HELIOTROPE IN HANGING BASKETS &
Heliotropium arborescens commonly known as Cherry pie has tiny violet
and blue flowers that bloom for months, giving off a vanilla scent that
attracts hummingbirds as well as butterflies, bees, and birds.
The sweet-scented flowers can be planted in hanging baskets, hanging
planters and window boxes
More on hanging basket plants for humming birds
More on hanging basket plants for butterflies
Heliotropes originate from South America. It is said that in the late
1700s Thomas Jefferson was so impressed with this plant that he sent
heliotrope seeds back to friends and family here in America.
A perennial in warmer climates, it is often grown as an annual where not
hardy. Its rich foliage and profuse blooms make it a great choice for
Though heliotrope is known for purple flowers, there are different
varieties and sizes on the market. Some of Heliotropes have white
flowers others are purples with hints of pink to fully flused and deep
dark purple. They make an excellent cut flower.
It is worth noting that some modern types of Heliotropes do not have
the prominent fragrance of older types and some may actually have no
scent at all. So when choosing your plants looks for those in flower and
let your nose guide you.
Growing Heliotropes in Hanging
Heliotropes work well in hanging baskets, their fragrance wafts
through the air and is a pleasant surprise. Due to their fragrance
Baskets planted with Heliotropes are popular on patios and in
Heliotropes like full sun, but they will also perform in semi or
lightly shaded spots. They like moist but well-drained soil and do not
like to dry out as this can affect their flowering.
In the heat of summer your baskets will need daily watering.
While they like full sun they will get very stressed in very hot
weather – drying winds and/or hot searing sun. When things heat up if
you think your baskets are getting too much sun or are exposed to too
much wind consider moving them to an area with more shelter and
Fertilize your basket with a general all purpose plant food about
once to twice a month during the growing season. Trim your plant back by
about 1/3rd if it gets to leggy..
Heliotropes are pretty hardy plants but if stressed they can be
susceptible to whiteflies, rust, and leaf spot.
Growing Heliotrope from Seed &
Over-wintering Your Plants
We find it easiest to grow heliotrope from plants purchased at your
local nursery or garden center.
However seed may be saved from year to year and it is easy to collect
from the flowers. Store your seed in a paper bag or envelop do not store
them in plastic.
Note Heliotropes seeds are tiny little seeds.
To start the heliotrope seeds fill a pot or seedling tray with soil
and then scatter the heliotrope seeds over the top of the soil. Cover
the seeds with just a dusting of soil. Use an atomizer to water them in.
Do not be discouraged as Heliotrope seeds can take a long time to
germinate. They may take up to six to eight weeks to emerge. When all
risk of frost is over, you should have some nice plants ready for your
Heliotrope can also be easily over wintered – just remove your plant
from your hanging basket or planter, trim it back by about 1/3rd, repot
it into a well drained container and then treat it as a houseplant over
the winter months.
Ensure it gets its fair share of sun and use luke-water when
Stewart’s Heliotrope Hanging Basket Mix
Martha Stewart has created this basket mix using Heliotrope – she
calls it Tropical Delight.
She writes that the baskets “Wild colors are perfect for summer”.
• Tuberous begonia
• Heliotrope 'Mini-Marine'
• Streptocarpus, coleus 'Golden Wizard,'
• Lobelia 'Blue Cascade
• Trailing ivy
For more click on http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/easy-container-gardens#slide_2