Perennials & Ornamental Grasses

Caring for the sun bride - watering, fertilizing and cutting

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The sun bride is very popular with gardeners because of its rich colors and good reproduction. We give care tips for healthy perennial growth.

© meyerfranzgisela - Fotolia.com The sun bride (helenium) is a summer shrub that inspires many gardeners in Germany every year. Not only because it can look like a sea of ​​flames due to its red-orange, copper-colored or yellow colors, but also because of its rapid growth and rapid multiplication, which will soon cover large garden areas. The sun worshiper among the garden flowers even blooms often until October, so gardeners can enjoy the splendor for a long time - year after year, since the plant survives winter without any problems and will soon bloom again next year. However, if you expect so much from the summer shrub, you should take good care of it. Although the plant is hardly demanding, the right care helps to ensure that the flowers bloom in summer. Otherwise it can happen that these appear rather poor and the growth is anything but appealing.

Sun bride: small profile

The sun bride, which is also known by many lovers as a sun worshiper, is characterized on the one hand by very good growth. So it usually becomes significantly more than 50cm high, a perennial often has a diameter of about 50cm. However, this does not last long, since the sun bride can multiply itself quickly if the conditions are right. The flowers resemble large daisies, mostly red, orange, yellow or even copper colored. Two-tone flowers also occur in many subspecies of the perennial. The big plus of the sun bride is that these insects such as butterflies and bees attract numerous - and can therefore also serve to preserve the bees. At the same time, the sun bride is very easy to care for, it survives frost and freezing temperatures well, but needs good protection from the wind so as not to kink. But how exactly is the sun bride cared for so that all of its properties become clear?

Tip 1 - water sun bride

The warmer it gets, the wetter the soil around the sun bride should be kept. She likes it to be sufficiently humid but not too wet to prevent waterlogging. If you do not want to constantly check moisture, you can apply mulch around the plant, which protects the soil and thus the roots of the plant from drying out. If you want to prevent waterlogging, you should always check whether the soil is still too damp before watering - and adjust the pouring process accordingly.

Otherwise, it is perfectly sufficient to water the plant at regular intervals and to do it quite moderately. When watering the plant itself, it makes more sense to add the water in the morning or alternatively in the evening when the sun has already set. If you hit the flowers or leaves during watering, they could be burned in places by the magnifying effect of the water drops on the sun's rays.

Tip 2 - fertilize the sun bride

If one thing is certain, it is that sun perennials like the sun bride not only need moisture, but also sufficient nutrients. After planting, the addition of fertilizer or compost is desirable, and the plant can be fertilized every spring to support flowering and greening. Except in spring, fertilizer is only moderately needed for the plant. A monthly addition of compost or some fertilizer until autumn is therefore sufficient to support and strengthen the plant when it blooms in summer.

In winter, of course, the crop does not need any fertilizer. You don't have to buy an expensive fertilizer for the sun bride: If you have a little compost at home, you can easily mix it into the soil by loosening it up a bit beforehand.

Tip 3 - right cut

The right cut is also part of the scope of care for a Helenium summer perennial. In this regard, the needs of the plant are anything but demanding: it only has to be cut because of the rapid growth or to support the plant in its stability. If there is a lack of space due to the rapid growth, it can help to prune the leaves and plants. If flowers have withered, it is important to cut them off as well as leaves that have already withered. If you want to increase the stability of the plant in the wind, it can be shortened on its shoots. This does not harm the plant and strengthens it well.

However, if the first flower buds appear, stop removing the tip. To help the plant survive winter easily, a slightly more radical cut close to the ground can help. The plant also tolerates these very well, so that there is no fear of dying off or poor growth next spring.

Tip 4 - hibernate the sun bride

During the winter, there is very little work for the gardener and enthusiast of the plant, since it can basically overwinter by itself without causing any damage. Frost survives the plant and sun worshiper as well as freezing temperatures and a lot of snow. However, it doesn't hurt to make a radical cut before winter starts and cover the sun bride with fleece, jute or even mulch. This protects the root of the perennial better in the soil, and the plant can develop more easily in spring.

It is only important to put some fertilizer at the beginning of spring after winter to support the growth of the plant. Slightly loosening the soil and enriching it with compost also supports the awakening of the plant from its hibernation. By the way, the leaves of the sun bride die before winter, so that it should be removed when winter sets in or should be placed as frost protection.

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