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An excellent mixture of colours ranging from orange to terracotta and chocolate brown too. Just as easy to grow as any othor sunflower. The strong growing plants produce more than one head, ideal display in the flower border ar used as a cut flower. 2-2.5m
Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) are a fun flower to grow when you are gardening with children. They’re easy to plant and grow from seeds, grow extremely fast and turn their flowery faces towards the sun. The tallest growing of all flower species, the most commonly known variety towers above other flowers and garden plants and is visible all across the region during the summer months. The large seed-filled heads of the popular sunflower are not only easily visible to humans, but to birds also which flock to them for a free meal.
The tall well-known type of sunflower is not the only type available. These strikingly beautiful flowers range in height from just a few inches to several feet. Some sunflowers are annuals, some are perennials, and petal colours also range from yellow to orange and red.
All sizes and colors of sunflowers have one thing in common - they all love the heat of summer, provide food for hungry birds and are easy to grow from seeds. Use these tips for planting and growing sunflowers from seeds so you (and the children and birds) can enjoy them all summer.
Full sun. There is no such thing as too much sun for a sunflower. Select a planting location that will keep the sunflower in direct sunlight from the moment the sun rises until the sun sets so you can watch how the seeded heads turns to follow the sun throughout the day.
These delightful plants are tall and hardy, and they will call almost any soil condition home with just one exception. Sunflower will not grow in soggy, water-logged swamp areas. Give the plant full sun and any other type of soil conditions, and you’ll be good to grow.
All plants, including the hardy sunflower, will benefit from having some compost worked into the soil prior to planting. The compost improves soil structure and provides food for the growing plant.
Sunflowers seeds do best when planted directly into outdoor soil in the location where you want them grow. Just before the last frost is predicted in your area plant your seed. Sunflower seed and seedlings are tough and can easily survive a light spring frost or two, but it you’re concerned about tiny seedlings, cover them with a layer of newspaper the night before a frost is predicted. Remove the newspaper before the sun shines on the plants the following morning.
Dig a planting hole 8 inches deep, mix a little compost into the removed soil, then back-fill the hole with it. Poke one sunflower seed into the center of the hole 1 inch deep. Water the seed in well. Keep soil moist until seed germinates.
Sunflowers can be started indoors 2 weeks before the last predicted frost date in spring. Use individual growing containers because the seeds germinate quickly and plants grow equally as fast. Plant one seed in a 4-6 inch deep container (use peat cups or fill yogurt cups with potting soil), water in well and place in a sunny window. Keep soil moist.
Dwarf varieties of sunflowers can be grown in containers, but the tall growing types need to be planted in-ground and given a little elbow room to grow.
If you want to grow the flowers in a row, dig a trench in prepared garden soil or use a shovel to dig a row of holes that are 2 feet apart. Make the trench or holes 12 inches deep. Place one seedling per hole or place seedlings in the trench every 2 feet. Cover roots roots and lower stem with soil until it’s even with the surrounding soil level. Water in well.
No fertilizer is needed by these tall plants, but regular weekly watering will be needed during times of drought and 2 weeks before and after the flower heads form.Water deeply once per week to help seeds form and develop properly.
Tall varieties and the plants that produce multiple blooms per stalk will become top heavy and may need to be supported. Drive a 3-5 foot wooden stake into the ground beside of the sunflower and loosely tie the plant stem to the stake with wide strips of stretchable cloth.
Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and linoleic acid, making them a healthy and tasty treat for humans. However, there will be much competition from wildlife for those tasty seeds and diligence will be needed to keep the wildlife from eating them all.
Just prior to the seed ripening, place nylon netting over the heads to prevent birds and squirrels from eating the seeds.