Sunflowers or ‘Helianthus’ in Geek come in a mass of varieties. (Helios means sun and Anthus means flower…clever eh?) There are the giant, single stemmed, ‘Russian Giant‘ variety that we are all familiar with or multi stemmed dwarf varieties such as ‘Aslan’ and loads in between. Don’t be fooled into thinking these little beauties only come in yellow, oh no siry Bob, beautiful chocolate browns and russet reds are also on the sunflower menu. Check out Prado Red for a glorious example of Sunflower rouge-ness. You can also find bi coloured ones…oh life is good.
“How Do I Grow Sunflowers”
You can find all manner of clever ways on the net to germinate sunflower seeds. I have closely followed what mother nature does and have taken careful notes on the subject. What you need to do is take a seed and put it in the brown muddy stuff under your feet and pour a bit of water on it. Basically thats it! I plant mine after the frosts and about a centimeter under the surface. Plant them in full sun, (the clue is in the name) and make sure you have rich soil. If you have planted giants you may wish to stake them as they grow. How far apart you want them is up to you…closer together and they will grow smaller, which can be useful. I generally plant mine about 50cms apart. Next year I shall plant some “vanilla Ice“, which I saw somewhere and they looked great, a very delicate yellow. I also fancy some of those juicy red numbers and will go for the Prado Red as I mentioned earlier.
Sunflower Seeds save the day
Don’t cut your sunflowers down after the flowers fade as they are great bird food, and more birds mean less pests, less pests mean more flowers, more flowers mean more birds….and bees!
Which varieties do you grow?
Expanding Mandy x
Image by G.Mushroom