Heliotrope may sounds like familiar annual flowers, but how much do you really know about it? It is not nearly as common as some of the big names like Vinca or Pentas. Hopefully passing along some information about the Heliotrope flower will increase its popularity. It has some really great qualities: it’s fragrant, it is likely to come back next year, and it’s very easy to care for with your regular landscape maintenance program.
These flowers grow very fast with a range of heights depending on the variety chosen. Heliotrope can have a maximum height of 15 inches like the Fragrant Delight or 4 feet tall like the larger varieties. Most nurseries have the flowers labeled clearly, so be sure to check the height before selecting. The bloom has a beautiful color option from white to purple and an aromatic cherry-almond-vanilla fragrance. It’s very rare for an annual in the Houston area to be essenced, which makes this flower a great choice for walking pathways or pots near an entrance or pool.
Ideal conditions and best uses.
Heliotrope loves water! Any plant can be over watered, but this variety wants a moist root (not saturated) in order to thrive. Remember if you plant it in a pot, it will need water often. The leaves will give you a clue that it needs water when they start to look burned. Don’t worry just give it a good watering and pluck off the bad leaves. It replenishes itself very quickly.
Heliotrope comes from the Greek words “helios” which mean “sun,” and “tropos” which means “turn.” The name is derived from its habits of following the sun. Most flowering plants only bloom in the sunlight; however, in our hot, Houston climate a broiling sun can dry up a heliotrope. It will be much happier and healthy with a little shade during the day to keep the soil moist for a longer period of time.
As I mentioned before, the soils should drain, but not dry out. Many growers in the area recommend this one for a pot, but I am weary about planting Heliotrope in pots. If your sprinkler system has your pots covered then you may be successful. Otherwise, know that you will have to water a pot with this flower in the sun at least once a day maybe twice. Also, when choosing plants around the heliotrope make sure they love water too!
One last note. These flowers are poisonous to animals or humans if ingested in large quantities, although no known human fatalities are known.
How these flowers “stand out.”
Heliotrope has so many wonderful characteristics that I am sure you will want to try it out for yourself. Here some fun ways that these flowers really stand out above and beyond most of the other annuals in our Houston area.
It’s great for clippings! This plant will replace its flowers so quickly! It has beautiful bunches of purple flowers that a perfect for bouquets! Don’t forget about the fragrance it can add to your home. It is an exceptional choice for anyone with a flair for gardening.
The bright purple flowers pair well with brilliant yellow or orange. Day Lilies are an industry favorite. They both love the same conditions and will work very well together.