Ah, 'Ruby Tuesday' -- who can hang a name on her? Actually, gardeners can: she is the most floriferous Helenium yet, with blooms of richest burgundy surrounding a high, rounded cone that changes from sulphur-yellow to deep mahogany as it matures! A reblooming wonder with ultra-sturdy stems for longer staying power after cutting, 'Ruby Tuesday' is a must-have for the sunny late-season garden.
Bred by Petrus Damen of Holland (whom we have to thank for Helenium 'Double Trouble,' too!), 'Ruby Tuesday' is compact and upright, with a slightly spreading, very well-branched habit and good vigor. Just 20 to 30 inches high and about 12 to 15 inches wide, it occupies little garden space, but absolutely covers itself with 2-inch flowers over a long midsummer-through-early-fall season. The faster you cut or deadhead the blooms, the quicker new buds spring up. And because the plant is sterile, it concentrates all its energy on producing new flowers instead of setting seed.
'Ruby Tuesday' is ideal for cutting because its blooms last a long, long time in the vase (2 weeks is typical). It was bred for stronger stems, and the power really shows! In the garden, the flowers last about 3 weeks, so you have a fully blooming plant for a period of several months just when the garden needs it most -- that late summer and early fall doldrum period when most other perennials are "in between"!
Hummingbirds adore 'Ruby Tuesday,' and no matter how many flowers you cut, there should be plenty left on the plant for them to enjoy. After all, a mature 'Ruby Tuesday' will set about 180 blooms a season! Now THAT'S flower power! Zones 4-8.