Plant of the Month: Helianthus Lemon Queen

Posted:3 October 2012

Our suggestion this month is the wonderful Helianthus Lemon Queen of the Asteraceae family, and common named the ‘perennial sunflower’.

It is one of those plants that never fails to lift the spirits, and is irresistible to butterflies! Reassuringly it has also been given the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the Royal Horticultural Society, so you know it’s going to perform well.

Helianthus can be tall, erect annuals, tuberous or rhizomatous perennials, with coarse simple leaves and large daisy-like flower heads.

Lemon Queen is a strong-growing and bushy, with coarse, dark green foliage and a multitude of pale yellow ray florets about a dark yellow central disk 5cm wide, flowering in late summer and autumn.

This delightful and much-loved plant grows best in full sun in any sheltered position (not in shade or north-facing aspect). It looks beautiful planted in large swathes, prairie style; but equally works well when planted in smaller city or courtyard gardens, coastal, cottage or informal gardens.

Helianthus love moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist but well drained, neutral to alkaline soil in full sun, and need a long hot summer to flower well. They may need support.

  • Hardiness: H4 (hardy)
  • Propagate by division in spring or autumn
  • Pruning: Cut back after flowering
  • Pests: Can get slugs and snails
  • Diseases: May be affected by powdery mildews and sclerotinia diseases

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