Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Audio Play Icon Headphones Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

The Plant Guide

Browse the Full Plant Guide

Branching sunflower

Helianthus debilis

Helianthus debilis 'Key Lime Pie'

These branching plants with thick stems and glossy mid-green leaves grow 5 to 6 feet tall. Slightly nodding flowerheads 2.5 inches or more across appear in summer. Bright yellow ray florets are sometimes flushed with red or purple-red disk florets.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsCultivars include ‘Italian White’, a graceful plant with 4-inch ivory-white daisies shading to buttery cream near their striking black centers; ‘Lemon Queen’, a pale yellow cultivar accented by a large brown center; ‘Velvet Queen’, well branched from a strong stalk, with dark burgundy petals and a black central disk; ‘Sole d’Oro’, a double-flowering form with a fluffy butter-yellow head; and ‘Stella’, a branching plant with golden petals and a maroon center.

CareTall cultivars may require support. Needs long, hot summers to flower well. Grow in moist but well-drained, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil.

PropagationSow seed in situ in spring or in pots in late winter.

ProblemsDowny mildew, powdery mildew, canker, rust, and many fungal leaf spots are common. Also susceptible to damage from caterpillars, cutworms, beetles, and weevils.

  • Genus : Helianthus
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Height : 3 to 6 feet
  • Plant Type : Annuals
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Bloom Time : Summer
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
  • Flower Color : White, Yellow

Plant Characteristics are only available to Fine Gardening members

Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to our complete plant guide as well as our entire collection of articles and videos.

Start Free Trial

Related Plants

Related Articles

More From the Plant Guide

Winter Interest

Partial Shade

Browse the Full Plant Guide