Heliotrope

(Question)

I planted heliotropes in my containers this year for first time. They bloomed and I have cut off the spent blooms but will it rebloom? I have not seen any new buds yet. The leaves are turning brown now.

 

(Answer)

Thanks for your question on Heliotrope, an annual with lovely fragrance and a big flower head.  Heliotrope is used in Victorian bouquets.

About this time of year, annuals start to flag, but with a little help they can be encouraged to rebloom.  You started by doing the right thing. Deadheading gives it a chance to put out new flowers.

You also need to make sure that it receives daily watering.  Annuals under pressure to perform are notoriously thirsty and hungry.  Since their only purpose is to flower, we artificially speed up their flowering with fertilizer.  If you have not been feeding them, do so immediately.  Next year, start as soon as you bring them home and continue every two weeks or according to the package directions. Always stop feeding the first week of August.

When I have a container with drooping, browning, straggly or otherwise unpresentable flowers, I give it a massive haircut and move it a shady part of the garden to recuperate.  I may need to wait a couple of weeks, but eventually I see flower buds.