HELIANTHUS Sunflower

The word ‘Sunflower’ conjures up a picture of a coarse giant of a plant with yellow plate-like flowers. These mammoths will be grown as long as children and competitions exist, but for general garden display there are these days more compact and attractive varieties. Sow two or three seeds at each- planting position – thin to one. For maximum size feed the plants weekly with liquid fertilizer. Stake tall varieties.

VARIETIES: The Annual Sunflowers are varieties of H. annuus and you should always check the height in the catalogue or on the packet before buying. The giants, such as ‘Russian Giant’ and ‘Tall Single’ may reach more than 10 ft with flowers 1 ft across – the dwarf ‘Sungold’ reaches only 2 ft with golden double flowers. Between the two is ‘Autumn Beauty’ (5 ft) in mixed shades from lemon to dark red.

SITE AND SOIL: Any reasonable garden soil in a sunny position will do.

PLANT DETAILS: Height 2-10 ft.

Spacing: :-2.5 ft.

Flowering period: July-September.

PROPAGATION: Sow seeds 1 in. deep in April where they are to flower.

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