Sneezeweed Helenium 'The Bishop'

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


Helenium 'The Bishop' is a vibrant perennial with a bushy and clump-forming habit. Its appearance is marked by an abundance of daisy-like flowers, which have a distinctive look. The blooms are characterized by their warm, rich russet-red to orange petals arranged in a circular pattern around a prominent, raised central cone that is typically yellow to gold in color, giving it a pincushion-like appearance. The petals of 'The Bishop' are not flat but rather slightly reflexed or drooping, which adds to the plant's charm and gives the flowers a sense of movement and texture. The petals can display a range of red and orange shades, occasionally featuring yellow edges or striations that catch the light and add to the dynamic display. The foliage of Helenium 'The Bishop' is equally attractive, forming a backdrop that complements the vivid flowers. The leaves are narrow, lance-shaped, and sometimes serrated, showing a deep green color that makes the reds and oranges of the flowers stand out even more. The overall impression of Helenium 'The Bishop' is one of robustness and brightness, making it a striking addition to any garden where it can bring a sense of energy and late-season color.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Sneezeweed, Helen's Flower

    • Common names

      Helenium 'The Bishop'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Sneezeweed, which Helenium 'The Bishop' is commonly known as, is not considered highly toxic to humans, but it can cause mild irritation if handled and may be more harmful if ingested. If any part of sneezeweed is consumed, it could potentially lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some individuals with sensitivities, contact with the skin can cause dermatitis. Caution is advised to avoid eating any part of this plant and to wear gloves when handling it to prevent skin irritation.

    • To pets

      Sneezeweed, the common name for Helenium 'The Bishop', can be toxic to pets if ingested. Symptoms of poisoning in pets can include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, may lead to lethargy or an overall weakness. It is important to prevent pets from eating any part of the sneezeweed plant to avoid these adverse health effects.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3-5 feet (0.9-1.5 meters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (0.6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Helenium 'The Bishop' is known to attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, enhancing pollination in the garden.
    • Long Blooming Period: With a blooming season that typically lasts from midsummer to autumn, it adds a prolonged period of color to landscapes.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it is fairly tolerant of drought conditions, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Low Maintenance: This perennial requires minimal care once established, making it a good choice for gardeners seeking low-maintenance plants.
    • Versatile Garden Use: Suitable for borders, prairie plantings, and cutting gardens, it offers flexibility in landscape design.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: With its vibrant yellow, orange, and red flowers, Helenium 'The Bishop' can provide striking visual interest to a garden space.
    • Deer Resistance: It is generally resistant to deer, which can be particularly beneficial in areas where deer browsing is a problem.
    • Soil Adaptability: It can thrive in a variety of soil conditions, although it prefers well-drained soil.

  • 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

    • Helenium 'The Bishop' can be used as a natural dye for fabrics, imparting a range of warm, autumnal hues to textiles.
    • The dense growth habit of Helenium can provide nesting materials for birds, as they sometimes use the stems and seed heads to construct their nests.
    • The plant's sturdy stems can be used in weaving or basket-making crafts, providing a natural and rustic look to homemade woven products.
    • During thematic garden design, Helenium can be used to represent the Victorian era in historic gardens, as they were popular during that time.
    • Used as a photography subject, the vivid blooms of Helenium can create stunning macro photography due to their intricate details and rich colors.
    • As an educational tool, Helenium can be used to demonstrate the plant life cycle or pollination process to students in a botany class.
    • In floral art, the flowers can be pressed and included in botanical prints or bookmark crafting due to their vibrant colors and flat-petalled shape.
    • Helenium's flower heads are sometimes used in dried flower arrangements to add depth and a different texture, maintaining their color for a long period.
    • Helenium petals can be used in homemade potpourri mixes, as they retain color and shape when dried, contributing to the visual appeal of the mix.
    • These plants can be used as part of companion planting strategies to support the growth of other plants that prefer similar conditions, such as echinacea and rudbeckia.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Sneezeweed is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Sneezeweed is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Healing: Helenium 'The Bishop', commonly known as Sneezeweed, is often associated with healing due to its historical use in medicinal remedies, particularly those related to respiratory issues like sneezing.
    • Protection: Sneezeweed may symbolize protection as it was once used to ward off evil spirits and negative energies, possibly due to its strong aroma and medicinal properties.
    • Grief: In the language of flowers, Sneezeweed can represent tears and sorrow, hence it may be used to symbolize grief, reflecting its name 'Helenium' which is derived from Helen of Troy, a figure associated with tragedy and loss.
    • Overcoming obstacles: Sneezeweed's resilience and ability to thrive in various conditions might convey a message of overcoming adversity or challenges in one's life.
    • Persistence: With its late blooming period and its tenacity to persist until the end of the season, Sneezeweed can represent persistence and the will to continue despite hardships.

Every week to 10 days
10000 - 20000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late summer to fall
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Sneezeweed requires consistent moisture, especially during hot and dry periods. Water deeply once a week, providing the equivalent of 1 inch of rainfall, which translates to approximately 0.6 gallons per square foot. During peak blooming season or in particularly hot climates, increase the frequency to twice weekly. It's important to avoid overhead watering to prevent disease; instead, water at the base of the plant. Ensure the soil is well-draining to avoid waterlogging, as Sneezeweed does not fare well with "wet feet."

  • sunLight

    Sneezeweed thrives in full sunlight, which means it needs at least 6 hours of direct sun daily. An ideal spot for Sneezeweed would be an open area that receives unfiltered sunlight throughout the day. While it can tolerate partial shade, too little sunlight can lead to leggy growth and fewer blooms. Ensure there's no tall vegetation or structures casting significant shadows on your Sneezeweed for the best flowering results.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Sneezeweed prefers temperate conditions and does well in a wide range of temperatures. It can survive minimum temperatures down to about -20°F, which covers USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8. While the plant can tolerate high temperatures, it flourishes in an environment where the temperature averages around 50°F to 65°F. Avoid planting in locations that experience extreme temperature fluctuations that can stress the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Sneezeweed promotes healthy growth and vigour by encouraging bushier plants and more blooms. Deadhead spent flowers regularly to prolong the blooming period. In late winter or early spring, cut back the entire plant to about 4 to 6 inches from the ground to prepare for the upcoming growing season. After the first killing frost, it's also beneficial to remove old foliage to minimize pests and diseases the following year.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Sneezeweed (Helenium 'The Bishop') thrives in rich, moist, well-draining soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.0. A mix of loamy soil, compost, and a small amount of sand for drainage can create an ideal soil environment for this perennial flower. Regular enrichment with organic matter will help maintain soil health and support robust growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Sneezeweed does not typically require frequent repotting as it is usually grown outdoors. It can be left undisturbed for several years. Dividing clumps every 2-3 years in the spring or fall will revitalize older plants and is a good opportunity to repot if necessary.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Sneezeweed prefers outdoor conditions where ambient humidity is typically sufficient. It doesn't require special humidity considerations beyond natural outdoor levels and can tolerate a wide range of humidity conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light, keep soil consistently moist.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun, well-drained soil, moderate moisture.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life cycle of Helenium 'The Bishop', commonly known as sneezeweed, begins with seed germination, which requires a cold period to break dormancy. After germination, the seedling emerges and grows vegetatively, developing a rosette of leaves at ground level before sending up stems. As the plant matures, stems elongate and leaves expand, eventually leading to the budding stage where flower heads begin to form. Flowering occurs typically in late summer to early fall, during which the distinctive yellow to reddish-brown flowers with raised centers attract pollinators. After pollination, the plant sets seeds, which are dispersed by wind or animal activity, completing the cycle. As a perennial, sneezeweed will die back to the ground level during winter, only to regrow from the same root system in the next growing season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer to fall

    • Propogation: Helenium 'The Bishop', commonly known as sneezeweed, is best propagated by division, typically in spring or fall. To propagate by division, carefully dig up an established clump of sneezeweed when the plant is not in active bloom. Using a sharp spade or knife, split the clump into smaller sections, making sure that each section has a good root system and several shoots. Replant the divisions immediately at the same depth they were growing before, and water them well to help establish the roots. This method of propagation helps to rejuvenate older plants that may have become too large or have a dead center, and it's an effective way to produce new plants that are true to the parent plant in terms of flower color and form.