How to Grow Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia Rotundifolia)

Views: 14191 | Last Update: 2009-02-04
Mexican sunflowers, or tithonia rotundifolia, are plants that like warm and tropical climates that are very dry. Provide Mexican sunflowers with good drainage with help from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening tips. View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment we're going to learn all about the Mexican Sunflower, also known as Tithonia. It's a beautiful sunflower, from Central America and the West Indies. Tithonias are found from Mexico into Central America all the way out to all of the West Indies, and that includes Haiti and all of the islands of the Dominican Republic and Barbados; all of these areas, so they like warm tropical climates that are dry. They don't really like real wet climates, so like other sunflowers they like full hot sun with good drainage. Now, Tithonia Rotundifolia is a bulky annual that can grow up to five feet tall, and be almost three feet wide, and the leaves are heart shaped just like a sunflower, but they come in great hot colors, like oranges, and reds, and scarlets. And they're really, really beautiful, and they're hardy in zones eight to eleven. So, Tithonia is actually named after the dawn goddess Aurora's mythical boyfriend Tithonis, and so I love the names that people come up with for different plants, and especially when they have mythical history. Tithonia need full hot sun, and they need lots of drought conditions in between watering them, so they don't want to be wet all the time; just like a sunflower. So, start em' from seed in the spring, let em' bloom all summer long, collect the seeds in the fall, and then start em' again the next year. And if you live in a warmer climate; zone eight or warmer, you can leave em' outside and they'll bloom from year to year. They're a great, great sunflower for your garden.