Sunflowers

Twenty-nine varieties of sunflowers were grown at the Horticulture Research Center (HRC) outside of Fort Collins, Colorado during the 2004 growing season. We direct-seeded the sunflowers at 1′ in-row spacing in a double row on June 1st into beds with 30″ centers, black plastic mulch, and one line of drip tape.

We had a high mouse population at the HRC and the sunflower seeds would have been quickly devoured if left uncovered, so we covered each seed with a paper drinking cup, pushing it into the soil to keep it secure. On June 14th, after the sunflowers had germinated, rather than pulling up the cups which would have disturbed the soil, we slit the top (which was actually the bottom of the cup) and pulled the sides of the cup apart to let the seedling through.

All of the sunflower varieties grown performed well, not surprising for a species native to Colorado. Sunflowers make great fresh cut flowers for either sunflower only bouquets or incorporated with other flowers. They have a long vase life of 1-2 weeks. Sometimes the heads are so heavy that they want to hang down but they can easily be propped up with other flowers. See below for photos and notes for the varieties grown.

Covering sunflower seeds with paper cups
Photo – Plant
Photo – Close-up
Variety
Notes
Autumn Beauty
Photo Not Available
Photo credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Double Quick Orange
Photo Not Available
   Photo credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Giant Sungold
Photo Not Available
Photo credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Holiday
Photo Not Available
Photo credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Ikarus
Photo Not Available
The Joker
Earliest blooming sunflower, began July 27th
Photo Not Available
Photo credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Lyng’s California Greystripe
Photo Not Available
Photo credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Moonbright
pollenless
Moulin Rouge
deep red color, a grower’s favorite
Photo Not Available
Pro Cut Bicolor
single stem
Pro Cut Lemon
single stem
Pro Cut Orange
single stem
Photo Not Available
Photo credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Ring of Fire
2001 AAS Winner
Photo Not Available
Sonja
Photo Not Available
Photo credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Soraya
AAS Winner
Photo Not Available
Starburst Lemon Aura
Not very good for fresh cuts, stems were too short.
Photo Not Available
Photo credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Sunbeam
pollenless
Photo Not Available
Photo credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Sunbright
pollenless
Photo Not Available
Photo credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Sunbright Supreme
pollenless
Sundance Kid
Dwarf variety
Photo Not Available
Photo credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Sunny
Sunrich Gold
Sunrich Lemon
Sunrich Orange
Photo Not Available
    Photo credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Teddy Bear
Dwarf variety
Photo Not Available
Photo credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Tohoku Yae
Valentine
Photo Not Available
Photo credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Velvet Queen
Photo Not Available
Photo credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Zebulon
Dwarf variety
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