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Tithonia, Sundance

Short Description

Orange, daisy-like flowers.

Full Description

Also known as Mexican sunflower these large, showy, compact plants bear radiant scarlet-orange, daisy-like 3" flowers. Plant in the back of the annual flower border. Hummingbirds and butterflies love them. Very heat tolerant.
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Item # Product
Item#: 33738A
Order: 1 Pkt. (75 seeds)
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Product properties

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

36 inches

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

14-16 inches

Ornamental Use Ways in which the product may be used in the garden for ornamental effect.


Life Cycle This refers to whether a plant is an annual, biennial or perennial. Annuals complete their life cycles in one year; biennials produce foliage the first year and bloom and go to seed the second year; perennials can live for more than two years.


Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Direct Sow

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Annuals Tour #1
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  • Tithonia

    Start Indoors Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
    Transplant Transplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
    Start Outdoors Start Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summer
    Start Indoors Fall Start Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    Transplant Fall Transplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
    Start Outdoors Fall Start Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    First Date: May-09 - Last Date: May-16

How to Sow and Plant

Tithonia may be grown from seed sown directly in the garden

Sowing Directly in the Garden:

  • Direct sow in full sun in average, well-drained soil after danger of frost.
  • 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 8 inches apart and cover with 1 inch of fine soil.
  • Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings will emerge in 7-14 days depending on soil and weather conditions.
  • Thin to stand about 18 inches apart starting when seedlings are 1 inch high.
  • 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.
  • Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Until plants become established, some protection from extreme winds and direct, hot sunlight may be necessary. Good air movement is also important.
  • After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer, as higher rates may encourage root rots.
  • Remove spent flower heads to keep plants flowering until fall.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
  • Remove plants after they are killed by frost in fall to avoid disease issues the following year.
  • Plants are generally bushy, but may need some staking.
  • Tithonia is heat and drought resistant, but appreciates extra water and fertilizer during its most intense growth period.
  • Tithonia is useful for a dramatic floral hedge, or as an accent plant.
  • Grow it at the back of the border and in the cutting garden.
  • Children love it!
Full Sun
36 inches
14-16 inches
Ornamental Use
Life Cycle
Sow Method
Direct Sow
Bloom Duration
10 weeks
Flower color
Tithonia, Sundance is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 19.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Butterflies and hummingbirds Summer of 2016 was the first time we ever planted these. We had many bees, hummingbirds and a variety of butterflies.
Date published: 2017-02-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful big annual I have been growing Tithonia for over 25 years. A wonderful plant for color in the garden and the butterflies love it! In my garden, Sundance is closer to 5 feet tall. Looks exactly to me like the variety 'Torch'.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thriving Plants are over 5 ft tall.Lack of rain and planting in a remote garden location,has forced me to lug jugs of water to help the plants thrive. SO WORTH IT.Flowers are beautiful and the Monarchs(for whom they were planted) love them.
Date published: 2016-09-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful robust plants that require little care I started growing Tithonia (Mexican sunflowers) a few years ago. They are lovely and vigorous plants. The leaves are dark green and have an elegant shape, and the flowers are a dark and velvety orange. Humminbirds, bees, and a host of other garden friends love these flowers. Plus, they require virtually no care and only the occasional watering. This is just short of incredible in light of the conditions here in Santa Fe, NM. We're at close to 7,000 feet and the midday sun is just far too intense for many garden staples. It's nearing the end of summer; first frost hasn't happened quite yet, but it's near. The most vigorous plants are seven or eight feet tall and four feet wide and very full, almost bush like. They are wonderful annuals to have immediately around the house as they absorb a lot of sunlight but don't put roots down as a tree would. My only complaint is that collecting the seeds of this plant is a difficult task. The fried seed heads are sharp and jagged things. You truly need gloves to accomplish the task. It's really just a better bet to buy new seed packets.
Date published: 2016-09-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful flowers that make a statement! I garden professionally and a friend recommended the seeds to me for high impact in places where smaller flowers get lost against the background. These brought great joy to several clients of mine as they made dreary looking sheds look bright and happy all summer long!
Date published: 2016-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy care, butterfly magnet I planted this last year in full sun in New Orleans as late as early June. At first, I thought it was just a weed growing and the seeds didn't germinate (they were old), but I'm really glad I didn't pull it up! This thing made my backyard full of bees and butterflies, especially Monarchs. It definitely got bigger than 36" - it was more like 6 or 7 ft tall and probably 3-4 ft wide by the time it reached it's height. And it kept blooming until something like November. They also aren't picky about soil and are drought tolerant. It also makes a great cut flower - lasts quite a while in a vase. And cutting only promotes more blooms, so it's a win-win. Definitely plant these.
Date published: 2015-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hummingbird and Butterfly Magnet! Beautiful glowing orange color. Hummingbirds guard and fight over this flower. Butterflies love it. Grows to 7 foot high 5 foot wide in my area. Blooms all summer.
Date published: 2015-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Terrific Tithonia Thanks for always having great seeds that turn into magnificent flowers!
Date published: 2014-10-22
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