A tall, cheerful flower, this annual (grows just one year) offers a fun way to fill the back of a border or add instant color to any landscape. Mexican sunflower produces bright dahlialike flowers in orange, yellow and brilliant red. It also makes a good cut flower.
- Bypass Pruners
- Compost Makers
- Garden Hoses
- Garden Spades
- Garden Stakes
Choose a site with average to poor, well-drained soil in full sun.
Plant seeds directly in soil after your region's last average frost date. Or start seeds indoors six to eight weeks earlier.
Thin plants to about 2 feet apart.
Keep soil evenly moist, but don't overwater - this flower likes it a little on the dry side.
Trim faded flowers to promote longer blooming.
Fertilize every 8 to 10 weeks, or work in a slow-release fertilizer (or plenty of compost) at planting time.
Tear out and discard plants in fall, after frost fells them.
Tips & Warnings
- Mexican sunflower reaches heights of 2 to 5 feet.
- You may need to stake plants, especially taller varieties or those in windy areas.
- Don't overfertilize Mexican sunflower, or it will become floppy, with more foliage than blooms.