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Helianthus annuus ‘Sunny Smile’ (Common Sunflower)

Sunny Smile Sunflower, Common Sunflower 'Sunny Smile', Comb Flower 'Sunny Smile', Golden Flower of Peru 'Sunny Smile', St Bartholomew's Star 'Sunny Smile'

Sunny Smile Sunflower, Sunflower Sunny Smile, Dwarf Sunflower, Yellow Sunflower, Helianthus

Sunflower ‘Sunny Smile’: An In-depth Look

Helianthus annuus ‘Sunny Smile’ is a hybrid dwarf, pollenless sunflower with a branching habit. The flowers, smaller compared to traditional sunflowers, bloom abundantly throughout the summer. Its size and growth habit make it perfect for adding a touch of cheer to patios, gardens, and balconies.

Native: ‘Sunny Smile’ is a cultivar of the common sunflower, Helianthus annuus, indigenous to the United States.

Plant Type and Habit: It is an annual flowering plant with an upright, bushy habit, producing multiple flower heads on each plant.

Size: Plants are 15 to 20 inches (40 to 50 centimeters) in height under long-day conditions, in small pots under short-day conditions plants are approximately 6 inches (15 centimeters) in height.

Flowers: The flowers are the main attraction of this plant. They are smaller than traditional sunflowers and display vibrant yellow petals surrounding a dark brown center. They are pollenless.

Bloom Time: It blooms year-round in only 50 to 55 days when grown at temperatures above 60°F (15°C). In small pots, under short-day conditions it is a very appealing miniature.

Foliage: The leaves are large, heart-shaped, and rough-textured, with a vibrant green color. They are arranged alternately along the stem.

Uses: Its compact size and vibrant flowers make it perfect for small gardens, borders, and container gardening. ts suitability for container growing makes it a popular choice for decorating patios, balconies, and other small outdoor spaces. It adds a cheerful splash of yellow to any outdoor space. The smaller, manageable size of its blooms makes ‘Sunny Smile’ ideal for cut flower arrangements. Its bright yellow flowers can bring a touch of sunshine indoors.

Hardiness: As an annual, it does not have a USDA hardiness rating. It’s planted each year and grows best in warm conditions after the threat of frost has passed.

Toxicity: sunflowers are not known to be toxic and are safe around pets and humans.

Wildlife: Sunflowers attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and birds, particularly finches, who feed on the seeds.

Deer and Rabbit: Sunflowers, in general, are somewhat resistant to deer and rabbits, but they may still nibble on the leaves and young plants.

Drought: While they prefer regular watering, sunflowers can tolerate short periods of drought. They are quite resilient once established.

Invasiveness: This variety is not invasive.

Sunflower Growing Tips

Light: Thrives in full sun, requiring a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Site in a sheltered location, as the wind may catch the heavy heads.

Soil: Prefers well-drained, fertile soil. Tolerates a variety of soil types but thrives in slightly acidic to neutral pH.

Watering: Regular watering is essential, especially during dry spells. Avoid overwatering and ensure soil drainage to prevent root rot.

Fertilizing: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer at planting time. Excessive nitrogen can lead to lush foliage at the expense of flowers.

Pruning: Remove spent flowers if self-seeding is a concern.

Propagation: Easily propagated by seeds. Plant seeds directly in the ground after the last frost.

Pests and Diseases: Sunflowers can attract pests like aphids and caterpillars, and are prone to diseases such as powdery mildew, rust, and downy mildew.  Preventive measures include proper spacing for air circulation, avoiding wet foliage, and prompt removal of affected parts to maintain healthy sunflower plants.

Learn How To Plant, Care and Grow Gorgeous 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. Here are some basic rules that need to be followed to enjoy their splendid flowers.

Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 11
Heat Zones 1 - 12
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Annuals
Plant Family Compositae
Genus Helianthus
Common names Common Sunflower, Sunflower
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid, Late)
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 8" - 12"
(20cm - 30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral, Acid
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Bees, Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Cutting Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Helianthus (Sunflower)
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Helianthus annuus ProCut® White Nite (Common Sunflower)
Helianthus annuus ProCut® Red (Common Sunflower)
Helianthus annuus ‘Sunrich Summer Provence’ (Common Sunflower)
Helianthus annuus ‘Sunrich Gold’ (Common Sunflower)
Helianthus annuus ‘Velvet Queen’ (Common Sunflower)
Helianthus annuus ‘Autumn Beauty’ (Common Sunflower)

Recommended Companion Plants

Eryngium (Sea Holly)
Echinacea (Coneflower)
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

How to Choose the Perfect Sunflower for Your garden and Pots
10 Reasons Why You Should Grow Sunflowers in Your Garden
Companion Planting With Annuals
Edible Flowers: 16 Varieties to Beautify Your Garden and Plate
Best Annual Flowers For Your Vegetable Garden
Best Annual Flowers and Plants for Full Sun
Learn How To Plant, Care and Grow Gorgeous Sunflowers
39 Most Beautiful Sunflower Types for Your Garden
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.
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Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 11
Heat Zones 1 - 12
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Annuals
Plant Family Compositae
Genus Helianthus
Common names Common Sunflower, Sunflower
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid, Late)
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 8" - 12"
(20cm - 30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral, Acid
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Bees, Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Cutting Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Helianthus (Sunflower)
Not sure which Helianthus (Sunflower) to pick?
Compare Now

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