Plant Profile: Heliopsis

Heliopsis, a perennial, is a member of the daisy family.  ‘Helios’ for sun and ‘opsis’ for appearance.  It is a native plant in North and South America and often called False Sunflower.  There are some different varieties but all are quite similar.

heliopsis buds1

The buds start forming around the end of June and the mustard yellow blooms start to appear at the beginning of July.

If you deadhead the spent blooms you will have a long bloom season.  Leaving some spent blooms on the plant will mean it will drop seeds and you will find some volunteer plants the next year.  The birds might even enjoy the seed heads too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This plant takes very little maintenance (my kind of plant), seems to survive in not the best soil and doesn’t worry about lots of water or lots of sun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have a large clump growing in the fence garden.  By this time of the year they have reached the top of the fence.  This plant rapidly spreads from the root system but will self seed itself from the faded blooms.   It can be easily divided in the spring providing you with new clumps to move to other gardens or to share with other gardeners.

They are beautiful even as they fade away.

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There aren’t a lot of issues with this plant … it might get aphids, the lower leaves might dry out towards the end of the season, it might need staking as it gets quite tall,  and it doesn’t transplant well later in the season

aphids on the heliopsis in July 2020 at craftygardener.ca

The aphids are something I battle each season. A couple of years ago I purchased some Neem oil and sprayed the plants weekly and the aphids disappeared. The year when I got the Neem oil out it has solidified, so I asked at the store where I bought it and they said to put it into a container of warm to hot water for a little while and it would become liquid again. It did! They also told me to mix it with warm water to make sure it completely dissolves. I sprayed the heliopsis again this year and got rid of the aphids.

At the end of the season I cut the plant down to just above ground level (just so I can remember where they will grow in the spring).

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