Heliotrope flowers were a favorite in grandmother’s garden and heliotrope care a regular part of her summer routine. She knew what many modern gardeners forgot. Growing a heliotrope plant brings satisfaction to the gardener not only in its dense cluster of delicate flowers, but in its delicious aroma. Some people claim it’s the scent of vanilla, but my vote has always gone to its common namesake, cherry pie.
These sweethearts are temperate perennials usually grown as annuals and growing a heliotrope plant will be an additional pleasure for those who live in places with hot, dry summers. They are drought and heat tolerant and deer hate them. Today, heliotrope flowers come in varieties of white and pale lavender, but the hardiest and most fragrant is still the traditional deep purple our grandmothers loved. All parts of the plant are poisonous to humans and animals if ingested. So keep them away from children and pets.