Alphabetical Plant Listing

Learn How To Plant, Care and Grow Gorgeous Sunflowers

Annual Sunflowers, Perennial Sunflowers


Cherished for their beauty, Sunflowers (Helianthus) are striking ornamental annuals or perennial plants grown for their colorful summer and fall blooms. Fast-growing, they can reward you with glamorous blooms between 55 and 100 days after planting, depending on the variety grown. They are exceptionally care-free plants if they are given a well-chosen site. Here are some basic rules that need to be followed to enjoy their splendid flowers.

1. Select The Right Site

  • Sunflowers prefer full sun - at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
  • Sunflowers enjoy average, moist, well-drained soils. They are not fussy about soil conditions as long as they are not waterlogged.
  • Sunflowers are heavy feeders so the soil needs to be fairly rich with lots of organic matter or composted manure.
  • A sheltered location is preferred, as the wind may catch their heavy heads.

'Arikara'

'Mammoth Grey Stripe'

'Russian Mammoth'

Click here to see all Helianthus varieties

2. Planting Your Sunflowers

  • Annual Sunflowers seeds can be planted directly into the soil after the threat of frost has passed, when the soil has warmed up to at least 55ºF (13ºC). If you have a short growing season, you may want to start indoors.
  • Perennial Sunflowers can be planted in the spring or fall - A spring planting will reward you with blooms at the end of the season.
  • To prepare the bed, dig over the soil about 2 ft. deep (60 cm), then rake over and firm.
  • Plant the seeds 1 in. deep (2.5 cm) and 12-18 in. apart (30-45 cm), depending on the ultimate size of the plant. Perennial Sunflowers will spread out by rhizomes. Space them at least 2-3 ft. apart, so they have space to grow.
  • Carefully cover with soil and firm. Water the area gently but thoroughly with a fine spray
  • A light application of fertilizer mixed in at planting time will encourage strong root growth to protect them from blowing over in the wind.
  • To enjoy continuous blooms from your Annual Sunflowers, plant seeds every two weeks in succession from spring to early summer.

'Suntastic Yellow'

'Firecracker'

'Teddy Bear'

Click here to compare all Helianthus varieties

3. Aftercare

  • While the Sunflower plant is small, water around the root zone, about 3-4 in. (7-10 cm) from the plant.
  • Water deeply though infrequently to encourage deep rooting. Once established, Sunflowers can tolerate some drought.
  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season.
  • Add mulch to help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures.
  • No fertilizer is needed unless the soil is poor. Overfertilization can cause stems to break in the fall, especially if the heads are large.
  • Tall species and cultivars require support for a short period of time. Bamboo stakes will help support the stem and prevent them from breaking under the weight of the flower heads.
  • Divide Perennial Sunflowers every 2-3 years.

'Evening Sun'

'Floristan'

'Strawberry Blonde'

Click here to find Garden Ideas with Sunflowers

Guide Information

Hardiness 3 - 10
Plant Type Annuals, Perennials
Plant Family Helianthus - Sunflowers
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Maintenance Low, Average
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
Compare All Helianthus - Sunflowers Great Plant Combination Ideas with Helianthus - Sunflowers Guides with Helianthus - Sunflowers

123rf

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 3 - 10
Plant Type Annuals, Perennials
Plant Family Helianthus - Sunflowers
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Maintenance Low, Average
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
Compare All Helianthus - Sunflowers Great Plant Combination Ideas with Helianthus - Sunflowers Guides with Helianthus - Sunflowers

Find your Hardiness Zone

Find your Climate Zone

Find your Heat Zone

Join Gardenia.net

Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

Join now and start creating your dream garden!

Create a New Collection

Optional. For your reference.


Move Selected Plants to a Different Collection


Delete Collection

This field is required.