Autumn Beauty Sunflower Seed Packet
Autumn Beauty Sunflower
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
50 seeds per packet
days to maturity: 70 days
plant spacing: 1-2 per square foot
sunlight requirements: 8-14 hours
look out for: leaf miners, plants falling over
harvest notes: harvest as cut flower with 12” stem
Sunflowers add a really cheerful element to a garden and they attract many beneficial insects including bees and butterflies. They are very easy to grow in South Florida because they love hot weather and sandy soil. In order to get a strong straight stem on your sunflowers you’ll need full sun exposure and regular watering. They are heavy feeders so make sure to fertilize and use compost when possible. There are two types of sunflowers, single stem and branching. The single stem sunflowers produce one single bloom and the branching types produce multiple blooms over the period of about 2 weeks. Branching types should be pinched so that all of the blooms are of equal size and stem length. If you don’t pinch them they will still make multiple blooms, but they’ll have one big blooms and a bunch of smaller blooms underneath. We typically choose branching types for our gardens because they make so much more beauty but single stems are fun too because they are so tall and “Dr. Seussy”.
To direct seed sunflowers just plant a seed in the garden and keep it moist during germination and early growth. You can choose to over-plant an area and thin to 1 plants per square foot before any true leaves form, which means you can eat the thinned plants as “sunflower shoots”. You can also eat sunflower buds like artichokes, but you have to get them at exactly the right stage of growth before they form any petals or begin to open at all.