How to Grow Sneezeweed

How to Grow Sneezeweed

  • keywords: howtogrow Sneezeweed, alias Helen's flower, alias Helenium Autumnale
  • seedsfrom: Thompson and Morgan
  • location: Chicago, Illinois, Zone5
Helenium autumnale, Sunshine Hybrid
Yellow is the natural color however this hybrid also comes in red and yellow that may have red on the inner half of the petals or small amounts of red on the edges. Also totally red.
What a lousy name!!! It got that name because the leaves and/or flowers were used for snuff. And its not weedy either! Sneezeweed is supposed to be native to damp areas of prairies however I've seen the wild variety in ordinary dry spots in the Cook County forest preserves so apparently damp is not too necessary.

Starting the seeds was routine. A well-bred variety of seeds from Thompson and Morgan called Sunshine Hybrid bloomed the first season when started early indoors. They may even bloom the first year if they are started outside and given a very favorable sunny location since I had some such plants growing in an unfavorable location that were ready to bloom when the freeze hit. The first year they started blooming the first week of September and flowers continued to form until a freeze. Naturally bees loved them. They reached about 3 feet but were not very wide, on the order of 9 inches or so wide. Some of them are now up to 5 feet 4 inches tall and start blooming around August 1 for six weeks. After blooming they have been dying back (turning brown), with new growth (for next year) starting at the base of the plant. I dug some up and found that they formed iris-like rhizomes which can be divided easily. I've seen a few plants that must have come up from seeds however that's very few compared to how many flowers there are.

Highly recommeneded.

If you have any questions or comments, write me.

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