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Sunflowers are some of the easiest plants to start from seed. The name sunflower refers to the shape of the flowerhead, which resembles the sun, or from the false impression that the flower appears to turn towards the sun as it moves across the sky. These fast-growing annuals also provide good cut flowers, as well as being attractive to a range of pollinating insects, particularly bees!
Cut heads off once they begin to yellow at the back. Hang them upside down in a dry pest free environment. once dry seeds can be rubbed off. Flower heads should be laid out to dry, and then the seeds are rubbed out of the head. The seeds are then allowed to continue to dry fully to avoid mildew. Harvest seeds when fully dry. Add the spent stalks to the compost heap.
Propagate by division in spring or autumn.
Sowing time best during spring/summer with a spacing of 50 - 70 cm. Sowing depth is 2 - 8 cm with a fast germination time of 10 - 14 days. Sow seeds indoors March to April. Plant out in May.
Attracts useful insects
Attracts butterflies and bees.
The flowers are large and striking, their heads follow the sun through the day turning to face the sun.
Southwest region of North America.
Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun
Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Alkaline, Neutral, Acid
Fruits or seeds are eaten and enjoyed whole, or pressed to make heart healthy oil or butters. The edible petals make a bright addition to a salad.
Some smaller varieties are grown as cut flowers.
Some varieties are grown as garden plants.
Yellow, Red, Orange
Caterpillars and beetles often chew on the foliage.