When I stand next to my flowering Mexican sunflower plant I feel like Jack with his beanstalk. The plant towers over me and grew to such heights in just a couple of months. True, I am gardening in a warm area and so it reaches its full potential in my garden but if you decide to try this one, be aware that it could be a biggy. There are much shorter cultivars available but I buy my seeds at the local garden center and have never had any choice as to cultivar. Actually, I kind of enjoy having this gentle monster in my garden and besides, it gives a challenge to the zebra grass next to it. In addition, the vivid orange flowers add zip to the scene and butterflies adore it. Place it in full sun and well-drained soil then stand back and watch it grow.
Bloom: Yellow to orange flowers resembling mini dahlias are borne in late summer through fall.
Size: 2-8’ H x 4’ W.
Light: Full sun.
Soil: Average, well-drained.
Pests and Diseases: Slugs when young; susceptible to aphids, thrips.
Companion plants: Pampas grass, zebra grass, goldenrod such as ‘Fireworks;.
‘Aztec Sun’ (golden, 4’)
‘Fiesta del Sol’ (orange, 2-3’, but flowers late and sometimes not at all)
‘Goldfinger’ (orange, 4-5’)
‘Torch’ (orange, 6’)