Sneezeweed Helenium 'Waltraut'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
πŸͺ Not edible
β€πŸŒ± Easy-care
sneezeweed 'Waltraut'


Helenium 'Waltraut' is known for its vibrant and showy flowers. This plant is characterized by daisy-like blooms with a unique color palette; the petals are a warm shade of copper or orange with an ombre effect that may fade into yellow at the frilled edges. These colorful petals surround a central cone that is typically brown to mahogany in color, adding a striking contrast. The overall form of the flower is somewhat ragged and informal, giving it a natural and charming look. The leaves are medium to dark green, lance-shaped, and they often have serrated margins. These leaves provide an attractive backdrop for the bright blossoming heads that bloom in the late summer to early fall. The plant has an upright habit, with flowers borne atop sturdy stems that emerge from a clump of foliage. The cheerful appearance of Helenium 'Waltraut' makes it a popular choice for gardens where a bold splash of late-season color is desired.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Sneezeweed, Helen's Flower, Autumn Sneezeweed

    • Common names

      Helenium 'Waltraut'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Sneezeweed isn't commonly known as a toxic plant to humans, but like many plants, it may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals upon contact. It is not typically ingested, but if large quantities were consumed, it could potentially cause gastrointestinal upset. It is always advisable to handle plants with care and to avoid ingesting parts of ornamental plants due to uncertainty about their toxicology to humans.

    • To pets

      Sneezeweed is also not widely recognized as a toxic plant to pets. However, as with humans, its ingestion could potentially lead to gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea, if a pet were to consume large amounts. It is always best to prevent pets from eating ornamental plants, as their reactions can be unpredictable, and some plants can be harmful. If you suspect your pet has ingested a substantial amount of sneezeweed, it is advisable to contact a veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (0.6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: 'Waltraut' Helenium draws bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects to the garden, supporting local ecosystems.
    • Long Blooming: Offers an extended blooming period from mid-summer to fall, providing vibrant color for a longer duration.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, it requires minimal care beyond occasional watering and deadheading to promote further blooming.
    • Drought Tolerant: Capable of withstanding periods of low water, making it suitable for xeriscaping or drought-prone areas.
    • Deer Resistant: Generally not preferred by deer, which can help prevent damage to the plant in areas with deer populations.
    • Easy to Grow: Can be grown successfully by gardeners of all skill levels, adaptable to a variety of soil conditions.
    • Enhances Garden Aesthetics: Provides a splash of warm colors like yellow, gold, orange, and red, adding aesthetic value to any garden design.

  • 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

    • Photography subject – With its vibrant colors and interesting form, Helenium 'Waltraut' can be a beautiful subject for botanical photography and can add visual interest to any floral photo collection.
    • Dye source – The petals and other plant parts could potentially be used to produce natural dyes for fabric, yarn, and paper, giving a range of warm, autumnal hues.
    • Educational tool – Helenium 'Waltraut' can be used in educational settings such as schools and botanical gardens to teach about plant biology, ecology, and the importance of supporting pollinators.
    • Artistic inspiration – Artists may use the form and color of Helenium 'Waltraut' as a source of inspiration for paintings, illustrations, and other forms of artwork.
    • Floral crafts - Dried blossoms of Helenium 'Waltraut' can be incorporated into wreaths, dried flower arrangements, or potpourri mixes.
    • Garden design – Its mid to late summer bloom time can be used to plan succession planting in ornamental gardens, ensuring continuous color throughout the growing season.
    • Culinary decoration – While not typically considered edible, the petals can be used as a temporary and decorative garnish for plating and presentation of culinary dishes.
    • Theme gardens – Helenium 'Waltraut' can be incorporated into theme gardens, such as a "butterfly garden" or "autumnal garden," to accentuate the thematic elements through its color and attractiveness to pollinators.
    • Companion planting – The plant can be used as a companion in the vegetable garden to attract beneficial insects that can aid in pest control.
    • Naturalistic planting – Helenium 'Waltraut' works well in naturalistic or prairie-style planting schemes, contributing to an ecosystem that supports local wildlife and creates a self-sustaining environment.

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

    • Healing and Recovery: Heleniums, commonly known as sneezeweed, have been historically used in herbal medicine to help treat colds and respiratory issues. Thus, they can symbolize healing and recovery from illness.
    • Grief and Mourning: With its origin story linked to the Greek legend of Helen of Troy, where it's said that these flowers grew from her tears, sneezeweed often symbolizes grief and mourning.
    • Overcoming Challenges: Given that sneezeweed thrives in late summer and early autumn, a time when many other flowers start to wilt, it can represent resilience and the ability to overcome challenges.

Every 2-3 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Sneezeweed should be watered deeply once a week, ensuring that the soil is thoroughly moistened. During the hotter seasons or in particularly dry climates, the frequency may need to be increased to twice a week. It’s best to apply water directly to the soil at the base of the plant, avoiding overhead watering to minimize the risk of foliar diseases. An approximate amount of water would be 1 to 1.5 gallons per week, depending on the weather and soil conditions. During winter or in cooler climates, reduce watering to prevent waterlogging as the plant's water requirements decrease.

  • sunLight

    Sneezeweed thrives in full sun conditions, where it can receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. The best spot for this plant is in a location that provides unfiltered sunlight for the majority of the day. An area that offers some afternoon shade can be beneficial in extremely hot climates, but generally, the more sun, the better for this plant's growth and flowering.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Sneezeweed prefers a temperature range between 65Β°F to 75Β°F for optimal growth but can survive in temperatures as low as 20Β°F and as high as 86Β°F. This plant is adaptable to a variety of temperature conditions and can generally handle the fluctuations found in the hardiness zones it encompasses. To avoid damage from extreme cold, ensure it's planted in an area that's protected from harsh winter winds.

  • scissorsPruning

    Sneezeweed benefits from pruning to encourage bushier growth and more numerous flowers. Pruning should be done in early spring before new growth appears, cutting back last year's growth to about 4 to 6 inches above the ground. Deadheading spent flowers throughout the growing season can also promote a longer blooming period. The best time to prune for shaping is in spring, but maintenance pruning can be done as needed during the flowering season.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Helen's flower prefers fertile, well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. A good soil mix for Helenium 'Waltraut' can be made using equal parts of garden loam, well-rotted compost, and peat moss or leaf mold to encourage good drainage and provide ample nutrients.

  • plantRepotting

    Helen's flower does not typically require frequent repotting as it is often grown as a perennial in the garden. Repot the plant every 2 to 3 years or when it outgrows its current container to refresh the soil and allow for continued growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Helen's flower is adaptable to a range of humidity levels and does best in average garden conditions; it does not require any special humidity considerations when grown outdoors, reflecting its adaptability and resilience.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Plant Helen's flower in a well-lit spot, ensure ample airflow.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in sun, water moderately, protect from extreme cold.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Helenium 'Waltraut', commonly known as Sneezeweed, typically starts its life as a seed sown in the soil during spring or autumn. Upon germination, the plant undergoes a vegetative growth phase, producing a mound of foliage from which stems emerge. As it matures, typically in the second year, Helenium 'Waltraut' develops tall stems topped with flower heads that showcase its vibrant, daisy-like orange and gold flowers during late summer and autumn. After blooming, the flowers produce seeds and the plant enters a period of senescence, with aerial parts dying back in winter while the root system remains alive. In spring, the plant regrows from its rootstock, continuing the cycle. To maintain vigour and encourage new growth, old stems and spent flowers are often cut back, and the plant may be divided every few years.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for Helenium 'Waltraut', commonly known as Sneezeweed, is by division. This is typically done in the spring or early fall. When dividing the plant, carefully dig up an established clump and using a sharp spade or knife, split it into several smaller clumps, each with a portion of the root system and several shoots. These new divisions should then be immediately replanted in a prepared garden bed or pot, ensuring that they are placed at the same soil depth as they were previously. It's important to water the newly planted divisions thoroughly to help establish them. This method of propagation is efficient and maintains the integrity of the parent plant's characteristics.