Ring of Fire Sunflower
70 days. Erica just adores this sunflower that greets the morning sun. Flowers are 4-5” across, have dark - almost black - centers with a central ring of brick red radiating out to a cheery golden yellow. Plants are 5-6’ tall and produce an abundance of uniform flowers with long stems perfect for cut flowers. Sunflower petals are edible and beautify as a garnish. The seeds of this sunflower are edible but are quite small. Easy to grow from seed, sunflowers feed bees and attract goldfinches, increasing the wildlife in any garden. An All America Selections winner in 2001. NN[[end tab]] [[start tab]]
Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):
Sunflowers are easy to grow from seed outside provided that they are kept moist during germination & seedlings are protected from slugs (use Sluggo). Also, protect plants from groundhogs & deer. Sow seeds outside 6/1-6/30, 6” apart. Thin to 18” for full size plants.
For cut flowers, harvest young (newly opened) flowers with tight centers and place in water, out of the sun immediately.
Seed Saving Instructions (for gardeners):
Sunflowers are an easy seed saving crop although they will cross easily with other sunflower varieties. Minimum population size: 5. Cut seedheads when seeds are mature but before the birds get them all! Place seedheads to dry in a dry location with good air circulation.