American Giant Sunflower
Helianthus annuus. Look no further for the best huge variety to win sunflower competitions, growing to 16’. This hybrid single stalk beauty supports enormous leaves and is topped with 10” golden yellow flower that bees just can't resist. Grow this giant for a stunning display along the back of any flower garden.
Sunflowers captivate many different types of beneficial insects, especially bees and monarch butterflies. Plant in full sun for best impact. Matures in 70 days. Approx. 20 seeds/pkg.
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Direct seed outdoors after all danger of frost is past. (Dwarf varieties can be seeded inside in peat pots 3 weeks before planting out.) Sow 1 inch deep in light, well-drained soil. Keep moist until seed germinates in 10-14 days. Space in a full sun location 6-24 inches apart depending on variety. Giant varieties should be planted 20-24 inches apart, while cut flower varieties should be spaced 6-10 inches apart to get smaller heads and slender stems for bouquets.
Water regularly but do not over fertilize. Cut flowers last 10-14 days. Drying sunflower heads: If drying outside they should be protected with plastic mesh or brown paper bags. Just cover the heads to keep the birds away. To harvest, cut the seed heads leaving 12 inches of stem attached. Hang in an airy place safe from birds and rodents. Heads should be dry in 2-3 weeks. Remove seeds by rubbing two heads together. You may store the seeds on the heads until you need them.