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Item # Packet size Nett Weight Number Seeds(approx) Price Qty
Small 0.25 g 100 seeds $2.00
Medium 0.50 g 200 seeds $3.50
Large 1.25 g 500 seeds $6.00

Please note: all seeds are sold by weight and seed count is approximate.

To keep seed prices low much of our seed is semi cleaned. More Info

 

This tall native American perennial is ideal for sunny areas that have little other use. Hardy to zone 4 needs full sun but its not fussy about soil type although it does need to be well drained. Fairly drought tolerant and needs very little maintenance once established. Cut down stalks in early winter or spring is all that is needed. Will form dense colonies of tall stems that produce lovely bright yellow daisy flowers in late autumn when most other plants have stopped flowering. It gives color when little else is flowering and much needed energy for pollinators preparing for winter. Wildlife don't eat it but butterflies love the flowers and Finches and other birds adore the seeds. In some areas roots may be eaten by voles.

Description of Perennial Sunflowers (Helianthus maximiliani).

Perennial sunflowers die back in winter. In spring it produces a rosette of long narrow lance shaped leaves up to 10 inches long. By late spring it begins to send up long slender stems that can grow up to ten feet in height. Each stem is covered in long slender leaves that are alternate up the stem. In early to mid fall it produces numerous yellow flower heads at the end of the stalk. Flowers will appear anywhere from August through November depending on your zone. Here in zone 6 our plants will flower until late October possibly early November depending on the weather. These daisy like flowers can be up to five inches across with bright yellow petals that are deeply veined.
Flowers are very popular with wildlife, butterflies love the flowers and birds adore the seeds.

Growing Perennial Sunflowers (Helianthus maximiliani) from seed.
Seeds need to be refrigerated over the winter before they will germinate well. All our seeds are refrigerated. Germination is quick and easy. If sowing directly in the ground seed sparsely as the plants will grow quite large. If planting directly try to remove as many weeds as possible for until well established perennial sunflowers are not good at beating out the weeds.
If starting indoors use small individual pots are seeds are slightly larger and will grow quickly. See our General Growing Instructions for detailed info on seed growing.

Location and Care of Perennial Sunflowers (Helianthus maximiliani).
Needs full sun for best results. Will grow on most soil types but does best in a slightly sandy soil. Once established it needs little water unless there is a prolonged drought. It may then go into dormancy and wait until the following year to flower. Does best with little fertilizer, if given too much it will rapidly produce lush growth but weaker stems which then tend to flop over. A small amount or just a mulching of the plants in winter or early spring is usually sufficient. Leaf litter that has been chopped up so it decomposes more quickly is perfect and provides a use for something that needed cleanup up anyway.
Stems will also flop if planted in a shady location. The best places are in full sun where they are mostly exposed to winds rather than a sheltered location as this will encourage strong tall stems. It can then be used as a summer screen or hedge and provide shelter from prevailing winds.

Strong stems also produce tighter more compact colonies of these sunflowers. The plants will drop some seeds and on erect stems these will fall close to the plant creating a slowing increasing tight colony. IF the stems have flopped over the seeds will be dropped further from the original plants forming a more loose and widely space colony. These still look impressive but it may allow for weeds to grow between the plants meaning some maintenance may be required. Tight colonies don't need anything but cutting down in the winter or early spring.

Perennial sunflowers will spread slowly from the rhizomes or seeds that fall. Be sure that you have sufficient room for this plant and can allow for it to spread before you plant it. To keep the plant under control dig up rhizomes on the edges of the colony. The good thing about this is since they are edible you don't have to waste them! They are very similar to Jerusalem artichoke and were used extensively by native Americans.

Rhizomes can be replanted in another area to propagate the plant but this needs to be done very soon after they have been dug up. They don't like to be out of the ground for long.

Finches love the seeds, and will often festoon the plants in late autumn early winter to feast on them. If you want to collect your own seeds you may need to bag the heads to prevent the birds getting there before you.

Dividing the plant and growing from rhizomes is a good method of propagation. However plants need to be replanted very soon after digging and well watered in since they don't like being moved. Water frequently after transplanting until plant recovers.

Culinary uses of Perennial Sunflowers (Helianthus maximiliani).
The thick tubers can be washed and prepared in the same way as Jerusalem artichoke. They have a similar taste but are not as high yielding. However they do have much showier flowers so being able to eat the roots should be considered a bonus not the main reason to grow them.