of Moerheim Beauty Helenium flare out from beneath the velvety brown central cones like tutu skirts.
This cultivar of H. autumnale blooms from late summer to fall on plants which sometimes stretch to 4 feet.
Wild Sneezeweed Poster
Bitter sneezeweed or bitterweed is a drought tolerant annual wild flower which is attractive to bees and butterflies.
Small bright yellow flowers adorn the 24 inch tall plants from spring through fall. The bright green foliage resembles grass blades.
Other varieties include:
Helenium ‘Mardi Gras‘ is a 3 foot tall plant which blooms in various shades of yellow, orange, and gold all at the same time. The 2 inch flowers will reappear if it is deadheaded.
Helenium puberulum is a California native which prefers damp ground. The bright yellow or gold half inch flowers are sometimes called autumn lollipops. The 18 inch stems are winged along their length.
Helenium ‘Dakota Gold’ is a summer annual which bears inch wide bright yellow flowers on a 15 inch plant. The blooms are self cleaning. Heat and drought are no match for this cultivar.
Helenium ‘Chelsey’ bears large, bicolored orange and gold flowers on a 36-48 inch plant. It is perennial in zones 5-9.