Heleniums are hardy garden perennials that are often overlooked. They are colorful, easy to grow, and are attractive to pollinating insects and butterflies. And since they are native, they tolerate difficult growing conditions, are pest and disease resistant and are resistant to deer browsing.

Wild heleniums are found growing in a wide variety of conditions but are often in moist or even wet habitats. Always add lots of compost when planting. Heleniums like plenty of moisture but not being waterlogged; compost helps sandy soils retain water and opens up clay soils to help them drain. Deadheading will encourage additional blooming.

Heleniums come in a range of colors from deep red to pale yellows, including blends or bands of color and are topped by a brown globular center. Heights can vary from 1 ft. to 5 ft. tall. They can be quite stunning when planted in a drift, spacing about 1 ½ ft. apart. They can be equally effective planted in small numbers among other strongly colored plants of similar height, such as asters, echinacea and solidago, as well as ornamental grasses.

Recent Arrivals at Homestead

  • Tiny Dancer’ is low growing, compact and very floriferous. The brown spherical cones are surrounded by a flowing fringe of bright yellow petals, making it look like “yellow skirted dancers on motion.”
  • ‘Red Jewel’ grows to about 2 ½ feet. Red Jewel has uniquely shaped maroon petals, some marked with yellow tips and is longer blooming than some other Heleniums.

Not only do heleniums make a great addition to your fall blooming perennial garden, they also make great additions in cut flowers in arrangements.