Sunflower

Helianthus annuus and cvs.

Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
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Sunflower (Helianthus annuus and cvs.)
hee-lee-AN-thus AN-yew-us
Genus:  Helianthus
Sunflowers are some of the easiest plants to start from seed. They are available in numerous cultivars which span the range of heights, flower colors, and form.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Cultivars include 'Giant Grey Stripe' and 'Russian Giant'; 4- to 5-foot-tall ‘Primrose Yellow’; pure yellow, black-centered ‘Sunrich Lemon’, a pollen-free cultivar ideal for cut flowers; ‘Valentine’, a 5-foot-tall, base-branching plant with pale yellow petals and a big brown middle; 6- to 8-foot-tall ‘Autumn Beauty’ and the similar ‘Inca Jewels’, with flowers in a mix of colors; ‘Music Box’, a 2-1/2 footer similar to ‘Autumn Beauty’; ‘Sunburst’, another mix of colors on 4-foot plants; ‘Taiyo’, a 6-foot version of the classic tall sunflower; ‘Sunbeam’, a green-hearted golden flower; and ‘Teddy Bear’ and ‘Orange Sun Double', doubles.
Care:  Tall cultivars may require support. Needs long, hot summers to flower well. Grow in moist but well-drained, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil.
Propagation:  Sow seed in situ in spring or in pots in late winter.
Problems:  Common: downy mildew, powdery mildew, canker, rust, and many fungal leaf spots. Also susceptible to damage from caterpillars, cutworms, beetles, and weevils.

Overview

Height
10 ft. to 15 ft.
Spread
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Light
Full Sun Only
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Attracts Birds,
Native,
Showy Flowers
Bloom Time
Fall,
Summer
Flower Color
Yellow Flower
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Cut Flower
Style
Cottage Garden
Seasonal Interest
Summer Interest
Type
Annuals

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