Chocolate Cherry (Helianthus Annuus) - Sunflower "Chocolate Cherry" flowers produces blooms from 5 - 10 inches in diameter.
Pollen-free flowers in reddish brown colors, with dark centers are attracting butterflies and birds.
Sunflowers make an excellent cut flower for bouquets and floral arrangements as well. Grow Sunflowers along borders and fences, or in flower beds as a background plant.
SUNFLOWER PLANTING GUIDE:
Sow seeds after the last frost directly into the garden as sunflowers do not like to be transplanted.
To help germination soak seeds overnight, but the first thing in the morning is to sow them.
Sow seeds in full sun into a well-worked soil 1/2 inch deep and 4 to 5 inches apart. Sunflowers need 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.
Press soil firmly over seeds and keep moist until germination occurs in 8 to 10 days.
Most sunflowers germinate when soil has reached 70 to 85 degrees F.
STARTING EARLY INDOORS
Start seeds several weeks before the last frost date.
Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep in individual pots in a well-drained starting mix. The narrow end of the seed is where roots will emerge, so putting this end down saves the plant from having to right itself in the ground.
Keep seeds moist and provide a strong light source until ready to plant outside only when night temperatures have reached 50-55°F (10-13°C).
Transplant seedlings carefully into the garden in full sun, without disturbing the roots or as little as possible, at 12 inches apart, so plants will have plentiful room to grow.
Sow in succession every 1-2 weeks or plant several varieties with various days of maturation for a continuous harvest.
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