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Heliotrope, Saint Fiacre’s herb


Heliotrope is a perennial that blooms from spring until the end of summer.

Essential Heliotrope facts

Name – Heliotropium
Family – Boraginaceae
Type – perennial

Exposure – full sun
Height – 6 to 8 inches (40 to 120 cm)

Soil: ordinary, well drained      –     Flowering: late spring to early fall

It is perfect to adorn your flower beds, garden boxes and pot arrangements. Here is our advice on how to produce magnificent flowers for as long as possible.

Planting, sowing heliotrope

Heliotrope loves full sun and fears both cold weather and cool winds.

Planting heliotropiumThis plant will freeze and die whenever temperatures drop below 25°F (-4°C), so it should be grown in pots much as you would geraniums. This makes it easy to bring it indoors over winter.

  • It is recommended to plant heliotropes bought in nursery pots in spring, after any risk of freezing is over.
  • The soil must drain well and the stay quite cool all year round.
  • Have a preference for garden earth blended with special flower plant or perennial plant soil mix: this will make your soil richer.
  • Keep a distance of around 16 to 20 inches (30 to 40 cm) between plants.

Sowing heliotrope

Best sow under shelter in March-April.

Transplant once to nursery pots before putting them in place during the month of May.

  • Water regularly but not too much, until and after the seeds have sprouted.

Pruning and caring for heliotrope

Remove wilted flowers regularly when you see them die off to trigger production of new flowers.

As for watering, it is useful to avoid wetting the leafage and to water during prolonged dry spells.

For pots, shorter intervals between watering sessions are needed because pot soil tends to dry up much faster.

All there is to know about heliotrope

This perennial plant, usually grown as an annual, grows to form a bright green bush that bears large dark blue flowers.

It also goes by the name “Saint Fiacre’s herb”, after an Irish saint who was knowledgeable in herbs. It will grow just fine in flower beds, garden boxes and containers.

Place it next to a spot that is often used like a terrace to fully take advantage of its delicious vanilla-like fragrance.

Smart tip about heliotrope

The blooming is abundant and very fragrant, which means these flowers will make for marvelous additions to your cut flower bouquets.

Images: CC BY-SA 2.0: 阿橋 HQ
Pixabay: Johanna Pakkala
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