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Heliotrope

Heliotropium arborescens. Heliotrope is a treasured heirloom with a heady, vanilla fragrance. It prefers to be started indoors 10 to 12 weeks before the last spring frost date and may be dug out and potted up before the first fall frost and brought indoors as a winter-blooming houseplant. Bee friendly. Deer resistant. Annual. Summer-flowering. Height: 12" to 24".

Average seed life: 1 to 2 years.

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Gardening Tips

Heliotrope Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/4”
Seed Spacing:4”-5”
Plant Spacing:8”-12”
Days to Germination:7-30 days
Germination Temperature:70°-80°F

Heliotropium arborescens. Germinating Heliotrope may take several weeks. It is best to sow it indoors 10 to 12 weeks before the last frost date. Sow seeds lightly in seed starting mix, barely cover and provide consistent heat, strong light and moisture. Transplant to larger pots once the seedlings are large enough to handle. When they are 4" tall, harden the seedlings off by gradually acclimating them to the outdoors over 7 to 10 days. Transplant out in rich, well-draining soil and full sunlight. Water regularly and mulch to deter weeds and retain ground moisture. Feed regularly and pinch back to make them bushy. Another heirloom, Heliotrope has clustered, tiny, trumpet-shaped flowers and a heady perfume. They may be dug out and potted up before the first fall frost and brought indoors as a winter-blooming house plant. Summer flowering. Height: 12" to 24".

Perfumed Evenings
Whenever I smell Heliotrope I think of the scene in Our Town, in which the girl smells her mother’s Heliotrope from her bedroom window. I like to plant fragrant flowers where their scent will waft indoors at night: Nicotiana next to the back door, perhaps. Or Four O’Clocks under the open kitchen window at the base of the screen porch.

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