Verbascum 'Cherry Helen'
- available to order from autumn
- 9cm pot
This perennial is semi-evergreen so it can lose some of its leaves in winter. In colder regions or more exposed gardens, it may lose them all, but then fresh new growth appears again in spring.
- Position: full sun
- Soil: poor, well-drained, alkaline soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: July to September
- Hardiness: fully hardy (but short-lived)
An award winning variety, producing tall stems covered in intense wine-red florets above rosettes of deep green leaves. Perfect for the middle of a sunny border or cottage garden, it prefers poor, well-drained, alkaline soils.
- Garden care: Apply a 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch around the base of the plant in autumn to protect from winter extremes, taking care not to cover the crown. Stake in spring with bamboo canes or twiggy prunings before the flowers appear. Mullein moth caterpillars can be a problem, so pick off the insects in early June as soon as they appear. Remove faded flower spikes.
It is worth keeping in mind that these plants are mainly biennial, so although they usually self-seed freely, the plant will only live for two years.