Inula Plant Care: Learn How To Grow Inula Plants

Inula Plant Care: Learn How To Grow Inula Plants

By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Perennial flowers give the gardener a lot of value for their dollar because they come back year after year. Inula is an herbal perennial that has value as a medicinal as well as an ornamental presence in the yard. There are several types of Inula plant useful to the landscape and home. Also known as Elecampane root, learn how to grow Inula plants and harvest their antifungal and antibacterial abilities.

Information About Inula Plants

Inula is a bushy herbaceous summer flowering plant. It blooms from July to October in most zones and produces 5-inch (12.7 cm.) blooms with slender rayed petals in yellow and deep orange-yellow. Most species are hardy to USDA planting zones 5 to 8.

Inula is a low maintenance plants that usually get only about 1 to 1 ½ feet (30 to 45.7 cm.) tall with a similar spread. However, Inula helenium may get as tall as 6 feet (1.8 m.) in appropriate conditions.

Rockeries, perennial gardens and borders are perfect areas for growing Inula plants, although you can also use them in container gardens. Some types of Inula plant are native in North America and are found in damp pastures, roadsides and unmanaged fields.

Varieties of Elecampane Root

There are around 100 species in the Inula genus. A vintage herb, Inula helenium, is an ingredient in absinthe, vermouth and some perfumes. Most types of Inula plant have herbal qualities and have been part of treatments for digestive ailments, respiratory illness and to enhance the immune system.

The Chinese had information about Inula plants that showed them useful in Eastern medicine as well as the source for xuan fu hua, an important scent.

Inula helenium and I. magnifica found growing wild in the United States have naturalized when they escaped from cultivation. The majority of the genus is native to central Asia. Inula verbasscifolia is native to the Balkans and Italy and has foliage like lamb’s ears, with fuzzy white hairs.

How to Grow Inula Plants

Start seeds indoors in flats 6 to 8 weeks before the date of the last frost. Transplant them outside when soil temperatures have warmed to at least 60 F. (16 C.). Plant them 12 inches (30 cm.) apart and keep the seedlings well watered.

Inula will often form only vegetative growth the first year but will flower prolifically the next year. Plants in some climates will spread each year and require division approximately every third year. In perfect conditions they can also self seed.

Inula Plant Care

Inula plants need plenty of space to grow, well drained soil and a sunny location. They are tolerant of a range of soil types, but avoid heavy clay soils which do not drain well.

Prune back the plants in early spring to remove the dead stems from winter.

Inula have few pests and disease problems.

These relatives of aster plants benefit from a top dressing of manure around the base of the plants in spring.

Give them a little attention and these beautiful flowers will be around for decades of enjoyment.

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Clicking on any of these plants will give you more information, you only leave this website if you decide to buy. You can see all the Inula plants for sale in our garden centre which lists products from over 25 popular websites.

Inula Ensifolia
£8.50 at Burncoose

Inula Magnifica
£6.99 at Best 4 Plants

We have 45 photos of Inula plants in real gardens

These photos are from real gardens by real gardeners! Just click on one to start exploring.

Care tips & Questions

This advice is from our members, if you can't find what you're looking for please ask your question of our friendly community.

No one has asked about this plant yet, feel free to be the first

Species of Inula

  • Inula conyzae
  • Inula ensifolia
  • Inula helenium
  • Inula hirta
  • Inula magnifica
  • Inula orientalis
  • Inula salicina
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Gardeners Tips

Big, bold and brassy 3 reasons to love growing Inula

What is Inula

  • This is a yellow flowering, herbaceous, perennial that grows 3-4 feet tall in my garden. The leaves are large, gently serrated and light green.
  • The flower stalks have up to seven daisy like flowers on firm stems. Support in high winds.
  • Inula is very attractive to bees and hoverflies.
  • The flowers go brown in the centre once they have been fertilized.

Inula Varieties

  • Inula magnifica grows in most soil conditions and is good near a pond.
  • The pygmy Inula acaulis has rosettes of narrow 1.5″ leaves and golden daisies 1″ or more across.
  • Inula hookeri is a clump-forming perennial with hairy self supporting stems and large, spidery, yellow, daisy flowers.

Propagation and More

  • Propagate by splitting the clumps
  • Micropropagation of Inula racemosa is explained in this interesting article.
  • More about yellow daisies.
  • See more images.


Inula orientalis

Inula orientalis is a member of the genus Inula on this page you will find:

Where to buy

Clicking on any of these plants will give you more information, you only leave this website if you decide to buy. You can see all the Inula plants for sale in our garden centre which lists products from over 25 popular websites.

Inula Ensifolia
£8.50 at Burncoose

Inula Magnifica
£6.99 at Best 4 Plants

We have 12 photos of Inula orientalis in real gardens

These photos are from real gardens by real gardeners! Just click on one to start exploring.

Questions on Inula orientalis

This advice is from our members, if you can't find your question, please try the Inula genus page or ask our friendly community.

No one has asked about this plant yet, feel free to be the first


Information About Inula Plants - Tips On Growing Inula Plants - garden

Welcome to Horsford Gardens & Nursery in beautiful Charlotte, Vermont. Local gardeners have trusted us with growing for their landscapes since 1893. We are proud to use integrated and sustainable horticultural practices, and employ talented growers from our local community.

We specialize in growing shade and evergreen trees, flowering shrubs, fruit trees, and perennials in field-dug and container sizes. Our restored antique glass greenhouses are home to annual flowers, vegetable plants, and kitchen herbs each season.

The Garden Center is open to all and stocked with compost, topsoil, bulbs, pottery, and tools. Our knowledgeable staff is happy to help with landscaping consulting and mulch and soil delivery. Ever-in-bloom botanical gardens are free for all to tour for inspiration. The gardens are home to art and education events throughout the season.

During the holidays, we make and ship fresh Christmas wreaths and centerpieces around the country. Our holiday gift shop offers Vermont Christmas trees, cut greens, holiday bulbs, hand-curated gifts and more.


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