Mammoth or Giant Russian
- Mammoth sunflowers are, like their name suggests the biggest of the sunflower varieties growing between 2.7-3.7m tall. They have the largest centre and yield the largest number of seeds.
- Sunbeam sunflowers have long delicate asymmetrical petals. Their centre is either yellow or brown which makes them a popular choice for bouquets.
- Fluffy like a teddy bear, teddy bear sunflowers look like a cross between chrysanthemum and a sunflower and are also a popular choice for bees, butterflies and birds.
- Red sunflowers and exotic and difficult to find. Their ruby-red petals are glorious and
Sunflowers are pretty hardy and grow well in well-drained soil year round.
The most important thing to think of when choosing where to position your sunflowers is how much sun they’ll get. Sunflowers need a minimum of eight hours of sunlight each day.
How to grow
Growing sunflowers from seeds are the easiest way to go and better yet they grow year-round so no need to wait for the seasons to change. You can purchase some seeds from your local Bunnings or ask a friend who has sunflowers. Simply sow seeds 2cm deep, 60cm apart in a garden bed or pot. It will take sunflowers 10-12 weeks to fully mature.
How to harvest
As sunflowers mature their heads dry out and fill with seeds. Simply cut off the head and allow to dry out. Once dry use your fingers or a fork to pull out sunflower seeds. Then you can either plant them and continue your crop or bake them and toss them on top of your salads.
Care & Problems
As sunflowers grow so tall you might need to protect them from high winds and rain by stake them to a bamboo post.
Baby sunflower leaves and seedlings are a crowd-favourite for snails and slugs so spread some pellets or mulch early on to protect them.
As sunflowers mature and the heads start to dry out they will attract birds. Cover the flowers with netting earlier rather than later.
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