Sunflowers say “summer” like no other plant. Native to North America, sunflowers are heat-tolerant, resistant to pests, and simply beautiful. You can even harvest their edible seeds. Here’s how to grow them in your garden!
An annual plant, sunflowers have big, daisy-like flower faces of bright yellow petals (and occasionally red) and brown centers that ripen into heavy heads filled with seeds.
Sunflowers are heliotropic, which means that they turn their flowers to follow the movement of the Sun across the sky.
Tall and coarse, the plants have creeping or tuberous roots and large, bristly leaves. Some sunflowers grow to over 16 feet in height, though there are also varieties today that have been developed for small spaces and containers.
Most sunflowers are remarkably tough and easy to grow as long as the soil is not waterlogged. Most are heat- and drought-tolerant. They make excellent cut flowers and many are attractive to bees and birds.
At the end of the season, it’s easy to harvest sunflower seeds for a tasty snack or for replanting.
Learn more about why you should start growing these happy flowers in your garden.