Sneezeweed Helenium 'Gartensonne'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
sneezeweed 'Gartensonne'


Helenium 'Gartensonne', commonly known as Helen's flower or sneezeweed, presents a vibrant display in the garden with its bright yellow flowers. The blooms are characterized by a distinctive daisy-like shape, which typically features a prominent, raised central cone surrounded by petals that droop slightly downwards, giving the flowers a cheery, sunburst-like appearance. The central cone is often a deeper yellow to golden-brown color, contrasting with the lighter yellow petals. The foliage of Helen's flower is dark green, with narrow leaves that provide a lush backdrop for the lively blossoms. This plant typically blooms in late summer to fall, adding a splash of warm color to the landscape during a time when many other plants have finished their flowering period. The overall appearance of Helen's flower is one of warmth and abundance, making it a popular choice for gardeners looking to extend the color in their gardens into the cooler seasons.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Sneezeweed, Helen's Flower, Garden Sun

    • Common names

      Helenium 'Gartensonne'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Sneezeweed is generally considered to have a low level of toxicity to humans. However, ingestion of any part of the plant can cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal upset, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some cases, allergic reactions may occur from handling the plant, causing skin irritation or more severe symptoms in individuals with plant allergies. It is advised to avoid consuming any part of the sneezeweed plant.

    • To pets

      For pets, Sneezeweed can also be problematic. It contains sesquiterpene lactones, which can lead to similar gastrointestinal upset in pets as in humans if ingested. These symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, or a loss of appetite. While sneezeweed is not considered one of the most toxic plants to pets, it is still wise to keep animals away from the plant to avoid potential health issues.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3-4 feet (91-122 cm)

    • Spread

      2-3 feet (60-91 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts pollinators: Helenium 'Gartensonne', commonly known as sneezeweed, is favored by bees and butterflies, which are crucial for pollination.
    • Easy to grow: This plant is relatively easy to cultivate and does well in a variety of soil types, making it accessible for many gardeners.
    • Long blooming period: Sneezeweed has a lengthy flowering season, providing color from mid-summer to fall.
    • Drought-tolerant: Once established, Helenium 'Gartensonne' can withstand periods of dry weather, making it suitable for regions with less rainfall.
    • Adds vibrant color: With its bright yellow flowers, this plant adds a splash of color to any garden, enhancing the visual appeal of the space.
    • Maintenance: It requires minimal maintenance, such as occasional deadheading to prolong blooming and cutting back in late autumn.
    • Resistant to pests and diseases: Sneezeweed is generally resistant to many pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical treatments.
    • Combines well with others: This plant pairs well with other late summer and fall flowers, creating dynamic garden designs.
    • Provides winter interest: Even after the plant has stopped blooming, the seed heads can provide texture and interest in a winter garden landscape.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Garden photography: Helenium 'Gartensonne' makes an attractive subject for garden photographers, particularly when capturing the vivid colors and textures of late summer and autumn landscapes.
    • Artistic inspiration: The bright, sunshine-yellow flowers can inspire artists, serving as a model for paintings, drawings, and textile designs.
    • Natural dye: The petals of the Helenium 'Gartensonne' can be used to create a natural dye for fabric, offering hues of yellow and gold.
    • Teaching tool: Educators can use this plant to teach children about pollination, as it attracts bees and butterflies to the garden.
    • Theme gardens: Perfect for a 'sun' themed garden, where all plants have solar connections in their names or appearances.
    • Creative crafts: Dried flowers from Helenium 'Gartensonne' can be used for crafting, such as in making bookmarks, greeting cards, or potpourri.
    • Floral language: In the language of flowers, Helenium 'Gartensonne' can be used to represent tears of the sun, and hence can convey a message of warmth and cheer in bouquets.
    • Garden habitats: This plant provides cover and potential nesting sites for small garden creatures when grown in dense clumps.
    • Companion planting: Helenium 'Gartensonne' can be planted alongside other late-blooming perennials to create a succession of blooms and extend the flowering season in a garden.
    • Seasonal celebrations: Its late summer to autumn bloom time makes it an ideal choice for seasonal decorations during harvest festivals or autumnal events.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Helenium is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Helenium is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Perseverance - Helenium 'Gartensonne', or commonly known as Sneezeweed, often symbolizes perseverance because it blooms from late summer into fall, showing resilience as the seasons change.
    • Healing - Historically, parts of the plant were used to make snuff intended to aid in expelling evil spirits or sickness, hence the name Sneezeweed, leading to its association with healing.
    • Grief - Although it is a bright and cheery flower, Sneezeweed is also associated with grief or tears, likely due to its historical medicinal use in inducing sneezing and also because some species are toxic if ingested.
    • Good Fortune - With its vibrant yellow petals resembling the sun, Sneezeweed can symbolize brightness and good fortune, bringing light into one's life.

Every 2-3 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not needed
Late summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Sneezeweed (Helenium 'Gartensonne') should be watered deeply to encourage root growth but allow the soil to dry out somewhat between watering sessions. During the growing season, water the plant with about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. Adjust watering frequency depending on weather conditions; water more frequently during hot, dry periods and less during cool, rainy spells. Ensure the water penetrates the soil to reach the roots rather than just wetting the surface. Overhead watering is acceptable, but it's best to water at the base of the plant to minimize the risk of fungal diseases.

  • sunLight

    Sneezeweed thrives best in full sun conditions, meaning it should receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Place it in a spot in the garden where it gets unfiltered sunlight throughout the day for optimal growth and flowering. While it can tolerate some light shade, too much shade can lead to weak stems and fewer flowers.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Sneezeweed prefers a temperature range between 50°F and 75°F but can tolerate temperatures down to 20°F and as high as 90°F. The ideal conditions for robust growth and vibrant blooms are moderately warm temperatures without extreme heat. Prolonged exposure to temperatures outside the 50°F to 75°F range may impact the plant's health and flowering capacity.

  • scissorsPruning

    Sneezeweed should be pruned to remove spent flowers and encourage a second round of blooming. Cut back the plant's stems by about one-third after the initial bloom period, typically in mid to late summer, to promote bushier growth and additional flowers. Pruning is also for maintaining an attractive shape and managing size, as well as removing any damaged or diseased foliage to maintain plant health.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Sneezeweed (Helenium 'Gartensonne') thrives best in a soil mix that is rich in organic matter with good drainage. A mixture of garden soil, compost, and a small amount of sand or perlite to aid drainage works well. The ideal soil pH for Sneezeweed is between 5.5 and 7.5, slightly acidic to neutral.

  • plantRepotting

    Sneezeweed, commonly, doesn't require frequent repotting as it is typically grown as a perennial outdoor plant. Repotting may occur when dividing the plant every few years to rejuvenate and propagate it.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Sneezeweed prefers outdoor growing conditions where natural rainfall contributes to its humidity needs. It is adaptable to a variety of humidity levels and does not require specific humidity control.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure full sun, rich soil, regular watering.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, moist soil, and space 18 inches apart.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life cycle of the Helenium 'Gartensonne', commonly known as the Helen's flower or sneezeweed, starts with seed germination in the spring under appropriate warmth and moisture conditions. Seedlings emerge and gradually develop into a rosette of leaves at the soil surface, focusing on root establishment and foliage growth. As the plant matures during the growing season, it sends up erect stems and forms flower buds which then bloom typically in late summer to early fall, displaying vibrant yellow daisy-like flowers that attract pollinators. After pollination, the flowers produce seeds that mature by late fall. The plant then begins to senesce, with aerial parts dying back with the first frosts as it enters a dormant phase for winter. In the subsequent spring, the plant may either regrow from remaining rootstock or the cycle recommences with the germination of new seeds.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer

    • The most popular method for propagating Helenium 'Gartensonne', commonly known as the Sneezeweed, is by division. This is usually done in the spring or early fall. To propagate by division, carefully dig up the parent plant, ensuring that you have a substantial root system attached to each section of the plant that you create. Each section should have at least one or two shoots or growing points. After dividing the root clump, replant the divisions immediately at the same soil depth they were growing at previously, water thoroughly, and maintain consistent moisture until the new plants are well established. This method quickly increases the number of plants and helps to rejuvenate older clumps that may have become woody and less floriferous.