HOW TO GROW HELIOTROPIUM (cherry pie)

7 deg C/45 deg F

This plant usually appears in florists’ shops from early summer onwards, and remains in bloom until autumn. It has large. Hattish corymbs of usually deep blue flowers, although there are pale blue and purplish forms. A popular cultivar grown from seed is ‘Marine’, which has a violet-blue colour. The plant is a result of hybridization between H. peruviana and P. corymbosum, and its important feature is its delightful powerful and penetrating scent, of a quality characteristic of the plant. The new forms make neat, compact pot plants and they are invaluable for filling the air of a room with scent. The plants should be kept where it is cool and shady during summer. In winter, it is not unusual for plants to deteriorate. and they can be cut back and kept slightly moist. New growth will appear in early spring and the plants can be potted-on. Where there are facilities for raising plants from seed, it is doubtful whether it is worth trying to over-winter the plants. They are easy to grow from spring sowings.

Aphids and whitelly are possible pests. Erratic watering and letting the plants flag and go dry may cause the edges of the leaves to turn drv and brown.

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