‘Marine’ Heliotrope is an absolute summer favorite

‘Marine’ heliotrope has a compact form with broadly oval to lance-shaped, wrinkled leaves tinged with purple.  In summer, it bears a profusion of fragrant deep violet-blue flower heads up to 6 inches across.

In my Seattle garden this is an annual that works best as a summer bedding plant grown at the front of a border or in containers.  It has taken several attempts and I have now found for my environment it does best when it gets a few hours of morning sun and is shaded in the afternoon.  I keep my plants moist, but well drained.  Plants reach 12 inches and the spread is from 12 to 36 inches.

Again, the real strength of this plant is the wonderful vanilla fragrance that permeates its space.  I have a large pot placed close to the back door that has a screen so the fragrance can float back into the house.

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