Useful Facts About Sunflowers
Here are some facts about sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) that should help you when planning out your edible garden design.
- Plant type: Tender annual (some varieties are perennial)
- Plant size: 2-20 feet tall, 1-4 feet in diameter, depending on variety
- Edible parts: young leaves, petals, seeds
- Flower color(s): white to dark brownish red, depending on variety
type: composite -- the "head" is composed of hundreds of tiny flowers,
while the "petals" are actually leaves which protect these tiny flowers
while they are still young.
- Leaf color(s): grass green
- Leaf type: heart-shaped, giant sunflower leaves can get larger than your head
- Stem color: light yellowish green
- USDA zones: Can be grown in all zones 1-13 -- some perennial sunflowers are hardy down to zone 4
- Likes: average to rich soil (rich soil is more important for the giant sunflower)
- Tolerates: partial shade, mild drought
- Dislikes: sandy soil (especially the giant sunflowers, which tend to fall over), overwatering, high winds
divider hedges, backdrops, centerpieces in flower garden design, cut
flowers, hedge mazes, flowering bush, border plant, children's gardens
The name "sunflower" comes from the fact that growing sunflowers turn their flower buds and leaves to face the sun!
This action is called heliotropism -- sunflowers seem to know where the
sun is at any given time and overnight return to facing east in time for
Sunflowers insist on pointing east after they bloom, so take that into consideration when you choose where to plant them. It would be a shame to put them in only to have them face the wall.
Perennial sunflowers may take up to 3 years to bloom, but then bloom consistently every year.
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Harvesting sunflowers - Annual plants - Flower garden ideas
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