Sunflowers grow naturally on this whole continent. These are sunflowers planted by nature along the Missouri River west of Yankton, South Dakota.
Historically, Native Americans in Central and North America grew sunflowers for flour, oil, and other food. Today in Canada and the Northern Plains of the United States, farmers grow them to be processed for oil. Plant breeders have introduced new ornamental varieties, and we’ll see a few today.
Sunflowers are mostly annuals here. Sometimes, they re-seed themselves. They grow tall, sometimes 6 feet or more in the garden bed, and can be grown close together. Seed companies such as Burpee and Jung have introduced sunflower varieties that are suitable for containers.
One example is the Burpee ‘Suntastic’ that reached 20 inches in height and started blooming in July and is still blooming at the beginning of September.
These have been blooming since August. They’re about 4 feet tall and stay reasonably upright, later in the season. The outer plants are from Burpee.
Jung Seed Company also offers sunflower seeds that may be grown in containers. Choices include choices for ray flowers. “Grow Sunflowers in Containers” recent post has more information.
The goldfinch feeding on a sunflower head was a lucky photo shot from indoors. The varieties we planted this season all have had pollinator visits. If you want to provide pollen for wildlife, be sure not to choose varieties advertised without pollen for use as cut flowers.
A flowerbed of sunflowers is in bloom now. They nod and wave in the prairie breeze. More options of color and size of sunflowers are currently available for those grown in-ground than for containers.
We wish you a good holiday in these days of summer. Thanks for visiting Plant Exchange blog again. Do comment if you wish and come back again.