25 August 2009

Bashful Sunflowers

It's time to report on this year's trial of dwarf sunflowers. Late in the spring, the rushing around left no time to order the dwarf sunflower seeds online, so a packet of Burpee's Sunflower Incredible (Helianthus annuus ) was picked up at the local Target.

This year, the results were not pleasing. Although the flowers were consistent and attractive, all the flower heads faced east, probably since the sun came up there, but never turned in other directions. This meant the flower heads were never visible from the street in the display garden. Not much to display here.

Second, the heights were all over the place, with some being 18-inches high (50 cm), and a plant immediately next to it 4-feet (1.2 m). Third and most disappointing, the flower heads do not stand up straight very long. After only a few days, they began to droop and in less than a week, all faced the ground like unhappy bashful children. Now, no one can enjoy them.

These would not be recommended in the future. In fact, this variety is not listed on Burpee's web site, although it was sold in stores. A listing of the dwarf sunflowers I have grown, in my preferential order:

    1. Sunny Smile - best for appearance
    2. Sunburst Lemon Aura
    3. Sunpspot - best for bird seed
    4. Incredible

For The Record:
  • Loose, well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Small amount of organic fertilizer before budding

Garden Calendar:
  • Blooming: nicotiana, cosmos, canna, castor, basil, cleome, zinnia, spiderwort
  • Harvested: 4 peppers, countless tomatoes, 1 cucumber


Sunita said...
I'm just not lucky with sunflowers. Not because they dont grow well but because of the flying bandits... a big flock of parrots who peck them apart before I start enjoying the flowers :(
Swimray said...
One year, I had squirrel bandits. They pretty much trashed my sunflowers trying to get at their seeds.
Ilona said...
love sunflowers and appreciate your variety review.