The sunflower is the largest known family of flowering plants. “If all the known species of flowering plants on Earth were lined up randomly, a quarter of them would belong to the sunflower, orchid or legume family,” according to Wayne Armstrong of Palomar College. Sunflower varieties include annuals that bloom once a year and perennials that return to bloom every year. Sunflowers bloom during the warm summer months of July through September. The variation in blooming times is indicated on the seed packets for specific varieties.
Asteraceae ‘Pacino’, ‘Sunspot’, ‘Del Sol’, ‘Dwarf Yellow Spray’ and ‘Double Dandy’ are sunflower varieties that bloom in the early summer months. In warmer western growing areas, this is mid-June and in cooler areas, July. Sunflowers grow in a wide variety of soils, ranging from clay to sand. Seeds germinate at temperatures as low as 3.89 degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit), but temperatures of 7.78 to 10 degrees Celsius (46 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit) are optimal. They grow and thrive as young plants when temperatures are 21 and 25.5 degrees Celsius (70 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit), but they tolerate a range of 17.8 to 37.8 degrees Celsius (64 and 91 degrees Fahrenheit). Seeds are planted in the spring, covered with 2.5 cm (1 inch) of soil and germinate in 5 to 10 days. If you are a true fan of sunflowers, you can always get one of our sunflower necklaces available on our shop only !
Most commercially available sunflower seeds and plants bloom in mid-summer. The orange-red flowers of ‘Claret’, dark red ‘Moulin Rouge’ and gold ‘Sunny’ reach a height of 1.5 m (5 feet). August-blooming ‘Ring of Fire’ and ‘Lemonade’ reach 4 feet (1.2 m) in height and have light and dark yellow petals. The dwarf double-petaled gold ‘Teddy Bear’ is a 2-foot-tall plant that blooms mid-season. Sunflower plants need 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water per week through rain or irrigation. As the flowers begin to develop and open, they turn toward the sun during the day. When their stems become woody, they stop turning. Their large disc flowers are made up of hundreds of tiny flowers clustered together. After pollination, each tiny flower produces a sunflower seed that looks like one of our sunflower rings, get them now !
Sunflowers that bloom in late summer and early fall include cultivars such as the gold double ‘Titanic’, the light yellow ‘Valentine’, the bright gold double ‘Giant Sungold’ and the dark red ‘Chianti’. Valentine has a long blooming period, with flowers that last until frost. Titanic is often the last sunflower in the garden to bloom. Good soil drainage is important for sunflower growth, and soil enriched with organic compost creates optimal growing conditions. They require medium to high levels of the 13 nutrients that all plants need to thrive. Our sunflower bracelets will always remind you of this stunning flower !
Sunflowers and Bees
Sunflowers attract “specialized bees,” according to entomologists at the University of California, Berkeley. Specialized bees look for pollen on only one plant species, such as sunflowers. They emerge from their nests just as the sunflowers begin to bloom. Generalist bees visit and pollinate many species of plants and flowers. The sunflower bee (Diadasia enavata) is attracted to the large amount of pollen created by sunflowers, which they carry from one plant to another. Generalist and specialist bees are responsible for pollinating one-third of all plant species. Our sunflower earrings are on sale right now, get a pair now before they go out of stock !