© RHS / Nicola Stocken

Introducing...

Helianthus

Common name: Sunflowers

Sunflowers (Helianthus), with their large, daisy-like flowers, are easy and fun to grow. They are great for wildlife, with plentiful pollen and nectar for bees and nutritious seeds for birds. They come in all sizes, from towering giants to knee-high dwarfs, with flowers in various colours, ideal for sunny summer borders or even containers.

Looks

Sunflowers are typically tall, with big daisy-like yellow flowers. But there are many other choices too, reaching various heights, with a single stout stem, branching stems or even forming large clumps. The flowers also come in all sizes and an array of sunny or fiery hues.

Likes

They love full sun and will grow in any soil as long as it’s well drained. Adding garden compost to the soil before planting will boost their growth. A sheltered spot and a cane support will help taller types to stay upright.

Dislikes

They don’t grow well in wet or poorly drained soils. They dislike shade, and in windy locations the tall stems may topple.

Did you know?

Most people only grow short-lived annual sunflowers, which die off in autumn. But there are perennial types too that will come up year after year, so why not give them a try?

Growing guide

Helianthus we recommend

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