Helenium have charming flowers, guaranteed to bring vibrant colour to the garden in late summer. With blooms in hot yellows, orange and red, they look fantastic planted in drifts through a mixed border. Good companion plants are taller grasses, other daisy flowers such as echinacea, or hot-coloured Geums. There are hundreds of Helenium varieties to choose from. All of them are very attractive to bees and other pollinators.
With daisy shaped flowers with a brown middle that bloom from late July to the end of August and even into September, Helenium ground cover is ideally suited to the middle or back of the border – this can disguise the base of the plant that doesn’t have much foliage and can look a little leggy (more so in the taller varieties), so we advise growing shorter plants in front. Some of the taller varieties can lean forward or topple in high winds – these may need staking support later in the season. These cheery plants look wonderful planted with Aster, Coreopsis and grasses for example and they also make a good cut flower.
Types of Helenium Ground Cover
For best results grow Helenium ground cover in full sun in moist and well-drained soil. Water regularly to prevent the soil from drying out. Deadhead any spent blooms to prolong the flowering period and then cut the plant back as it dies off in Winter. Divide congested Helenium clumps every few years, in spring or autumn to avoid the middle dying which can weaken the entire plant.
As a rough guide when planting Helenium ground cover – 4 plants per square metre is adequate with a little patience, 6 will give better coverage, and 9-12 will make a weed supressing carpet very quickly.
How to grow Helenium
Position: Full sun or partial shade
Soil and site: Well-drained moist soil
Flowering time: Late Summer to late Autumn
Growth rate: Moderate
Ultimate height and spread: Height from 90cm to 150cm, spread from 30cm to 60cm depending on variety
Hardiness: Fully hardy once established
Aftercare: Deadhead throughout the flowering season and then cut back to ground level in Winter