02 September 2010

Late Recommended

Every year, dwarf sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are planted in the front display garden along the walk to the front door. This is one of the sunniest spots on the property, the soil is fine, and sunflowers have always been happy here. And, every year I try out a new dwarf sunflower, evaluating them in this blog. Since they are planted in the same spot with the same conditions, the comparison is 'apples to apples'.

This year's guinea pig is 'Waooh.' I don't know how to pronounce this one - (one syllable, two syllables, accent on the first or second?) First, they were planted late. I was sowing them on the Fourth of July weekend this year, after spending weeks on other parts of the yard. Wouldn't ya know - they are a late bloomer to begin with, so planting them late did not help.

Second, it was a hot summer, and watering was saved for those plants that really cried out for it. The sunflowers did not, so hot dry conditions might have contributed even more to their late blooming.

I am happy to report that this is one variety I can recommend. The plants are compact and erect; and flowers and plants are uniform in size. The one stalk plants are 3-feet tall (1 m), form many side shoots holding 5-8 side flowers, comparable to the main 6-inch bloom (15 cm). This photo represents all seven plants, yet shows over 30 blooms on them.

Sunflowers turn out to have the same history as rudbeckia, listed in the previous post. They are native to North America, were grown by native Americans, exported to Europe by explorers, cultivated in Europe (Russia for their oil), then found their way back to US and Canada.

Previous Dwarf Sunflower Evaluation

For The Record:
  • Average soil
  • Full sun
  • Small amount of organic fertilizer

Garden Calendar:
  • Blooming: pink cosmos, canna, nasturtium, mexican zinnia, red/yellow cosmos, salvia, cleome, zinnia,
    green coneflower, rudbeckia, sunflower
  • Harvested: 1 tomato
  • Pulled out cucumber plants


flwrjane said...
I never have any luck with sunflowers. Maybe I'm too nice to them?

I'll keep these in mind for next summer.

Enjoy the cool weekend we've got coming up.