Helenium 'Short 'n' Sassy'

Common Name: sneezeweed 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to October
Bloom Description: Blend of orange and yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Wet Soil


Grow in average, medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun. Intolerant of dry soils. Avoid overfertilization which may cause plants to grow too tall. Although not required, plants may be cut back in early July (at least 6 weeks before normal flowering) to reduce plant height and encourage branching, thus leading to a more floriferous bloom, healthier foliage and less need for support. Remove spent flowers to encourage additional bloom. Divide clumps every three years to maintain vigor.

'Short 'n' Sassy' is a dwarf cultivar that should not require cutting back to reduce plant height. If cutting back is still desired, do so in early summer before buds begin to form to avoid a long delay in flowering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Helenium is a genus of about 40 species of annuals and hebaceous perennials from North and Central America. They are found mostly in damp meadows and along the edges of woods. They have a long season of bloom.

Genus name comes from the Greek name helenion which is the name of a Greek plant which honors Helen of Troy. It is unclear as to the relevance of Helen of Troy to the within genus of plants which are exclusively native to North and South America.

Powdered disk flowers and leaves of this species have in the past been dried and used as snuff, thus giving rise to the common name of sneezeweed.

'Short 'n' Sassy' is a dwarf, early blooming selection of sneezeweed with a compact growth habit and showy, pollinator-attracting flower display. The 1.5" wide blooms have yellow and orange ray florets surrounding a dark brown center cone. Mature plants will reach 1-1.5' tall with a 1.5-2' spread. This plant is protected by patent number PP24460.


Susceptible to powdery mildew, leaf spot and rust. Most heleniums benefit from staking or other support. Deer tend to avoid this plant.


Provides mid-summer to fall bloom for the border. This dwarf selection can be grown in large containers. Suitable for use as a cut flower.