15 of the Best Sunflower Varieties to Grow at Home | Gardener’s Path


Multi-bloom varieties come in many colors and are ideal for flower beds and borders.

There are heirloom favorites and the latest hybrid. Some of the best branching sunflowers can be grown in your garden.

The beauty of autumn.

If you like variety, you might like ‘Autumn Beauty ‘.

A rich assortment of fall-hued blooms, including oranges, reds, and yellows, can be found in this open-pollinated branching variety.

It is a good choice for impatient gardeners since flowering starts just 60 days after sowing. I like the unique colors you get from a single pack of seeds.

There is Autumn Beauty.

A glimpse of the blooms will make you want to grab your sweater and something sweet that is sprinkled with pumpkin spice.

There are various packet sizes of ‘Autumn Beauty ‘ seeds available.

There is chocolate.

I am not going to tell you that the blooms are as good as the ones named after them. The petals and buds can be eaten.

A close up horizontal image of 'Chocolate' sunflowers growing in the garden with a cloudy sky in the background.

As eye candy, chocolate has its own delicious appeal. There are deep-colored blossoms in shades of cocoa brown.

It grows four to five feet tall and each plant produces multiple blooms.

The flowers provide color in the garden after the spring annuals have faded, and before the slower-to-mature sunflowers start blooming in late summer.

There is chocolate.

In the cutting garden, the rich color of these is a wonderful complement to any cream-colored variety, like ‘Italian White ‘, which you will read about in a minute.

There are various packet sizes of chocolate seeds.

A honey bear.

I am not sure what these gorgeous double blooms have to do with bears, but they are honey-colored, so what is in a name ?

The petals look like a sunset at the beach, shooting out pointed rays of gold with rosy highlights near the pale green centers.

The flowers are five to seven inches across and bloom over a long period of time.

You can expect a lot of blooms from a packet of seeds within 60 days after sowing.

Even though they grow to five or six feet tall, there is no requirement for staking.

A golden honey bear.

They are virtually pollenless so you can enjoy them in floral arrangements.

One or two placed in a simple glass vase are so attractive that you wo n’t need to add more greenery, which is appealing to low-key home decorators like me.

The Golden Honey Bear seeds are in 25-seed packets.

Italian white.

A profusion of creamy blooms with dark centers can be found in this hardy branching variety.

I hate to do this to you if you have n’t eaten lunch yet, but I have to tell you that the name and color scheme of these reminds me of Italian cream cake.

The stalks are 48 to 60 inches tall. They take between 90 and 120 days to bloom.

The wait will seem worth it since they will bloom for a month or more.

‘Italian White ‘

To encourage more blossoms, cut the stems often.

The seeds are called ‘Italian White ‘.

dwarf sunflowers are a popular option if you want a manageable size for a flower bed or only grow yours in containers.

A close up horizontal image of small dwarf sunflowers growing in little terra cotta pots on a balcony.

In some cases, they produce large flower heads on stems and stalks that are 12 to 36 inches tall. Other dwarf varieties have small blooms.

Three of the best space-saving cultivars are here.


The flowers are not like the spots on the sun that Galileo and Thomas Harriot first identified more than four centuries ago.

A close up horizontal image of a Helianthus annuus 'Sunspot' growing in the garden pictured in bright sunshine on a soft focus background.

The flower heads on the sturdy stalks are just 18 to 24 inches tall. It draws bees as well.

I would encourage you to grow Sunspot as a low-lying bloom hedge along walkways.

Or, grow it in front of taller plants that have contrasting colors.

Like all of its open-pollinated H. As long as you grow the plants without using chemical sprays, Sunspot sports edible petals.

‘Sunspot ‘

They taste just a bit bitter, like young dandelion greens, and can be sprinkled in tiny shreds atop cakes with creamy icing.

There are two-gram packets of ‘Sunspot ‘ seeds available at Botanical Interests.

There is a Teddy Bear.

Teddy Bear has fuzzy, double-petaled, bright yellow blooms.

A close up horizontal image of a bunch of teddy bear sunflowers growing in the garden pictured on a blue background.

It is also a space saver. The flowers are five to six inches across and grow two to four feet tall.

They take about 75 days from seeding to flowering.

There is a Teddy Bear.

There are packets of Teddy Bear seeds available at Botanical Interests.

This dwarf variety can be grown in your garden.


The big guys only do it on a lower plane.

Plants that top out at 16 inches tall have bright, single-petal blossoms.

It branches out instead of growing on single-stem stalks, which is unusual among popular dwarf varieties.

‘Topolino ‘

The branching trait is nice in a small-size sunflower if you plan to use it to fill in annual beds in the summer, or if you just want a variety that will look healthy and spread to the corners of a container planting.

There are packets of different sizes of ‘Topolino ‘ seeds.

For consuming food.

Birds and humans can eat the seeds from any variety of H. Some home garden cultivars produce a lot of seeds.

A close up horizontal image of a 'Mammoth Grey' sunflower head set in a wicker basket for seed harvest.

Some of these are beloved heirlooms, towering over the rest of the garden, with flower heads over a foot in diameter. Others are recently bred.

These are the ones that will make you want to fight the squirrels for the harvest.

If you want to eat the seeds after the blooms have died, here are three of the best.

There is a grey stripe.

The flower head at the top will be at least 10 inches in diameter, and maybe as wide as 13 inches.

This variety is open pollinated and draws bees and other pollinators.

To grow and enjoy this well-known cultivar, you need to be able to plant it somewhere with plenty of sun and water, and where no one has been spraying pesticides.

You can place the statuesque stalks at least three feet apart with the help of a fence or bamboo stakes.

Do n’t burst any bubbles, but keep in mind that tending these is a long-term prospect. They take a long time from sowing to bloom. If you have early frosts in your area, you do n’t have enough time to plant.

These babies are worth all the resources you use. The blooms can last for more than a month before they start to droop. The plants are deer resistant and each flower can potentially yield more than 100 seeds.

If you put the gray-striped seeds in the feeders next winter, you wo n’t have to share with birds or squirrels.

Mammoth grey stripe.

Store the whole harvest to roast for your friends if you are n’t worried about chickadees and cardinals.

The seeds are available in various packet sizes and in bulk up to five pounds, and also in packets of organic seeds.

There is a giant in the country.

When you were a kid, the sunflowers looked big and tall because you were so small.

A close up horizontal image of a large Helianthus annuus 'Mongolian Giant' isolated on a blue sky background.

It has the same effect on adults. The stalks are 14 feet tall and produce just one flower.

The flower heads are 14 to 18 inches in diameter. That is larger than a dinner plate.

They take about 90 days to bloom. The showy yellow flower heads may last another four to six weeks before dropping their petals, and forming giant seed heads filled with contents coveted by humans and songbirds alike.

TheMongolian Giant is a great project to try with kids if you have the space. The stalks will gain more than an inch per day at the peak of the growing season.

‘Mongolian Giant ‘

I prefer the simpler approach of growing several along a fence to provide a shaded play spot in the summer, because some parents train these to grow as sort of a living tepee.

There are packets of ‘Mongolian Giant ‘ seeds from Botanical Interests.

A snacker.

Not ready to tend gargantuan stalks, but still want to harvest your own seeds at the end of the season ? Snacker might be your solution!

The hybrid is exclusive to Botanical Interests. It takes 60 to 70 days to flower.

The blooms are about six to eight inches in diameter and look a lot like theMongolian Giant flowers.

The ripe seeds are ready about a month to six weeks after the plants bloom.

TheSnacker is a person.

This seed-boasting variety can be used as a cut flower, as well as a food and privacy screen.

There are packets of snacker seeds from Botanical Interests.

Medium-Tall types.

Medium-statured varieties are also an option.

It is not necessary to commit to a 15-foot mammoth sunflowers just to have some height for hedges, borders, or privacy fences. The varieties that grow four to seven feet tall are just the thing.

When you want to plant a full meadow or a long row of single-stem blooms that wo n’t require support, moderately tall sunflowers are a good choice.

Those striking floral arrangements in deep vases look great with tall, but not towering, stalks.

If you do n’t know if you want the mid-height types, check out the following five.

There is a Lemon Queen.

Gardeners get ‘Lemon Queen ‘ and it ‘s just as upbeat as the disco song.

A close up horizontal image of a Helianthus annuus 'Lemon Queen' flower pictured on a soft focus background.

It is easy to grow and appealing to the pollinators. It has blooms with brown centers.

It matures in 100 days. Harvesting some of the bounty earlier is also an option since the buds are usable.

Smaller blooms develop on side shoots of the main bloom of ‘Lemon Queen ‘. It will keep growing until the first frost.

‘Lemon Queen ‘

If you want to have plenty of blooms for your floral arrangements, you should plant them every week or two.

When your area ‘s average first frost date is 12 weeks away, stop sowing more.

Two-gram packets of ‘Lemon Queen ‘ seeds are available from Botanical Interests.

Bicolor is cut by ProCut.

ProCut is a series of pollenless hybrid that is developed for those who want to have material for floral arrangements.

Just 50 to 65 days from seeding, these are also fast. If you live in an area with a short growing season, this is a great option.

The Bicolor variety is ablaze with sunset colors, so the flower heads are striking in borders or planted alongside the mailbox.

They are tall, reaching four to six feet before they bloom, so it is possible they will need support.

The color is called ProCut Bicolor.

Place the stalks in a deep vase so they do n’t droop, and make sure to pick them right before they flower.

500 seed packets of ‘ProCut Bicolor ‘ are available from True Leaf Market.

Taiyo takes 12 to 14 weeks from sowing to bloom, and is one of the most popular heirloom sunflowers.

Each plant produces a single flower head about 10 inches wide.

The petals are dainty and surround striking centers.

The plants grow up to seven feet before they bloom. They have a fair amount of shade, so be careful with what you grow near them.

‘Taiyo ‘

Cut flowers, or just look at it. A field full of them is beautiful.

In variously sized packets and in bulk up to five pounds, ‘Taiyo ‘ is available.

There is a tall Teddy.

There is that word again. One of my favorites among dwarfs is Teddy Bear, and I was happy to discover that it has the same fluffy bloom style that grows six feet tall.

It is an appealing choice for a non-traditional meadow. If you want a privacy screen, grow four or five against a fence panel.

The double blooms are 10 inches across.

There is a tall Teddy.

The side blooms are smaller than the main flower head and sometimes produce multiple flowers.

Twin-packs of 100 seeds from Seed Needs are available on Amazon.

There is a Velvet Queen.

Another splendid, free-branching sunflower has a regal name.

The four- to six-foot ‘Velvet Queen ‘ is a quintessential red cultivar. There are jet black centers and subtle orange highlights on the tips of the flowers.

A close up horizontal image of 'Velvet Queen' sunflowers growing in the garden with bamboo supports, pictured in bright sunshine.

Over the course of the season, this heirloom variety produces a lot. It starts with a few blooms around 55 days after sowing and goes on for months, with the last flowers just before the first frost.

The flowers are usually six inches across, but can grow to eight inches in diameter.

‘Velvet Queen ‘

These plants are popular in borders and in floral arrangements with more traditional yellow-petaled varieties.

The seeds of ‘Velvet Queen ‘ can be found in several packet sizes.

Take a shine to the flowers.

I think you will continue, and that the process will involve lots of fun choices as you go along.

A close up horizontal image of a field of bright sunflowers pictured on a blue sky background.

You can start with a branching variety for a flower bed border and later plant a couple of giants to provide seeds for the local birds.

Maybe you will stick with your original choice for a long time. That is wonderful as well.

As long as you continue to garden, you will discover new combinations and varieties that are worthy of consideration. Hours of enjoyment can be provided by the selection process alone.

I would love to hear from you about your favorite sunflowers and which ones are growing in your garden. If you have questions, post them as well.

We have a wide selection of popular varieties. There is annuus coverage available. Next, check out these guides.

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