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Sunflower / Helianthus
The Sunflower is a very popular hardy annual flowering plant with gardeners. In latter years it has also become a florist's favourite. There is a wider variety of sunflowers available than many people realise. The classic image of sunflowers is of a single flower head on a very tall stem with view leaves however shorter varieties are available as are varieties with double bloom heads.
Sunflowers are now available in classic yellow, orange, red and cream. Helianthus provides an ideal backdrop to any garden flower border that has the space.
Cultivation of Sunflower Plants
Sunflower seeds should be sown in early spring into their final flowering position. Chooses a sunny site that has good drainage. Sow at least two seeds in each position and weed out the weaker seedlings leaving only the strongest to grow on.
The plants should be thinned out to about 30 to 45 cm apart from each other.
All varieties of Sunflower require staking with robust canes to prevent wind damage.
Deadheading will prolong the flowering season and will prevent self-seeding.
Popular Varieties of Sunflower
The following lists some popular varieties of Sunflower.
|Lemon Queen ||Yellow flower heads, brown centre, good for cutting |
|Autumn Sunshine || |
Yellow, bronze red blossoms, mediums sized flowers
|Sunspot ||Golden flowers, yellow/green centres, miniature |
|Italian White ||Cream blooms, black centre |
|Music Box Mixed || |
yellow, cream flowers, low growing
|Teddy Bear ||Gold double flowers, dwarf variety |
|Orange Sun ||Apricot orange blossoms, 1m tall |
Sunflower Pests and Diseases
Helianthus can be prone to mould in wet conditions especially late in the flowering season.
|Height 60cm to 3m || |
Sunflower - Scientific Classification
|Planting distance: 30 to 45cm ||Kingdom ||Plantae |
|Flowers from late summer to early autumn ||Order ||Asterales |
|Well-drained soil ||Family ||Asteraceae |
|Sunny position ||Genus ||Helianthus |
|Hardy annual || || |