How to Grow Common Heliotrope (Heliotropium Arborescens)

Views: 18739 | Last Update: 2009-04-30
The common heliotrope, or heliotropium arborescens, are plants that are easy to grow because they can handle a little bit of cold temperatures. Grow the common heliotrope in a good, fertile soil that has good drainage with instructions from a sustainable... View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen. And in this segment we're going to learn all about heliotropes and how to grow them. They're such a beautiful plant. And they're really easy to grow. Now the heliotrope and this varieties Arborescence is from the Peruvian Andes. So to figure out how to grow it in the best conditions I always consider where the plant comes from and its native conditions. Now the heliotrope is native to the Andes Mountains of Peru. So it's the northern part of South America. And so they can handle a bit of cold temperature but really not as cold as you would think because Peru is not half as cold as Chili. Chilean plants can get much colder. So the heliotrope can only go down to zone 9. So in Peru its evergreen, it makes a shrub and it has these beautiful dark green hunter green leaves that are velvety with purple little tiny flowers all over it. And it's just a gorgeous plant. And the best part of it is that it smells really good, it smells like cherry pie. So that's a nick name for it, it's called cherry pie. It's such a beautiful plant. Heliotropes want a really moist soil. They don't want to be dried out at all. So but still they want to have a good drainage. SO they don't want to sit in water ever. So they like really good fertile soil, compost is the best. And a good trick with them too is as they bloom and kind of fade off, if you cut them back about half way in late spring or even into summer just trim them back here and there. They'll fill out and be much bushier. And so you can start them by seed in the spring or by cuttings if you live in a really warm temperature. But if you live in a zone that's lower than zone 9 then they're an annual. They have to come back, every year you have to start them by seed. If you live in a warmer climate they make an evergreen shrub so you can plant them any time of the year and the fall is the best by division. So you can find them in containers or you can start it by seed in the spring. But either way heliotrope is my cherry pie.