• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Helianthus annuus 'Ms Mars Improved'

sunflower 'Ms Mars Improved'

sunflower 'Ms Mars Improved'

© RHS

  • Other common names sunflower 'Ms Mars Improved'

  • Family Asteraceae

  • Genus Helianthus can be tall, erect annuals, tuberous or rhizomatous perennials, with coarse simple leaves and large daisy-like flower-heads

  • Details

    'Ms Mars Improved' is a compact, branching annual to 60cm tall with purple-flushed, oval to heart-shaped leaves. Flowers up to 15cm across borne from summer into early autumn have very dark centres surrounded by deep pink-red petals the outer tips of which are cream coloured

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H4

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered or Exposed

Soil

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Clay

    Clay

  • Sand

    Sand

  • Loam

    Loam

  • MoistureMoist but well-drained

  • SoilChalk, Clay, Sand, Loam

  • pHAlkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 0.5-1 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 1-2 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in moderately fertile, neutral to alkaline, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Ideal for growing in containers. The flowers attract bees and other insects, and the edible seeds provide food for birds, especially finches

Propagation Propagate by seed sown in-situ or in a pots or modules in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types Cut Flowers Flower borders and beds Cottage & Informal Garden Patio & Container Plants

How to care

Pruning None required

Pests May be affected by slugs and snails

Diseases May be affected by powdery mildews

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