How to Grow Common Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus)

Views: 15873 | Last Update: 2009-04-30
The common sunflower, or helianthus annuus, is a plant that can get blooms in the late fall. Let sunflower plants do to seed when they die with instructions from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening and plant care. View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment, we're going to talk about how to grow the common sunflower, also known as helianthus annuus. It's a beautiful, just the common sunflower, that you see all over the world. Now, the sunflowers have been around, for as long as man has been around, and the earliest records of sunflowers, were produced by the Incas of Peru, so they called the sunflower the flower of the gods. They believed that the gods had brought them the sunflower, and most sunflower oils come from the common sunflower, so that helianthus annuus, is really important to the human population, and the human civilization, because we've used it since the beginning of time, but they're a great garden flower too, and there's just a few rules when you grow them that you should follow, so it's already November, and this sunflower is totally, it's dying, it's done its time. It was planted late in the summer. That's the great part. You can put the seeds out, as late as even July, and if you live in a milder climate like the northwest, you can get blooms into October and November, and as soon as they die, I just let them die back, and it's starting to freeze too, but I like to let the plant go to seed, but saying that, even as they die back, each one of these little seeds, these are actually seeds. They haven't dried up, they haven't turned black yet, but they're still going to create another plant, so I will let the plant just go to seed, and that's the best thing that you can do, is just to leave it in your garden, and it will drop the seeds for the next year, so they are an annual, in the fact that they'll come back every year from the seeds, and they're hardy. They're hardy to zones four to zone nine, so they can handle a lot of cold, cold temperatures. They can reach up to twelve feet tall too, on certain different varieties, so you have to be careful, and sometimes they need to be staked, or they'll fall over, if there is too much sun hitting them. Sunflowers need full, hot sun all day. They don't like any shade at all, and the best way to start them is by seed in the summer, or in the spring, and then they'll come right up, and they'll bloom quite quickly. They're really an amazing plant, and they'll grow from zones four to nine, so wherever you grow, they'll do really well. If you live in a really windy, windy area, sometimes you have to stake them, or put them to the side of the house, where the wind is a little bit more moderate, because it's being protected by the house, but other than that, they'll grow on their own. They really don't need you, and they're a great garden addition.