Heliotrope by Renee's Garden
Perfumed Heliotrope: Deep Marine
An old-fashioned Victorian favorite, heliotrope is still cultivated for perfume making in Europe. The handsome plants have dark blue-green leaves and velvety 4 to 5 inch panicles of tiny purple blossoms whose soft sensuous fragrance is reminiscent of violets and cherries but more rich and complex. Plant them in containers or nearby garden beds where you can easily enjoy their sweet scent and bewitching color throughout the summer.
BEST TO START EARLY INDOORS
Start seeds 8-9 weeks before last spring frost. Sow seeds 1 inch apart in a container of moist seed starting mix. Press down lightly, but not cover as heliotrope seeds need light to germinate. Keep warm and moist but not soggy, and provide a strong light source. When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings into individual 4 inch pots to grow on until sturdy and well-established.
Be sure to acclimate seedlings to outdoor conditions before planting outdoors. Transplant into rich, well drained soil in full sun or, in hot summer areas, a spot that has afternoon shade.
THIN OR TRANSPLANT
When large enough to handle, transplant strong, well acclimated seedlings, spacing them 10 inches apart.
Feed heliotropes monthly throughout the growing season for best plants and flowers. With their richly scented flowers and dark foliage, heliotropes make pretty container plants. Combine with bright sunny colors or soft pastels for striking displays. Cut plants back in late summer for fresh regrowth and bloom.