How to Grow Helichrysum (Helsinum officinale)

So, you have decided that you want to learn how to grow helichrysum. I understand, I was in your position not so long ago and it can be a frustrating experience. I had no idea what I was doing. However, I am going to go through the basics of this plant to help you get started.

The very first step is the most important, as it determines the rest of the steps. What do I mean? Well, in order for your plants to grow, they must get ample water. In my experience, Helichrysum can best be grown with three to four pots during the spring, summer, and fall seasons.

When I say ample water, I mean well-drained. If you put your plant into a container that has been flood watered or has standing water from a hose, then your plant will dry out extremely quickly. This is very important for successful germination. Helichrysum thrives in rich soil that contains lots of nutrients, but this also means plenty of drainage. If you place your plant in an containers with poor drainage, you will find that your helichrysum will not grow properly, as water gets trapped in the soil and will not make it all the way to the orchid.

Another factor that is important when learning how to grow helichrysum is the amount of sunlight that the plant gets. Helichrysum thrives in full sun, but it needs to be shaded just as much as any other type of perennial to produce healthy blooms. To ensure that your perennial is getting the proper amount of sunlight, you will need to place your potted plant on a tall piece of aluminum or wooden tubing in order to give it just the right amount of shade it needs. This may seem like a minor point, but this is one of the biggest factors that affects your plant’s health, and can even determine how your orchid grows overall.

In general, plants that bloom in the late spring and early summer are the best performers, but the Helichrysum has unique growth habits that make it different. It does not flower until the last week of May or early Monday morning in the fall. Helichrysum flower buds appear in late March, so if you plant your plant during the last week of these two months, it will flower later than expected. This makes it crucial that you take proper care of your perennial Helichrysum by ensuring that it receives the proper amount of sun and shade during its blooming season.

The Helichrysum grows in full sun, but it also requires a shady position during the cooler months. The best way to ensure that your perennial Helichrysum blooms successfully is to provide it with indirect sunlight throughout the day. To find a good spot for planting Helichrysum flowers, place them in pots filled with half-inch of topsoil in the sun. This will give your plant the proper exposure to the sun to encourage healthy growth.

Because perennials do not flower for a full year, they require less care overall, and they have the ability to survive on minimal supplies. Helichrysum roots easily, which is why it is important to dig a hole that is deeper than the root system of the plant. Pots of Helichrysum should be put into a sunny position in the garden, but care should be taken to avoid direct exposure to sunlight, as the shorter the leaves of the plant, the greater chance there is for the plant to shade itself from the sun. If the roots of the plant are shallow and therefore grow horizontally instead of vertically, the soil can be turned over from time to time, especially in the summer months, to give the plant more shade.

When the plant begins to flower in late spring, the Helichrysum essential oil is harvested. Harvesting the plant also limits the number of blossoms that the plant can produce, so it is wise to pick a few blooms before harvesting to assure that the plant has enough for next year. Harvesting is easy; simply cut the stem at the base and scoop out the leaves. It is wise to only cut the stem when the plant reaches the height of a third of an inch. The Helichrysum Essential Oil will be available in specialty stores where annuals are sold.

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