Create Your Garden

Heliopsis helianthoides (False Sunflowers)

False Sunflower, Sunflower Heliopsis, Oxeye Sunflower, Early Sunflower, Eastern Ox-eye, Eastern Sunflower, Heliopsis, Ox-eye, Smooth Oxeye

Heliopsis  Helianthoides information, False Sunflower information, Sunflower Heliopsis information, Oxeye Sunflower information

With its ease of care, cheerful flowers, and attractiveness to pollinators, False Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides) is a rewarding choice for gardeners seeking hardy and reliable perennials.

What is False Sunflower?

Heliopsis helianthoides, also known as Ox Eye sunflower or False Sunflower, is a native perennial in North America, found predominantly in the Midwest and Northeast regions.

  • Habit and Size: The plant typically grows in upright clumps of stiff, erect, branched stems, up to 3-6 feet tall (90-180 cm).
  • Foliage: The foliage consists of coarse, serrated, medium-green leaves, giving the plant a robust and bushy look.
  • Flowers: The daisy-like flowers, about 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) across, feature golden-yellow petals surrounding a darker yellow to brown center cone.
  • Blooming Season: The flowers bloom for 6 to 8 weeks, from early summer to early fall. They provide a vibrant splash of color in the garden.
  • Hardiness: This plant is very hardy and can withstand temperatures as low as -40°C (-40°F), making it suitable for USDA hardiness zones 3-9.
  • Uses: Heliopsis helianthoides is often utilized in borders, meadows, native plant gardens, or pollinator gardens. It also serves as a reliable choice for cut flowers.
  • Pollinators: The blossoms attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
  • Deer and Rabbit: Deer and rabbits tend to avoid this plant.

Guide Information

Hardiness 3 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Perennials
Genus Heliopsis
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 3' - 6'
(90cm - 180cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 18" - 48"
(50cm - 120cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil, Clay Soil, Rabbit
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Landscaping Ideas Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Cutting Garden, Prairie and Meadow
Heliopsis Helianthoides 'Asahi', False Sunflower 'Asahi', Sunflower Heliopsis  'Asahi', Oxeye Sunflower  'Asahi', Heliopsis Asahi
Heliopsis Helianthoides, Smooth Oxeye, Oxeye Sunflower, False Sunflower, Yellow Flowers
Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra 'Burning Hearts', Ox Eye 'Burning Hearts', Rough Ox Eye 'Burning Hearts', Hardy Zinnia 'Burning Hearts', Yellow Flowers

Why Should I Grow False Sunflower?

Growing Heliopsis helianthoides offers numerous benefits for both your garden and the surrounding ecosystem:

  • Easy to Grow: The False Sunflower is hardy and tolerates a wide range of conditions, including poor soil and drought, making it an excellent choice for gardeners of all experience levels.
  • Long Bloom Season: It produces vibrant yellow flowers from early summer to early fall, providing a long-lasting splash of color in your garden.
  • Pollinator-Friendly: The flowers attract a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies, which can help pollinate other plants in your garden.
  • Deer and Rabbit Resistant: While not entirely immune, Heliopsis helianthoides is less likely to be damaged by deer and rabbits, preserving its aesthetic appeal.
  • Excellent Cut Flowers: The flowers of the False Sunflower are ideal for cut flower arrangements, adding a touch of natural beauty to your home.
  • Versatile Use: These plants work well in a variety of garden styles, including native plant gardens, wildflower meadows, or perennial borders.
  • Erosion Control: The plant’s deep and robust root system can help prevent soil erosion in certain areas.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a low-maintenance, hardy, and long-blooming perennial that contributes positively to the ecosystem, the False Sunflower is a strong contender.

Garden Design With False Sunflower

Designing a garden with False Sunflower can add long-lasting color and movement to your landscape. Here are some ideas for incorporating this vibrant perennial into your garden design:

  • Mixed Border: Add False Sunflower to a mixed border along with other summer-blooming perennials such as coneflowers, phlox, and black-eyed Susans. The bright yellow flowers of the False Sunflower will provide an exciting contrast to the other colors in the bed.
  • Native Garden: Include False Sunflower in a native plant garden. It’s a North American native that attracts pollinators, making it an excellent choice for an eco-friendly landscape.
  • Cottage Garden: The bright flowers and relaxed growth habit of False Sunflower fit perfectly into a cottage garden design. Pair them with other easy-care, cottage-style plants like lavender, daisies, and hollyhocks.
  • Cutting Garden: As False Sunflower makes excellent cut flowers, consider planting them in a designated cutting garden, along with other favorites like dahlias and zinnias.
  • Wildlife Garden: If attracting wildlife is your aim, pair False Sunflower with other pollinator-friendly plants. Consider adding a water source or a bird feeder to provide a habitat for a variety of creatures.
  • Backdrop Planting: Given its height, False Sunflower works well at the back of a border, where it can tower over shorter plants and offer a golden backdrop.

Companion Plants

When selecting companion plants for Heliopsis helianthoides, consider plants that bloom at the same time and enjoy similar growing conditions – full sun and well-drained soil. Here are some ideal companions for False Sunflower:

  • Echinacea (Coneflower): With their pink, white, or purple flowers, they offer a beautiful contrast to the bright yellow of Heliopsis.
  • Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan): Sharing the same daisy-like form, these plants make a visually harmonious combination.
  • Salvia: The spiky form and intense blue or purple flowers of some Salvia species can provide a striking contrast to Heliopsis.
  • Grasses: Tall ornamental grasses, such as Panicum or Miscanthus, can provide a soft, feathery backdrop for Heliopsis, adding depth and interest to the garden.
  • Phlox: The large clusters of Phlox flowers in white, pink, red, or lavender complement the daisy-like blooms of Heliopsis.
  • Asclepias (Milkweed): As both are native to North America and attract butterflies, they can be paired to create a pollinator-friendly garden.
  • Monarda (Bee Balm): The spiky, vibrant blooms of bee balm contrast nicely with the sunny flowers of Heliopsis.

Mixing these companion plants with False Sunflower can create a dynamic, diverse garden that offers multiple seasons of interest. Always consider your specific site conditions and the ultimate size of plants when choosing and placing companions.

Growing Tips

  • Planting: Heliopsis helianthoides, also known as False Sunflower, should ideally be planted in well-draining soil with a good amount of organic matter. It prefers full sun but can tolerate some light shade, although the plant might tend to flop and hence will require some support.
  • Spacing: Ensure to space these plants properly, about 18 to 48 inches (45-120 cm) apart, to allow for growth and good air circulation, which will help prevent disease.
  • Watering: While Heliopsis helianthoides is drought-tolerant once established, it appreciates consistent watering, particularly during the dry periods. Be careful to avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root rot.
  • Fertilizing: False sunflower benefits from a slow-release fertilizer applied in early spring. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
  • Pruning: Deadheading, or removing spent blooms, will encourage a more prolonged flowering season. In early summer, you might consider cutting the plant back by one-third to one-half to control its size and promote a more bushy growth.
  • Pest/Disease Management: This plant has few serious disease or pest problems. Watch for leaf spot or powdery mildew and treat if necessary. If pests such as aphids or leaf miners become a problem, use an appropriate pesticide or consider introducing beneficial insects.
  • Winter care: In the fall, after the plant has finished blooming and the foliage has died back, cut it down to ground level. This will help keep your garden tidy and reduce overwintering pests and diseases.
  • Propagation: False Sunflower can be propagated by seed or by division. If propagating by division, the best time to do this is in early spring before new growth begins or in the fall once the plant has finished blooming.
Compare All Heliopsis
Compare Now
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Heliopsis
Guides with
Heliopsis
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 3 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Perennials
Genus Heliopsis
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 3' - 6'
(90cm - 180cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 18" - 48"
(50cm - 120cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil, Clay Soil, Rabbit
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Landscaping Ideas Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Cutting Garden, Prairie and Meadow
Compare All Heliopsis
Compare Now
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Heliopsis
Guides with
Heliopsis

Related Items

Please Login to Proceed

You Have Reached The Free Limit, Please Subscribe to Proceed

Subscribe to Gardenia

To create additional collections, you must be a paid member of Gardenia
  • Add as many plants as you wish
  • Create and save up to 25 garden collections
Become a Member

Plant Added Successfully

You have Reached Your Limit

To add more plants, you must be a paid member of our site Become a Member

Update Your Credit
Card Information

Cancel

Create a New Collection

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

    You have been subscribed successfully

    Join Gardenia.net

    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

    Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

    Join now and start creating your dream garden!

    Join Gardenia.net

    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

    Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

    Join now and start creating your dream garden!

    Find your Hardiness Zone

    Find your Heat Zone

    Find your Climate Zone