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Monday, September 01, 2008

Helenium 'Mardi Gras'

A few years ago (most likely 4 years ago) I purchased a plant that I knew nothing about. It was in a large pot, at least 1.5 gallons. The tag read Helenium 'Mardi Gras' and since I knew my garden didn't have enough late summer/early autumn blooms, I thought I'd give this one a try.

'Mardi Gras' has done more than I ever expected. It grew quickly although not at all aggressivly. It never flopped, it had wonderful colors in the blooms (as promised on the tag) and most importantly, it passed the division test.

This past spring my clump of Helenium 'Mardi Gras' had grown large enough that I felt I could take a chance and divide it. I simply dug it out of the ground the last week of April and cut it into pieces with my root knife. Those pieces were planted out in different parts of the garden where they took off growing as if nothing had happened to them.

You can see here in this less than artistic photo that Helenium 'Mardi Gras' stands upright. Not one of the newly planted pieces has flopped and every one of them is chock full of blooms right now.

Looking through some gardening catalogues I see there are other varieties of Helenium too. I think it's high time I add some more of these great perennials to my garden.

As a final note, I chose to post about this plant today specifically because Hurricane 'Gustav' is hammering the Gulf coast. My thoughts and prayers are with all the folks in the path of this storm.


Barbarapc said...

So nice to see Helenium 'Mardi Gras' looking like something! I've had it in my garden for about 3 years - and it really needs to come out to make space for something else. When I see your photos - certainly makes me understand why I originally picked one up - lovely site & really great garden. Callie is just the best!

Bev said...

What a great plant! I need to look to see if I can find one. Thanks for being an enabler! (grin)

Bev J.

Thistlebrooms said...

Beautiful photos of your Beautiful Garden...As Always Thanks for Sharing...

Gail said...


So you're tempting me with another plant! The list gets longer and longer! Tis is a beauty and wouldn't it look nice in my Rudbeckia bed!

Have you settled don from your trip?


Connie said...

I am glad to hear your praise of this plant, as I just purchased one this year. I did a post on it a couple of weeks ago. Mine is still pretty short, but I look forward to good things ahead.

Frances, said...

Hi Melanie, this post is just now showing up on Blotanical in my faves posts list so I want to comment, if that is okay. I don't know how you feel about comments on older posts, but here goes anyway! I also have this plant, I bought one last year at Lowes and liked the way it looked in the garden so much that I went right back and bought a second one, locating them with the eryngiums. This year they have been wonderful, like you say, not flopping over and blooming all summer. I am thrilled to hear they can be divided too, for I have been scattering the dried seed heads with no luck of babies. I bought a new one recently called Coppelia, a darker wine color. Thanks for showcasing this great tough plant.

Frances at Faire Garden

Dr. Gerri August said...

Just purchased Helenium Mardi Gras from White Flower Farm (mail order). Arrived looked rather bedraggled. Hoping for the best!

Hillside Garden said...

Mardi Gras I don't know, may be in Germany it has an other name? The Fall Perennials are over know, it is very cold outside and we must cut them down.