HELIANTHUS sunflower

The giant Sunflower is the annual variety . The perennial types grow 4 to 6 ft tall with flowers measuring 2 or 3 in. across – a far cry from the dinner-plate blooms of H. annuus. The perennial Sunflower is suited to the back of the border, its strong stems bearing yellow or gorden blooms in late summer and early autumn. It is a sun lover but there are no special soil requirements – the only problem is that the plants deteriorate with age. Lift the clumps every 3 years and divide to prevent exhaustion.

VARIETIES: H. decapetalus has single, semi-double and double varieties, all of which are suitable for flower arranging. The best of the singles is the large-flowered ‘Maximus’ (6 ft), but the perennial Sunflower which is most often recommended is the double ‘Loddon Gold’ (height 5 ft. Spacing 2 ft.

Flowering period: July- September).

Other recommended types are the semi-double ‘Triomphe de Gand’and Soleild’Or’

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained garden soil will do sun. thrives best in full

PROPAGATION: Sow seeds under glass or outdoors in April or divide clumps in autumn or spring.

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