How to Grow and Care for Heliotropes

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Heliotropes (Heliotropium arborescens) are a type of perennial flowering plant that is known for their fragrant, violet-blue or white flowers. They are relatively easy to grow and care for in the right conditions.

When planting heliotropes, it’s crucial to choose a location that receives full sun to partial shade and has well-drained soil. They can tolerate a wide range of soil types but prefer a slightly acidic to neutral soil pH.

To plant heliotropes, dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball, and space them about 18 inches apart. Gently remove the plant from its container, loosen any tangled roots and place it in the hole. Backfill with soil, and water well.

Once established, heliotropes require regular watering to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. They also benefit from regular fertilization with a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10, applied every four to six weeks during the growing season.

Heliotropes can be pinched back in late spring to promote bushier growth and more flowers. Deadheading, or removing spent blooms, can also help to encourage re-blooming.

It’s also important to keep an eye out for pests and diseases, such as powdery mildew, which can be treated with a fungicide. Heliotropes can be susceptible to spider mites, whiteflies, and aphids, which can be controlled with insecticide.

Finally, In colder climates, heliotropes are usually grown as annuals. Still, in warmer climates, they can be evergreen or semi-evergreen and can be cut back in late winter or early spring before new growth appears.


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