It is hard to resist sunflowers and this one is a knock out. Its 5” wide flowers have a rich chocolate brown center surrounded with golden yellow petals that blend to dark red at their base. This is not a monster sunflower plant; it grows just 5’ tall and produces many branches that all produce flowers. The long stems on the flowers make them good for arrangements where they add the “WOW” factor. If you don’t cut the flowers, they will produce seeds that the wildlife can enjoy. An All America Selection in 2001.

Type: Annual.

Bloom: Flowers 5” across with brown centers surrounded by gold petal blending to deep red are produced on well branched plants in summer into fall.

Foliage: Coarse, rough, heart shaped leaves that are slightly hairy.

Size: 4-5’ H x 2-3’ W.

Light: Full sun.

Soil: Prepare bed by digging compost or manure into the soil to a depth of 2-3’ (sunflowers have tap roots that go down deep). Check to make sure that the soil drains well to avoid root rot. Plant seeds directly into ground at a depth of 1”. Plants thrive in moist well drained soil.

Fertilizer: Sunflowers do well without any added fertilizer but with thrive if given a liquid fertilizer like Miracle Grow every 2-3 weeks.

Care: If you wish to harvest the heads for seed, cut the heads off with 1’ of stem when you see the backside of the heads yellowing. Set the heads in a cool, dry place with good ventilation to avoid molding.

Pests and Diseases: Leaves are susceptible to mildew.

Propagation: Seed.

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By Karen