Sunflower
Helianthus annuus

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Helianthus (hee-lee-AN-thus) (Info)
Species: annuus (AN-yoo-us) (Info)
View this plant in a garden

Category:

Annuals

Height:

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Spacing:

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Hardiness:

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Leonforte,

Gadsden, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Little Rock, Arkansas

Calistoga, California

Clovis, California

Fontana, California

Lompoc, California

Oak View, California

Richmond, California

San Diego, California

San Mateo, California

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Deltona, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Holiday, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Lake Butler, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Dacula, Georgia

Waycross, Georgia

Nampa, Idaho

Victor, Idaho

Champaign, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Divernon, Illinois

Hampton, Illinois

Oak Forest, Illinois

Quincy, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Noblesville, Indiana

Brookville, Kansas

Hebron, Kentucky

Pride, Louisiana

South China, Maine

Pinconning, Michigan

Saint Clair Shores, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Saint Michael, Minnesota

Brandon, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Olive Branch, Mississippi

Southaven, Mississippi

Waynesboro, Mississippi

Cole Camp, Missouri

Holts Summit, Missouri

Reno, Nevada

Port Norris, New Jersey

Los Alamos, New Mexico

College Point, New York

Saratoga Springs, New York

Denver, North Carolina

Haw River, North Carolina

Fort Jennings, Ohio

Mount Orab, Ohio

Baker City, Oregon

La Grande, Oregon

Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Washington, Pennsylvania

West Warwick, Rhode Island

Newberry, South Carolina

Lenoir City, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas (2 reports)

Brazoria, Texas

Canyon Lake, Texas

Deer Park, Texas

El Paso, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)

Kerrville, Texas

Manchaca, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Spring, Texas (2 reports)

Ogden, Utah

South Hero, Vermont

Jonesville, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Seattle, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Delavan, Wisconsin

Kaukauna, Wisconsin

Kinnear, Wyoming

Riverton, Wyoming

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

5
positives
3
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

On Jul 13, 2010, TeadoraX from Pompano Beach, FL wrote:

Within 3 months the seeds I bought at Home Depot were 7 and 8ft tall with 12 in flowers. Something was eating through the leaves as they were coming up, but spraying with insecticide stopped it. The leaves half way down the plant are wilted or destroyed, the remainder to the top healthy and vibrant, if not for the BEETLES!! I do not want to spray more insecticide because these flowers are attracting everything in the neighborhood... though some of the flower heads have been eaten 1/2 through. Very pretty, but also unsightly. Don't think I will plant again. Deerfield Beach, Fl.

Positive

On Jun 24, 2009, DisHammerhand from Fontana, CA wrote:

I grow the common 'wild' kind. I let them volunteer because they are superb bird-feeders. They attract House Finches and Lesser Goldfinches. The sunny yellow flowers look cheery hanging over my fences

Positive

On Sep 22, 2006, Rite from Miami, FL wrote:

I grew sunflowers for the first time this year and I was really pleased with the outcome. The advice that I have is to find the spot or spots in your garden that get the most FULL sun during the day and plant the seeds directly in the ground. Water them well in the beginning and they will grow. The seeds that I did not plant in these locations, were stunted and short and a disappointment.

If you want to wow your neighbors, this is the plant to have, especially the giant varieties (mammoth, American giant, Russian mammoth, paul bunyan). If you don't go for height, there are dwarf varieties (sunspot, teddy bear) that offer blooms on less than 3 foot stalks.

Bees buzzed my blooms and then later the cardinals, blue jays and others went wild over the seeds.
... read more

Positive

On Jun 9, 2006, Noell_swfl from Fort Myers, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I LOVE Sunflowers! I seem to have a issue not growing them. They are all over my yard. Bad soil didn't seem to stop them.

I have over 30 types of sunflowers growing.

Many of them grow past to their full high. I have had them grow well over 12 ft, passing the base of my roof.

I have about 300 growing all over my yard thanks to my twins getting the seeds and putting them into the yard.

Getting seeds are easy and my kids love to pick the seeds out of the flower heads.

So far I have the normal yellow sunflowers, as well as black, green, blond, strawberry blond, red, and many more!

Positive

On Jul 9, 2005, Gindee77 from Hampton, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a plant with lots of interest in the garden. People always comment on the size and beauty of them. I love to grow them to save the seeds for the birds.

Neutral

On Jan 17, 2005, JodyC from Palmyra, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Long-tongued bees are the most important pollinators, including the honeybee, bumblebees, Miner bees, and Leaf-Cutting bees. Halictine bees are important visitors, while visitors of lesser importance include bee flies, butterflies, skippers, and the Goldenrod Soldier Beetle. All of these insects seek nectar primarily. Syrphid flies and other beetles occasionally feed on pollen, but they are usually non-pollinating. Also, many insects feed on foliage and other parts of the Annual Sunflower.Because the seeds are abundant, large-sized, and nutritious, they are an attractive food source to many animals, including upland gamebirds, songbirds, ground squirrels, tree squirrels, and mice. To some extent, the seeds are distributed by these animals. Mammalian herbivores, such as rabbits, ground hogs... read more

Positive

On Oct 9, 2004, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

The common Sunflower can be as tall as 10 feet and bloom for a long time.
This is the most abundunt sunflower in the state of Texas. It follows fencerows and covers acres of old fields.
This plant was very useful to native peoples as a source of food and fiber for cordage. The seeds are eagerly sought by wild birds and many modern
food products are derived from this plant.

Neutral

On Mar 16, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Large plants traditionally grown for their round, lemon-colored flower heads with dark seed centers. The seed heads are usually 2-3" across, but some varieties reach 12" across. The seeds are edible when roasted; birds will feed on raw seeds year-round.

Newer varieties include pale yellow to creamy-white flowers, and some dwarf varieties. Large-flowered varieties need richer soil.