Who’s the prettiest in the country and a great birdseed supplier? The sunflower, of course. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like the grande dame of the garden.
Including myself. Because it has charm, inner greatness and inspires small and large gardeners to compete. I am of course writing about the well-known tall annual common sunflower (Helianthus annuus), the seeds of which I sow along the fence every May. Because I can tie them up there and I’m happy when walkers in the allotment garden are amazed at their giant blossoms. To their surprise, I cover some flowers with an air-permeable fleece before the seeds ripen. But this is the only way that all seeds can mature in peace without a bird’s visit.
Once they are ripe, I cut off the flowers and put them in a bowl. So I enjoy the delicious jewelry and the flock of birds too.
Which sunflower would you like?
The ornamental varieties of Helianthus annuus all come from the wild species that Spanish conquerors brought to Europe from South America around 1550. There are minis that are only half a meter to one meter tall and taller varieties such as ‘Tall Giant’, ‘Yellow Discus’ and ‘King Kong’ that can reach heights of two to five meters in a sprint. The ‘Snack’ variety is also one of the giants. It guarantees many delicious kernels!
When choosing, I noticed that the trade is promoting more and more pollen-free sunflowers. At a time when bees have become the number one favorite of marketing departments and advertising agencies, the meaning did not open up to me. But suddenly a thought popped up: It’s about the sticky pollen of the cut flowers on tablecloths and delicate wooden furniture! Sometimes in life you just have to make a decision … I’m all about insects. First attract with yellow petals and then there is: Nothing! Doesn’t work at all.
These are my favorite sunflowers, just plant the seeds in the spring and you will soon be able to enjoy great, large sunflowers!
Why are you looking like that?
Anyone who has ever seen a field of sunflowers will have noticed that all the blossoms look in the same direction. Young sunflowers look after the sun. When turning, they benefit from the additional sunlight and grow faster. The rotation of the plants results from uneven growth in the stem. One side grows faster during the night, the other during the day. These processes are controlled by their own rhythm and by sunlight. From a certain age, sunflowers always face east. The rising sun heats the flowers quickly and is obviously more attractive to insects, which also act as pollinators.