Image by John Tann
By Becca Badgett
(Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden)
If you love the look of sunflowers, go ahead and add some Tithonia Mexican sunflower plants to a sunny area in the back of your beds. Planting Mexican sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) provides large, showy blooms. Learning how to grow Mexican sunflower is a simple and rewarding task for the gardener who wishes for color in the late season garden.
How to Grow Mexican Sunflower
Reaching no more than six feet and often remaining at just 3 to 4 feet tall, growing Mexican sunflowers can fill your wish for sunflowers in the garden. Consider planting Mexican sunflower as a colorful addition to the water-wise garden area. Let your kids help with the planting too, as seeds of the Tithonia Mexican sunflower plants are large and easy to handle.
This annual grows best in a full sun location and easily tolerates heat and drought conditions.
Plant seeds of Mexican sunflower plants in the ground in spring, when danger of frost has passed. Sow directly into moist soil, pressing the seeds in and wait for germination, which normally occurs in 4 to 10 days. Don’t cover the seeds, as they need light for germination.
When planting Mexican sunflower from seeds in spring, plant them in areas where color in late summer will be needed after summer perennials have started to fade. Growing Mexican sunflowers can provide additional color in the garden. The red, yellow and orange blooms are profuse when you perform necessary Mexican sunflower care.
Allow plenty of room when planting, about two feet between plants, and the Tithonia Mexican sunflower plants will normally stay within their boundaries.
Mexican Sunflower Care
Mexican sunflower care is minimal. They don’t require much in the way of water, nor do they need fertilizing.
Deadhead fading blooms for a late summer explosion of color. Little other care is needed for this vigorous flower. However, Mexican sunflower care may include removal of some plants if they spread to an unwanted area, but growing Mexican sunflowers are normally not invasive. Spreading of Tithonia Mexican sunflower plants can come from dropping seeds of existing plants, but often the birds take care of the seeds before they can re-seed.
Learning how to grow Mexican sunflower is easy, and the cheerful blooms can also be used as cut flowers indoors and on the patio.