Heliopsis Helianthoides, commonly referred to as False Sunflower, Oxeye Sunflower, Rough Oxeye, or Smooth Oxeye, Oxeye Daisy, is a herbaceous flowering plant. Heliopsis belongs to the plant family Asteraceae, and, as its common name suggests, it looks quite similar to the majestic Helianthus (Sunflower), but it is smaller and, thus, more popular among gardeners who want to fill their gardens with attractive, yellow flowers.
If you love sunflowers, but you feel that they might take up too much space in your garden, Heliopsis are the perfect alternative. Native to eastern and central North America, Heliopsis plants can tolerate a wide range of climates and are not picky when it comes to their growing medium.
Ready to learn more about growing and caring for Heliopsis Helianthoides a.k.a. ‘False Sunflower’? Keep reading this article to become an expert Heliopsis grower.
- The genus name ‘Heliopsis’ comes from the Greek word ‘helios’ which means ‘sun’, (also the name of the Greek sun god) and ‘opsis’ with means ‘to resemble’ so it basically describes the idea that these flowers look like the sun. Helianthoides indicates the fact that Heliopsis plants look similar to Helianthus plants (sunflowers).
- There are many attractive Heliopsis cultivars available on the market such as ‘Prairie Sun’, ‘Tuscan Sun’, ‘Summer Sun’, ‘Asahi’, and ‘Golden Plume’.
- Some Heliopsis cultivars such as ‘Loraine Sunshine Helhan’, ‘Light of Loddon’, ‘Waterperry Gold’, or ‘Bennzingold’ have won the prestigious Award of Garden Merit, which is a mark of quality awarded to the greatest plants by the Royal Horticultural Society.
- In its native environment, Heliopsis can be found in tallgrass prairies, thickets, wooded areas, greasy meadows, stream banks, and even on the side of the road.
- If you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant that is a great addition to all types of gardens including cottage gardens, cutting gardens, perennial borders, wildflower meadows, butterfly gardens, Heliopsis is a perfect candidate.
- Some cultivars, such as ‘Tuscan Sun’ can also be successfully grown in containers thanks to their compact shape, resistance to mildew, and abundant flowers.
- Heliopsis is native to most regions of eastern Canada and eastern and central North America, so it can tolerate drought, heat, and rich or poor soil. A big lover of full sun, Heliopsis won’t mind some shade, as long as it gets at least four to five hours of sun a day.
- Heliopsis blooms attract many beneficial insects such as bees (the ground-nesting bee is a specialist pollinator for this plant) and butterflies, and also hummingbirds. Also, the stems of Heliopsis plants provide winter shelter for beneficial insects.
- Livestock and deer might find these plants attractive sometimes, so you might find domestic and wild animals munching on your flowers.
- Heliopsis plants don’t need much to thrive and they have a long blooming period from June through September. Their flowers are showy and attractive and can be planted alongside Coneflowers, Gayfeathers, Crocosmias, Dahlias, ornamental grasses, Yarrow, and Turk’s Cap Lilies.
Heliopsis Features: An Overview
- Heliopsis flowers have triangular-shaped foliage and tall, branching stems.
- Heliopsis plants have a bush-like appearance, and they produce yellow or orange flowers that look quite similar to sunflowers and daisies. The leaves have serrated margins and grow opposite to each other.
- The rough stems can produce a single flower, or they can be branched into smaller stems and, thus, produce a multitude of flowers.
- In late autumn, Heliopsis produce small dry fruits known as achenes which are characteristic of most flowering plants.
- Blooming from early summer to late fall, Heliopsis daisies have a golden-brown cone-shaped centre, surrounded by bright, colourful petals.
- The stiff, upright-growing clumps of Heliopsis plants can grow 90 cm -180 cm tall (3-6 feet), but different cultivars can have different growing habits. For instance, the ‘Tuscan Sun’ variety is more compact and it doesn’t grow taller than 50 cm, so it is a perfect option if you plan on growing these plants in containers.
- Heliopsis flowers are not toxic, so you can grow them safely outdoors or indoors. In fact, Heliopsis flowers are edible. They have a mild taste and can be added raw in salads or used as a garnish.
Heliopsis, a.k.a. False Sunflowers, are friendly, tough, and easy to grow garden companions. Once they are established and used to their surrounding environment, Heliopsis plants will thrive and you won’t have to worry too much about their growing conditions. The important thing to keep in mind is that Heliopsis plants need well-drained soil. Heliopsis are not big fans of organic matter and fertilisers, as these can result in leggy stem growth and staking.
Our favourite thing about Heliopsis flowers is the fact that they are repeat bloomers and we can enjoy their flowers from early summer into fall. To ensure that new buds will keep forming, make sure you deadhead the plants regularly. This is an easy process that consists of removing the spent blooms once they are no longer attractive. In doing so, you help the plants redistribute their energy and you give them a nicer, tidier aspect. You can also cut the flowers and make bouquets to decorate your home or to offer as gifts.
These plants are now susceptible to pests and diseases, but aphids might show up once in a while. Aphids are usually active in spring when they form colonies and feed on the plant’s sap. Curled leaves and flower dropping are signs of an aphid infestation. But don’t worry, you can easily remove these intruders with a jet of water. The water will remove the aphids, but you need to repeat the process regularly until the plants are aphid-free. Spraying your plants with a mix of water, alcohol, and garlic can also be an effective treatment. Powdery Mildew and Rust might also affect Heliopsis plants, but this rarely happens.
- Brand:Heliopsis helianthoides, Country/Region Of Manufacture:United States
- Model:Heliopsis Seeds - Summer Sun, Patternname: 100 Seeds
- Mpn:Sunflowers seed
- Scientific Name" Heliopsis Helianthoides
- Common Name: Oxeye Sunflower, Ox-eye Sunflower
- Plant Height: 24-48" Plant Spacing: 18 - 30", Hardiness Zones: 4-9
- Cycle: Perennial
- Bloom Season - Fall, Summer
- FREE SHIPPING
- Number of seed is Pure Live Seed, not bulk
- Species is US Native, not introduced alien
- Seed Packet designed for 15 Square Feet of Planting
- A 3’ to 6’ tall native perennial featuring large 3” wide daisy-like golden yellow flowers. An early summer flowering plant that grows well in dry to moist soils and prefers full sun sites.
Last update on 2023-08-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Heliopsis plants thrive in moist, well-drained soil. These low-maintenance plants won’t mind being planted in sandy, loamy, chalky, or even clay soil. They prefer a neutral PH balance but will survive both acidic and alkaline soils. Choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight because as the name suggests, Heliopsis plants are big sun lovers and require at least 5 hours of full sun a day. As we previously mentioned, they can tolerate some shade, but they won’t produce as many blooms as they would in full sun. In addition to that, low-light conditions can also result in leggy stems.
Before planting Heliopsis in your garden, you can amend the soil with compost and mix it well. Dig a hole that’s deep enough to fit the root ball and twice as wide and make sure that your plants are at least 50 cm apart. Once the new plants are in place, fill the planting area with soil and water generously.
Heliopsis plants don’t need a lot of attention when it comes to their watering needs. They are generally drought tolerant and only require frequent watering during long periods of drought and harsh summers. If they are planted in well-draining soil, Heliopsis plants will show vigorous growth if you water them once their top layer of soil is completely dry. This watering method is known as the ‘Soak and Dry’ technique and it is perfect for the great majority of garden plants. To avoid excessive dehydration during the summer, you can add mulch to the soil.
Heliopsis plants can easily be propagated by seed. Sow the seeds indoors, for about one month, in spring or fall. If you plan on planting your Heliopsis in the fall, you can start the seeds at the end of summer. Being perennial plants, Heliopsis have a natural tendency to start blooming in their second year, so if you plant them in spring, you might not be able to enjoy their flowers until next year. If you plant them in autumn, the new plants will most likely bloom the following summer, so we think autumn is the ideal season to start these plants.
Being clump-forming plants, Heliopsis tend to grow in one place, so they won’t spread throughout the garden without a little help. If you want to fill your garden with more Heliopsis plants, you can propagate them through division. You can divide your established Heliopsis plants once every two or three years, in spring or in fall.
Another effective way to propagate Heliopsis plants is through basal cuttings. This propagation method is usually carried out in spring and it consists of cutting a healthy stem found at the base of the plant and replanting it in a container filled with well-draining fresh soil. The new plants can be replanted in the garden once their roots start to develop and you notice new growth.
Heliopsis plants are hardy perennials that don’t require a lot of attention. As long as they are planted in well-draining soil and get plenty of sunlight, they will reward you with their attractive blooms. Pest-resistant, non-toxic, and not picky when it comes to soil, Heliopsis will surely thrive in your garden as long as you keep their soil moist during the hot summer months. Colourful and attractive, Heliopsis plants are perfect additions to cutting gardens, butterfly gardens, cottage gardens, and pretty much any type of sunny environment.
Are you already growing Heliopsis in your garden? Share your experience in the comment section!