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Teds's Garden


Genus: Helenium.

Species: Helenium 'Ruby Tuesday'.

■Position: full sun
■Soil: fertile, moist but well-drained soil
■Rate of growth: slow to average
■Flowering period: August to September
■Hardiness: fully hardy

A recent introduction, with deep red to copper-red daisy-like flowers with prominent, red and saffron centres and widely spaced and fluted petals. This beautiful, perennial sneezeweed makes a wonderful, late summer companion for ornamental grasses and red, white or earth-toned flowers. More compact than many varieties, it also looks fabulous is a container. Bees and butterflies love it and it makes an excellent cut flower too.

■Garden care: Heleniums are versatile plants that love plenty of sunshine and moist soil. They rarely suffer from pests or diseases, however young plants do need to be protected from slug attack. Tall varieties need to be staked. To encourage the plant to repeat flower deadhead back to side shoots that have flower buds emerging. Cut back by half after flowering to help prevent mildew. Cut down to the ground in late winter. Every two to three years divide the plants in spring to keep them in top condition. When replanting add loads of well-rotted organic matter to the soil to feed them and keep them moist.

■Eventual Height: 50cm
■Eventual Spread: 50cm

Photos of this plant