Heliotrope – Flowering plants
Heliotrope is a tropical perennial plant grown for its dusky foliage and magnificently fragrant deep purple blooms. It is rounded and bushy and usually stays no more than 12-18 in (30.5-45.7 cm) tall with a similar spread, but can get as tall as 4 ft (1.2 m). The elliptic leaves are wrinkled, hairy, 1-3 in (2.5-7.6 cm) long, and the leaf veins are conspicuously impressed. The violet, purple or white tubular blossoms are just a quarter inch long but are borne in showy many-flowered clusters 3-4 in (7.6- cm) across. The blooms open alternately, on the left, then the right, unfolding from coiled clusters of buds. They are strongly scented.
Scientific Name: Heliotropium arborescens
Common Name: Heliotrope
How to grow and maintain Heliotropium:
Grow common heliotrope where it gets full sun in the morning, but some relief in the afternoon, especially in hot climates and especially for plants in containers.
It flourishes in rich soil but grows in almost any well-drained soil.
The plant needs copious water during the hotter months when it’s growing and blooming don’t give it a chance to dry out between waterings. Water sparingly during winter.
Fertilize heliotrope once a month during the growing season, utilizing an all-purpose liquid fertilizer applied according to the manufacturer’s directions. Try not to fertilize heliotrope during fall and winter.
Sow seeds 10 to 12 weeks before planting out. Seeds germinate in 7 to 21 days at 70 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Root cuttings in four-inch pots in February to have imposing plants for May planting.
Pests and diseases:
Plants are rarely susceptible to insects or diseases, although spider mites may attack plants growing indoors. Control bugs with sprays of water or insecticidal soap. Soggy soil, whether in the garden or indoors, will cause the leaves to brown and drop off. Still, the plant will recover quickly as soon as good drainage and air circulation return.