Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Ernst Benary® Inc.
HELIANTHUS annuus 'Soraya'
The vigorous sunflower, ‘Soraya’, was selected as an All-America Selections winner in 2000. This taller, Ernst Benary introduction has uniform blooms with golden orange petals and dark brown centers. The flowers are borne atop well-branched, upright plants with a strong central stem and have a vase-life of eight to 10 days. Each plant can produce as many as 25 sunflowers!
The sunflower is one of the most cheerful and distinctive garden flowers. Its big bold daisies track the sun, hence the common name. This warm season annual is uncommonly easy to grow and economically important for the production of sunflower seeds, for human consumption, cooking oil and birdseed, as well as cutflowers for the florist’s industry. It is a New World native that exists throughout the whole of North America down to Central America. Natural populations can vary widely in height but most are tall, upright with multiple side branches that extend from a sturdy central stem.
Sunflower leaves are very distinctive. They are large, medium green and heart-shaped with a rough and slightly hairy surface. Sunflowers grow and bloom when temperatures are warm and summery. Mature plants produce huge daisies with a broad “eye” of disc flowers surrounded by lots of ray petals. Bloom color is typically golden yellow but lemon yellow, bronze, burgundy, red, orange and white cultivars are also available. The fresh flowers draw lots of insect pollinators, including bees and butterflies. It is essential to keep the spent flowers up because the seeds within the drying heads are beloved by birds and mammals.
Grow sunflowers in full sun and average soil with good drainage. It is best to directly sow the seeds in the ground in the late spring. Tall plants with few side branches may require staking—sunflowers often fall when subjected to high winds and heavy rain. After flowering and setting seed, sunflower plants die, so they are not long-lived. If you desire continuous sunflowers, plant seeds every two weeks in succession until midsummer. These outstanding annuals make superb additions to cutting garden or vegetable plots. Children also love them because they are fun to plant and grow. Sunflower heads can also be cut with their seeds intact, dried indoors and brought outside to feed wildlife in winter.
Sunflowers emit a substance from their roots and germinating seeds that inhibits the germination of other seeds around them.
12 - 1
A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
5'-6' / 1.5m - 1.8m
2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m
Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall, Indeterminate
North America, Mexico, Central America
Clay, Loam, Sand
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Orange, Gold, Brown, Chocolate
Chocolate, Ivory, Black
Cutflower, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border, Wildflower
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