How to Winterize Helen's Flower

Overview

Helen's flower, also known as sneezeweed, is nicknamed because it was used to make snuff. This herbaceous perennial produces blossoms from the late summer through to mid-fall. It can grow from 39 to 60 inches tall with clumps of flowers spreading over 20 inches wide. The blossoms looks like a cross between a daisy and Echinacea in dark golden orange shades. Planted in the late winter or early spring, established Helen's flowers can be divided in fall. Helping established flowers survive winter involves keeping the ground warm and moist throughout the cold months.

Step 1

Water Helen's flowers on a regular basis as long as they bloom into the fall. They require one inch of water each week, whether through rain or manual watering.

Step 2

Remove flower stems as they fade. Cut them completely to the ground. Chop up the foliage, and leave it on the ground as a mulch.

Step 3

Use a plant marker to indicate the location of Helen's flowers. As the flowers will be removed completely by the winter, marking the location of the flowerbed will prevent the perennial from being accidentally disturbed during planting in the coming spring.

Step 4

Cover the flowerbed with a 2-inch layer of mulch. This will keep the ground nourished and warm.

Step 5

Keep the ground moist; do not let it dry out throughout the winter. If a heavy snow is due, watering deeply will aid in preventing damage to the roots.

Tips and Warnings

  • The leaves, blossoms and seeds of Helen's flowers are toxic if consumed in large quantities.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening shears
  • Plant markers
  • Shovel
  • Mulch

References

  • The Complete Garden Flower Book: Catie Ziller, Publisher; 2001

Who Can Help

  • University of Texas at Austin Native Plant Database: Helenium Autumnale
Keywords: perennials, Helen's flower, winterizing flowers

About this Author

After attending Hardin Simmons University, Kay Dean finished her formal education with the Institute of Children's Literature. Since 1995, Dean has written for such publications as "PB&J," Disney’s "Family Fun," "ParentLife," "Living With Teenagers" and Thomas Nelson’s NY Times bestselling "Resolve." An avid gardener for 25 years, her experience includes organic food gardening, ornamental plants, shrubs and trees, with a special love for roses.