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Helenium autumnale (Sneezeweed)

Common Sneezeweed, Fall Sneezeweed, Autumn Sneezeweed

Helenium autumnale, Common Sneezeweed, Fall Sneezeweed, Autumn Sneezeweed, Yellow Helenium
Helenium autumnale, Common Sneezeweed, Fall Sneezeweed, Autumn Sneezeweed, Yellow Helenium

Helenium autumnale (Sneezeweed) is an upright, clump-forming perennial bringing weeks of color in late summer and fall when many other perennials start to fade. Its erect, branching stems are clothed with slender, lance-shaped, dark green leaves, 6 in. long (15 cm), and topped with eye-catching daisy flowers. Borne in clusters, the flowers, 2 in. across (5 cm), feature bright yellow, wedge-shaped rays surrounding a prominent, yellow center disk covered with golden pollen that attracts butterflies. Sneezeweeds are highly popular for their reliable and showy display, their disease resistance, and their tolerance to any soil conditions aside from very dry or very wet. Today, most garden Heleniums are hybrids of Helenium autumnale or Helenium bigelovii. They are commonly known as ‘Sneezeweed’ due to the ancient use of their dried leaves in making snuff, inhaled to help sneeze and rid the body of evil spirits. Helenium autumnale is suitable for the perennial border, prairies, meadows, and along ponds and streams.

  • Grows up to 3-5 ft. tall (90-150 cm) and 2-3 ft. wide (60-90 cm)
  • Performs best in full sun in average, medium to wet soils.
  • Looks stunning planted in drifts and mixes beautifully with ornamental grasses or other perennial plants. Perfect for borders, cottage gardens, or naturalistic areas such as prairies or meadows. Good along ponds and streams.
  • Very attractive as cut flowers, it has good resistance to most insects and diseases, attracts butterflies, and deer ignore it. Keep an eye out for powdery mildew.
  • Deadheading will extend the flowering season. Once flowering has ceased and the plant has died back the stems should be cut down.
  • Propagate by seed. Divide clumps every 3-4 years to maintain vigor.
  • Native to North America.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Compositae
Genus Helenium
Common names Sneezeweed, Helenium
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 3' - 5'
(90cm - 150cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Rhode Island, Southeast, Rocky Mountains, Pacific Northwest, Midwest, Southwest, California, Northeast, Ohio, Indiana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia, North Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit, Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Helenium bigelovii (Bigelow’s Sneezeweed)
Helenium flexuosum (Purple-head Sneezeweed)
Helenium amarum (Yellow Sneezeweed)
Helenium hoopesii (Orange Sneezeweed)
Helenium ‘Flammenrad’ (Sneezeweed)
Helenium ‘Luc’ (Sneezeweed)

Recommended Companion Plants

Aster novae-angliae (New England Aster)
Eupatorium maculatum (Spotted Joe-Pye Weed)
Hibiscus moscheutos (Hardy Hibiscus)
Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)
Liatris spicata (Blazing Star)
Andropogon gerardii (Big Bluestem)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

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Helenium (Sneezeweed)
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.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Compositae
Genus Helenium
Common names Sneezeweed, Helenium
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 3' - 5'
(90cm - 150cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Rhode Island, Southeast, Rocky Mountains, Pacific Northwest, Midwest, Southwest, California, Northeast, Ohio, Indiana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia, North Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit, Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Helenium (Sneezeweed)
Not sure which Helenium (Sneezeweed) to pick?
Compare Now

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