Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens) is a flowering plant that is often grown as an ornamental flower. This perennial plant can be found in tropical regions, but can also be cultivated indoors. It produces flowers with a purple, red, or pink coloration. One must keep this flower well- watered and avoid damaging the roots. A very easy way to grow heliotropes is to place them in pots and keep them on your porch or patio!
What is Heliotrope?
Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens) is a perennial herb that can grow up to 2 feet tall. The leaves are compound, with 3 to 5 leaflets. The flowers are white or light purple, and have five petals. Heliotrope is native to Europe and North Africa, and can be found growing in dry areas near woods.
How to Grow Heliotrope?
Heliotropium arborescens is a great choice for those looking to grow their own flowering plants. With a wide variety of cultivars available, there is sure to be one that will suit your needs. Additionally, heliotrope is very easy to care for, making it a great option for beginners. Here are some tips on how to grow heliotrope:
- Choose the right cultivar: There are many different types of heliotropes available, so it is important to choose the right one for your needs. Some cultivars are more hardy than others, so consider your climate before selecting one.
- Prepare the soil: Before planting heliotrope, make sure the soil is well-prepared. Add a layer of organic matter and mix in some sand or gravel if necessary. Soil should be pH balanced and have good drainage.
- Plant heliotropes: Plant heliotropes in early spring or late summer according to the cultivar you have selected. Space them about 2 feet apart and water regularly during germination and until the plant is established. Once the plant has grown large enough, reduce watering to once a week or
Soil, Zones, and Temperature
Heliotropium arborescens is a hardy perennial heliotrop that grows well in most soil types, but benefits from fertile, moist soil. Keep it in zones 8-11. Prefers temperatures around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit but can tolerate lower temperatures for short periods of time.
To grow heliotrope, prepare the soil in the fall by mixing 2 parts organic matter and 1 part loam. Work the compost into the soil and add water until the soil is moist but not wet. Plant heliotrope seeds thinned to 1/4 inch deep and spaced 12 inches apart in the prepared soil. Water regularly and fertilize monthly with a balanced fertilizer diluted to half strength. Harvesting heliotrope flowers will begin early summer and continue until frost kills the plants.
Care, Planting, and Harvesting
If you love the look of heliotrope, or if you want to add a touch of elegance to your garden, then growing this flower is definitely the right choice. Here we will discuss the care, planting, and harvesting of heliotrope.
When growing heliotrope, it’s important to note that it prefers full sun and well-drained soil. If your soil is poor in nutrients, heliotrope may not thrive. So be sure to add good compost or manure before planting. Once established, heliotrope needs little else but occasional watering.
To produce the most blooms, begin planting heliotrope bulbs in early spring. Space them about 8 inches apart and water well before planting. Once they have germinated, water regularly but do not fertilize them. The plants will flower from late winter/early spring through early summer.
Once the flowers have faded, it’s time to dig up the bulbs. Be sure to remove any dead leaves or roots before doing so, as these can damage the bulbs during removal.Store the bulbs in a cool place until you are ready to plant
Types of heliotrope (Helionpium arborescens)
There are many types of heliotrope, each with its own distinctive features and cultivation requirements (although they do not vary greatly). Here are just a few of the most popular varieties:
- White Queen
- Fragrant delight
- Mary Fox
- Princess Marina (strongly scented with deep purple flowers)
- Chatsworth (strongly scented with deep purple flowers)
- Sweet heaven
It’s notable that ‘Princess Marina’ is quite hardy and can easily be found in many American seed catalogues and garden stores or gardening section of large stores.