Sunflower Seeds - Mexican Sunflower
(Tithonia rotundifolia) Annual. 85 days to maturity.
Not a true sunflower but just as nice! Native to Central America, Mexican Sunflower is a vigorous plant, bearing 3 inch deep orange flowers in mid-Summer and continuing on until the first hard frost. Very attractive to beneficial insects and lovely in a bouquet!
Growth Habit: Vigorous and full 6 foot high plants produce many bright 3” flowers
Sun Requirements: Full sun
Soil Preference: Well drained soil
When to Plant: Direct seed after last frost OR start indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date. *If direct seeding, watch for slugs. They LOVE sunflower sprouts.
How to Plant:
Direct sow: sow seeds on soil surface and cover lightly, as Mexican Sunflower seeds need light to germinate; plant in clumps or rows, spacing plants 1-2 feet apart; 14-19 days to germination.
Transplant: sow seeds indoors in flats, on soil surface under bright lights; after the last frost, transplant seedlings outdoors; plant in clumps or rows, spacing plants 1-2 feet apart.
When to Harvest: Flowers arrive in late Summer and are ready to harvest when they are nearly fully open.
How to Harvest: Cut flowers and deadhead regularly for longer blooms.
Uses: Mexican Sunflowers make lovely fresh cut flowers; in the garden, plants provide nectar and habitat to pollinators, including bees and hummingbirds.