Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' anyone?

northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)September 5, 2011

Hello everyone: I have been lurking a lot these days - very busy since I started vegetable gardening in earnest. How rewarding to have produce from your garden on the table. This post is about Lemon Queen. Someone sent me the seeds in a trade 2010 and I wintersowed them, planted them in two places: beside my west fence (full sun), and next to my buddliea. They both grew to about 3 feet last year, little spindly plants, with a few pretty yellow flowers. This year the one next to the fence took off like a shot!! It grew to at least ten feet, with large erect stems branching at the tops. It was erect until a recent storm after which I had to stake it. The other plant grew to about five feet, was more airy with lots of beautiful blooms that went well with the purple of the buddleia. The 'thug' as I call it, has produced sporadic blooms, and to make things worse, it now has powdery mildew. Has anyone grown this plant? Will the bloom be more profuse in later years? Is there any way to control it? I have to decide whether to get rid of it because it is taking up so much space my hollyhocks have not bloomed -they are still about 3 feet tall and I am sure they are doomed. Here are a couple of pics. of the two. Let me know your experience. Thank you.

The thug

Smaller Cousin

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I have a helianthus maximillion that has the same "thuggish" hieght problem. I chop it twice during the season to control the bunch, but even with that it still looks messy.Yet the color in fall is welcome. I don't know, I may take mine out too next year. It also reseeds, but not far from the mother plant, so I pull those early in the season.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 12:30PM
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I have lemon queen in my back sunny garden. I sheer it back to about three feet twice in the growing season, when it blooms it is full and about 6 feet tall..Spreading, now that's another issue. I pull a few handfuls at the beginning of the season and toss them out.

It is a beautiful plant BUT does need maintainence!

Lisa (who thought maybe you wanted some....LOL)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 2:51PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Thanks Nan & Lisa. Now that I have some maintenace information I may relent and let it survive at least another year. I looked at it today, and the blooms are filling out, so if its shorter, it should be a very nice display. But since it gets wider, I'll have to find someplace else for my Hollyhocks. If I had space, I would plant some tall trumpet lilies in front to hide the stalks. Maybe that will be for the following year. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 3:33AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

UPDATE: I waited it out and this is what the HLQ looks like today. It's towering above the fence, and the powdery mildew is showing so perhaps by shearing it a couple times it will be O.K. My DH likes the splash of colour at this time of year so it'll be spared.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 3:36AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Yes this plant is a beautiful monster! It spreads quickly and aggressively by rhizomes and I've given away tons of it. Ishare, I think you got yours from me at a swap??

I give mine a haircut in June - along with many other perennials that I want to reduce in size or make less likely to flop. This works well, but does delay the bloom time a little bit. You can control the height by shearing, and also slow it down somewhat by planting it in less than full sun. It grows and blooms well in partial sun.

I had a HUGE patch of it last year, but over the winter we had a ton a snow, and under all that snow the voles were having a field day. They decimated about 3/4 of the Helianthus Lemon Queen patch. I wasn't really upset about that! Although they did do damage to some perennials I was upset about.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 11:35AM
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