Sunflowers – Giant Yellow Single
Sunflowers – Giant Yellow Single are tall branching plants with large flower heads of soft yellow with dark centres.
Sowing: In Spring sow one seed per pot and plant out 4 weeks later.
Approx. seed count: 35sds
An annual plant, sunflowers have large, daisylike flower faces of bright yellow petals (and occasionally red) and brown centres that ripen into heavy heads filled with seeds. Some sunflowers grow to over 16 feet in height and are easy to grow as long as the soil is not waterlogged. They make excellent cut flowers and many are attractive to bees and birds.
Giant Yellow Single sunflower seeds should be sown in early spring into their final flowering position. Choose a sunny site with good drainage. Sow at least two seeds in each position and weed out the weaker seedlings leaving only the strongest to grow on.
The plants should be thinned out to about 30 to 45 cm apart from each other. All varieties of sunflower require staking with robust canes to prevent wind damage.
Deadheading will prolong the flowering season and will prevent self-seeding.
Interesting facts about sunflowers:
– Sunflowers didn’t originate in Europe they were cultivated in North America, when they were developed for oil, food, medicine and dye. Then, they were exported to the rest of the world by Spanish conquistadors around 1500.
-Peter the Great was so fascinated by the sunny flowers he saw in the Netherlands that he took some back to Russia. They became popular when people discovered that sunflower seed oil was not banned during Lent, unlike the other oils the Russian Orthodox Church banned its patrons from consuming. By the 19th century, the country was planting 2 million acres of sunflowers every year.
– The flowers not only look like the sun, they need a lot of it. They grow best with about 6-8 hours a day. Flowers planted too close together will compete and not blossom to their full potential.
-Sunflowers display a behavior called heliotropism. The flower buds and young blossoms will face east in the morning and follow the sun as the earth moves during the day. However, as the flowers get heavier during seed production, the stems will stiffen and the mature flower heads will generally remain facing east.
-Each sunflower’s head is made of smaller flowers. The petals we see around the outside are called ray florets, and they cannot reproduce. But the disc florets in the middle, where the seeds develop, have both male and female sex organs, and each produce a seed. They can self-pollinate or take pollen blown by the wind or transported by insects.