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13 messages
17/04/2013 at 21:13
I am growing for,the first time veronicastrum and heleniums. Potted them up into 3 litre pots today for plantIng out in redesigned border Later. The veronicastrums are grown for their spikes in summer....grow tall grasses and other spikey subjects....and wonder what members think of them. Heleniums are a bit of a gamble ....slightly invasive I think and not too convinced about the wisdom of growing them. Do I kindly give them away, if invasive, or do I keep them?
17/04/2013 at 21:35

Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty' is the only one I've grown, although at the Wisley trials some years ago the variety 'Rubinzwerg' caught my eye and I thought it best of the lot.  I'm still waiting to grow that one...

I didn't find my Helenium's invasive at all... reliably perennial though...

Veronicastrums I'm not familiar with from growing, only reading about... quite tall plants I think...?

17/04/2013 at 21:55

I've got a few Moorheim Beauty plants too - so far behaving themselves beautifully, and definitely not a thug.  I love the colours - sort of marmalade/burnt sugar.  Don't give them away Verdun - you'll love them

17/04/2013 at 23:35
Thanks folks.
I'm always adding new plants, trying new combinations etc, trying to improve on previous years.
Veronicastrums I'm happy about but heleniums just few misgivings but their colour is so unique that I want to try them
18/04/2013 at 07:51

Brum I just use the 'canes put in with string round 'em' method,or fine branches from prunings and where possible other planting to support them, but I don't grow a lot of tall perennials usually.

Verd- is is because of your soil conditions that  Heleniums are a bit invasive? Not grown them myself that I can recall but  I think you have very different soil/climate conditions from me.

18/04/2013 at 08:01

Both plants will be perfect in a priarie style border with grasses, sedums rudbeckia, salvias. achillea, cow parsley etc. and ideal in a cottage style border or garden

I use shrub prunings and garden twine to hold mine up.

Heleniums aren't invasive, so you will be fine.


18/04/2013 at 08:09
I've tried Moorheim Beauty a few times, but the slugs just devour it. However, Sahin's Early Flowerer is a lovely, long flowering variety which they totally ignore. It's not invasive, but does clump up, so I divide every year or so, and now have it dotted through my garden, and friends have been grateful recipients of divisions too.

It is one of those plants that benefit from the Chelsea chop, giving them stockier growth ( helpful if in a windy position) and frequent deadheading to prolong the flowering season.
18/04/2013 at 08:11
Fairygirl, for some reason I have never grown heleniums before but I have a feeling it's because some old varieties were invasive
Brum I have a variety of support methods.....individual canes for delphiniums and shaped, home made wire cloche supports.
However, the vast majority of my plants are self supporting and do not require staking. Dwarfer varieties and feeding to promote flowers rather than growth....viz., low organic slow release fertilisers..make for sturdier garden environment
18/04/2013 at 08:13
Figrat. Agree with Chelsea chop. Those two varieties are those I have now.
18/04/2013 at 11:17

Staking is the thing that gives me the most problem in gardening. Whatever I seem to do the stakes are allways to prominent and some plants end up being trussed up like a joint of meat.

Luckily Veronicastrum dont need staking, although I do find my taller heleniums do.

18/04/2013 at 12:51
Stake early. Most perennials are fine with supports for bottom 30 cm or so as long as they are firmly placed.
Delphiniums are the exception......6' or 7' canes per stem and cut off when plant has reached its limit
18/04/2013 at 12:53

Close planting helps for support, twigs and sticks from prunings, wire meshes when young - looks awful for a few weeks but soon disappear.  Some things lying abut loook lovely anyway. 

18/04/2013 at 13:02

I love veronicastrums even though they don't always survive my winters and have a fairly short flowering period.  I always buy a few new ones each spring and then live in hope.

I'm just getting going on heleniums because it's hard to find the more interesting and newer varieties with better colour but I understand they do very well with the Chelsea chop which encourages shorter, bushier, sturdier stems.  It remains to be seen whether the ones I bought last year have survived but I'll be googling about for seeds to grow my own for next year.

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