How to Grow Heliotrope Plants
Here are some easy tips for how to grow Heliotrope plants: These annual plants like a rich, loamy soil and six hours of full sun each day. Put plants in a hole twice the size of the root ball, to the depth of the soil mark on stem. Fill with organic matter, tamp down, then water.
Origin: South America, Europe, and Asia
Description: These annuals also grow as tender perennial plants, depending on climate. Heliotrope plants have beautiful flower clusters of deep purple, blue, or white. These tropical flowers can smell like cherry pie, vanilla, or grape Popsicle. The leaves are dark green and very attractive. They normally grow 1-3 ft. tall and 1- 2 ft. wide.
Common names: Turnsole; Cherry pie plant
Propagation: Seed or stem cutting
Sun/Light Needs: These annual plants do best in full sun. In very hot, dry areas, they need afternoon shade to stop the leaves from scorching.
USDA Hardiness Zones: 10-11 (tender perennials) but annuals elsewhere
Fertilizer Needs: Cherry pie plants are heavy feeders. Every 2 weeks or so, use a liquid fertilizer made especially for flowering plants. It should have a lot of phosphorus.
Maintenance: Early in the season, pinch stems back to encourage bushy shape. This will delay the first bloom, but you'll have a steady show of blossoms after that.
Companion Plants: Angelonia, Licorice plant
Display: Borders, beds, or containers
Pests/Diseases: Usually, none
Wildlife Value: Deer resistant; drought and heat tolerant. Cherry pie plants are also a food source for the Grass Jewel butterfly caterpillar.
Herbal/Medicinal Use: All parts of these annual plants/tender perennial plants are highly poisonous. Keep children, pets, and livestock away.