Whether you are a fan of annuals or perennials, the sunflower can find a treasured place in your garden. These fast-growing annuals offer big, bold plants that are a quick, easy way to add eye-catching flowers to almost any garden.
There are varieties of these giant daisies that grow over eight feet tall and varieties that reach only two and a half to three feet. Some are long stems topped with a big, rayed, disk of a bloom whereas others will branch up the stem offering multiple blooms. Colors are available in the traditional pure yellow, whites, lemons, mahoganies, bronzes, deep reds and rings of blended hues. There are double flowers, full and fluffy with petals, and there are single open disks outlined with just a ring of petals imitating the rays of the sun.
Sunflowers not only echo the sun in design, but actually turn to face the sun as it moves across the sky during the day. These interesting flowers are decorative, colorful, ideal for adding towering height or lollypop vertical growth to a garden bed. Use tall varieties in the back of a garden, to decorate a dull wall or fence or to add a bold accent or create a colorful focal point within a planting. Sunflowers add character to a Tuscan or other Mediterranean landscape design. They fit in perfectly with a cottage garden design and show off nicely in a Southwestern themed garden.
The sunflower (Heliantus annuus) is easily planted from seed. You can also buy started plants. It is easy to grow and because it grows quickly, is an ideal plant to help children become excited about gardening. The large seeds are convenient to handle and sprout fast. After flowering the big blooms develop seeds that invite birds into your garden, can be saved to plant next year and are edible. Give the sunflower plenty of sunshine, ample water and occasional plant food. These ponderous plants are heavy feeders.
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