Garden: 5 Good Reasons To Plant Sunflowers
Everyone knows sunflowers for their large, bright yellow flowers and for the sunflower oil used in cooking. But have you considered planting sunflowers in your garden? If you've never tried growing them, here are 5 good reasons to do so.
1- They are easy to grow
The first good reason to plant sunflowers in your garden is their easy cultivation.
Even novice gardeners will have no trouble growing this great flower south of the Loire, as the sunflower loves warm climates.
Simply sow the seeds under cover in March-April and transplant the plants outdoors in mid-May.
This plant enjoys full sun and slightly alkaline soil that stays cool. Remember to water it regularly if necessary.
If your garden is windy, also be sure to tutor the taller varieties so that the stems don't bend under the weight of the flowers.
To note: the cultivation of this plant is so simple that it is often used to introduce children to gardening and introduce them to heliotropism.
Indeed, before the flower opens, the plant moves to follow the sun and get maximum sunlight throughout the day. It faces east in the early morning and then gradually pivots to the west until evening.
2- There are many varieties
If I tell you sunflower, you'll probably think of a flower with yellow petals and a black center. But in reality, there are many varieties in the Helianthus annus family.
This plant, native to North America, was introduced to Europe in the 16th century.
Today, there are over 60 varieties, some of which are grown for their seeds and oil, while others are grown as ornamental plants, for their flowers.
Thus, you will easily find in garden centers varieties of varying sizes, with single or double colored flowers.
It should be noted that not all sunflowers are yellow. There are also orange and red ones, as the color palette of sunflowers ranges from light yellow to very dark purple.
3- This plant can be used as a hedge and a privacy screen
If you have a problem with overlooking your garden, you can use sunflowers to create a hedge or a privacy screen.
This plant grows quickly and can be used to quickly form a privacy screen.
Some varieties can grow up to 4 m tall and produce a 40 cm diameter flower. Just stake them well to create an effective plant screen.
Even on a balcony, it is possible to grow sunflowers in pots. Choose a pot with a diameter of 30 to 50 cm depending on the size of the chosen variety.
4- It attracts bees and birds to the garden
If you want to encourage biodiversity in your garden, know that bees love sunflowers because their flowers contain lots of nectar and pollen.
In fact, sunflowers are an interesting melliferous plant because they continue to bloom in the fall, at a time of year when bees have trouble finding flowering plants.
Sunflower seeds are the delight of birds, especially chickadees that will protect your garden from caterpillars. To attract birds to the garden all you need to do is leave the flowers full of seeds in place.
5- All varieties are edible
Although some varieties of sunflower are grown more for ornamental purposes, it should be noted that all varieties of this plant are edible.
The sunflower is actually a close relative of the Jerusalem artichoke or Helianthus tuberosus.
The varieties grown to produce sunflower oil simply yield larger seeds in greater quantities.
The seeds are eaten plain or roasted. It is also possible to sprout them as the young shoots are edible and enhance salads.
It is even possible to eat sunflower petals in salads and use them as a natural food coloring. Try incorporating them into your preparations and infusions and you will see that they give a beautiful golden color to your recipes!