Helenium Autumnale Salsa Ground Cover
Helenium Salsa (Sneezeweed)
From the Mariachi series of Helenium hybrids, Helenium autumnale Salsa have fantastic showy flowers with the benefit on them being borne on compact and stocky plants that shouldn’t need staking, guaranteed to bring vibrant colour to the garden in late Summer. It’s erect, branching stems are clothed in slender, lance shaped dark green leaves, topped with showy, daisy shaped flowers in clusters with brilliant carmine red flowers with gold with chocolate centre cones, blooming from late July to the end of August and even into September.
One of the more compact varieties, Helenium Salsa ground cover is ideally suited to the middle or back of the border, fantastic planted in drifts through a mixed planting scheme. Good companion plants are grasses, other daisy-like flowers such as Echinacea, Asters or hot-coloured Geums. They are also ideal for wildlife areas where their later season flowers are popular with bees and other pollinating insects. Some of the taller varieties can lean forward or topple in high winds and these may need staking support later in the season. They also make an excellent cut flower.
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For best results grow Helenium Salsa (Sneezeweed) ground cover in full sun in fertile, 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 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 Salsa as 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 Salsa
Position: Full sun
Soil and site: Well-drained, moist, fertile soil
Flowering time: Late Summer to late Autumn
Growth rate: Moderate
Ultimate height and spread: Height 50cm Spread to 60cm
Hardiness: Fully hardy once established
Aftercare: Feed and water plants regularly until they are fully established. Deadhead faded flowers to encourage more blooms to be produced. Divide overcrowded clumps of helenium in spring and apply a mulch of well-rotted manure or garden compost to the base of the plant.