Each Spring I start growing sunflowers from the previous year’s seeds. From there I grow the sprouts in paper coffee cups until they develop a few leaves and are ready to plant. This year I planted (or gave small plants to other people to be planted) 55 sunflowers. And by now, they are all big plants and have nice blooms. I’ve grown 4 varieties of sunflower this year as shown in the photos. All 4 varieties are multi-headed or “branching” sunflowers. The most common and the type I grew the most of is what I’m calling the “American sunflower” because it is the most like what we see around here (see above).
I also grew quite a few of the Mexican sunflower, which is one of my favorites. It’s blooms are not as big as the more common sunflower, but they are mighty! They also tend to produce a ton of blooms. I like this plant so much I don’t know why there aren’t more of them out there running around!
Another lesser known plant that I grew a lot of this year is the Italian sunflower. It is also a little different but distinctive and will produce a lot of blooms. It has a different color and leaf shape from the typical customers.
And last but not least, I grew and planted a handful of what I call the “red” sunflowers. I had a bit of a mix-up with my seed packets but I believe they are the variety called “Moulin Rouge”. These are fun to watch bloom because they start off very dark, almost black. As they mature they turn a rich velvety red color.