Growing Guide
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Annual Flower, Houseplant

Heliotropium arborescens
Boraginaceae Family
Synonym: Heliotropium peruvianum

Bring old fashioned romance to your garden with this bushy annual bearing clusters of tiny, strongly perfumed purple, blue or white flowers.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
  • part shade
Performs best when shaded from hot afternoon sun.

Soil conditions:

  • requires well-drained soil

Special locations:

  • outdoor containers
  • indoors as a houseplant - Bring plants indoors in late summer as potted specimens or cuttings. Grow indoors in a sunny location, keep moist, and provide cool (50 to 55°F) nights.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: annual

Ease-of-care: moderately difficult

Height: 1.5 to 3 feet

Spread: 1 to 1.5 feet

Bloom time:

  • mid-summer
  • late summer
  • early fall

Flower color:

  • blue
  • violet
  • white

The tiny, delicate flowers are borne in dense clusters.

Foliage color: dark green

The leaves are a very deep green with a purple cast.

Foliage texture: medium

Shape: upright

Shape in flower: same as above

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - South America
  • fragrant - The flowers are reknowned for their delicate vanilla-like fragrance.

  • butterflies
Special uses:
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed, cuttings - Start seeds indoors 10 to 12 weeks before the last spring frost. Pinch the young plants to make them bushier. Plant outdoors when frost danger has passed and soil has warmed to at least 60°F.

Take cuttings in late summer for overwintering indoors. Cuttings result in stronger plants than seed, and are also more reliable for color and fragrance.

Germination temperature: 70 F to 75 F

Days to emergence: 28 to 42

Maintenance and care:
Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Do not let potted plants dry out thoroughly. Fertilize monthly. Deadhead to prolong flowering.

More growing information: How to Grow Annuals

‘Marine’: compact, 14” tall plants with deep purple flowers.

‘Fragrant Blue’: remarkably scented deep blue flowers which darken in color with cooler weather.