Sunflower, American Giants Hybrid
One of the tallest ever!
Beds, Borders, Cut Flowers
Sunflowers are grown from seed sown directly in the garden after frost.
- Direct sow seeds in average soil in full sun after all danger of frost.
- When choosing a site consider that sunflowers need a well-drained soil. They face the sun, so make sure they are in an open area of the garden. The taller varieties will cast shadows on other plants, so plant these at the north end of your garden.
- Prepare the soil by removing weeds and working organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
- Most plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. If compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost. After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments are needed for the following season.
- Sow seeds ½ inch deep in groups of 2 or 3 seeds. Space the groups 18-24 inches feet apart, depending on the variety.
- Firm soil lightly, water and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings will emerge in 7-10 days.
- Thin to one plant per group when seedlings have two sets of leaves.
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For annuals an organic mulch of shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
- Keep soil evenly moist but not wet.
- Once established sunflowers can tolerate drought.
- No fertilizer is needed unless the soil is poor. Do not over fertilize.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
- Some varieties only produce one bloom so once the bloom is spent, the plant may be removed.
- Remove plants after they are killed by frost in fall to avoid disease issues the following year.
- Edible sunflowers will mature in about 3 months or more after sowing. To harvest the seeds, cut the heads 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.
- Shorter varieties may be grown in containers. Be sure to use a commercial potting mix.
- Pollenless varieties make terrific cut flowers.
SunFull SunHeight12-14 feetSpread36-40 inchesOrnamental UseBeds, Borders, Cut FlowersLife CycleAnnualSow MethodDirect SowFloweringtrueBloom Duration6
Sunflower, American Giants Hybrid is rated out of 5 by 7.Rated 1 out of 5 by CactusQueen from Uh, No. I have grown sunflowers the last two years. At minimum, I have at least 150 sunflowers between my front, and back yard. I was beyond excited to receive these seeds, because I planned on lining one of my brick walls with them, to have a little added privacy from my neighbors. Well, with only 25 seeds that came in the pack, it was a bit of a stretch... No worries, I was excited to plant them. Not a single seed germinated. Very disappointed.Date published: 2014-09-17Rated 1 out of 5 by GardenDreamer from Disappointing Only one third to one half of these seeds germinated. Those that did germinate are about 6 inches tall, so it is too early to make any other comments.Date published: 2012-05-09Rated 5 out of 5 by Seedaholic from GIANTS Enormous plants, unbelievable. Indeed they were taller than the house.Date published: 2011-03-11Rated 5 out of 5 by gardenplanter from This Plant In My Home I once grow this plant at home during the winter. It grew so high that I need to remove the sunflower from the planting pot and bring the plant outside at spring. I share the little seeds inside the sunflowers to birds and other flying animales. I hope to grow one more at hone the next winter!Date published: 2009-02-22Rated 5 out of 5 by 4sun from NATURE FENCE I can't say enough about how beautiful my Sunflowers were this year, I called them my Nature Fence, as they were planted in a row about 1/2 block long and gave me all the privacy I needed. Soooooooooooo many compliments on them.Date published: 2007-08-22Rated 5 out of 5 by Alg41 from Alot of fun to watch grow! We had a lot of fun watching these grow so tall!!!!Date published: 2007-08-10Rated 5 out of 5 by sunflowerlover from they grew to be enormous -- the size of our 2 story house!Date published: 2006-05-01