An ideal plant to grow in a large clump at the foot of large trees or near the edge of a pool!!!
Flowers Late summer to early autumn
Height 150-180cm (60-72in)
Spacing 45-60cm (18-24in)
Position Full Sun preferred
Germination 5 to 21 days
Sow indoors in Feb-April, outdoors in May
Starting in pots:
For early flowers, start indoors as early as February or March, to germinate in about 10 days at 60 - 65°F. Plant out in April or May.
Use 7.5cm (3in) pots and a good sowing compost. Sow one seed 2.5mm (1in) deep per pot. Water and either cover with polythene or bubble plastic to retain the heat, or place pots on a heated bench or in a propagator with the temperature set at 13°C (55°F).
Remove the covers when the leaves appear. Plant seedlings outside when they are large enough to be handled and the root system is well developed. Add garden compost to the soil if it is heavy or infertile.
Plant outside as early as possible to miss heavy frosts, to germinate in about 1 - 3 weeks. Sow seed 5cm (2in) deep and spaced 45cm (18in) apart in borders. Water seedlings regularly and, when growing tall forms, feed sparingly with a liquid fertilizer when 60cm (2ft) high. Avoid splashing water or fertilizer solution on the stems.
For continuity of blooms, sow a succession of sunflowers every 2 weeks for six weeks in the early part of the growing season. In a hot summer, each cycle from sowing to blooming will take about 60 days.
Pick flowers early in the day, but wait until the sun has dried the dew. Remove leaves that are low on the stem, leaving just two or three higher up, near the flower's face. Place the flowers in a bucket filled with water, and leave them to stand for several hours in a cool room before placing in a vase. Change the water every few days. Blooms can last up to 2 weeks when kept in water