Glowy, showy sunflower is an attention-getter—and a prizewinner in our trials. Dazzling flame
type sunflower offers a sensuous color contrast, the dark black disk orbited by ray petals in
scarlet red flame, finishing to gold at their tapered tips. Five to six feet tall, it will keep
your vases ablaze with Aztec magic.
Sow outdoors after danger of frost. Sunflowers produce
rather large seedlings and prefer to grow where Sown. To insure good germination, Sow seeds
1/2" deep in groups of 2 or 3 seeds. Space these groups 2 to 4" apart.
How to Grow Sunflowers
Sunflowers face the sun, so it's very important that your
planting be made in an open, bright spot in your garden. The tall varieties will cast a shadow
on other plants, so make sure all tall varieties are planted on the north end of your garden. A
light, dry, well-drained soil is preferred. Under normal conditions, no fertilizer is needed
unless the soil is poor. If this is the case, the use of 5 pounds of 5-10-5 complete fertilizer
per 100 sq. ft. should be sufficient.
Harvesting Sunflower Seeds
Edible kinds will mature in about 3 months or more after
Sowing. Heads are cut off after the stalks are quite dry but before fall or winter rains come.
Check the flower heads for maturity to see if the florets in the center of the flower disk have
shriveled and the back of the flower head is turning yellow, or the head is Starting to droop.
Cut flower-heads with a foot of the stalk attached. Hang heads in a warm, dry, well-ventilated
place so the seeds may fully ripen and dry. Cheesecloth, netting or a paper bag with holes
punched in for ventilation should be placed over the head to protect the seeds and to collect
those that may drop from drying.