SUNFLOWER

SUNFLOWER

The plants of the Helianthus genus originated in South America and are now cultivated throughout the world, above all for the production of seeds from which oil is extracted. This genus belongs to the Asteraceae (composite) family. The particularity of Helianthus annuus is that its burr (flower) follows the position of the sun with heliotropic movements. In recent years, a few dwarf varieties have been created with yellow, orange, and red flowers, to be grown in vases for ornamental purposes. These plants, although small, have maintained the particular shape of the sunflower and its long blooming period. Vase sunflowers, with their good resistance to heat, are ideal for use in flower boxes and in the garden, in sunny sites and, if adequately irrigated, even in windy areas. They grow well in all types of soil. They have strong roots that tend to develop in depth; it is therefore advisable to use large boxes or vases for their cultivation. This species tolerates drought, but to obtain green leaves and luxuriant flowers, we suggest watering the plants daily and avoid waterlogging. Feed at least once a month with complex soluble fertilizers dissolved in the irrigation water. This species is quite resistant to disease, but occasionally can be attacked by aphids that infest the underside and the inside of the inflorescences.

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