Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
For 2007, a number of new sunflower varireties are being introduced. Some of these are suitable as cut flowers.
Junior Sunflower is a pollenless variety, which boosts its desirability as a cut flower. Junior is named for its petite stems, which are only 2˝ feet tall. With numerous branches, Junior has a profusion of sunny yellow flowers with dark centers. These grow to five inches in diameter. Junior is unique for it is the very first pollenless dwarf branching sunflower. If you run out of room in the cutting garden, you can grow this in a large pot.
Sunflower Premier Lemon
Premier Lemon sunflower is so quick to bloom that it belongs in every cutting garden. The flowers begin opening in about 45 to 50 days. The non-branching plants reach about three feet in height. Floral designers will like the fact that this is a pollenless variety. Premier Lemon has vivid yellow blossoms.
Sunflower Peach Passion
From Johnny’s Selected Seeds comes a pollenless sunflower bred especially for cutting. Peach Passion sunflower can be relied on to produce a large number of gorgeous, long-stemmed flowers. These can reach four inches in diameter. Their centers are golden yellow. The plants grow to four feet tall. This is early to bloom with the flowers beginning to open in about 55 days from planting.
Sunflower Red/Lemon Bicolor
Also from Johnny’s is Red/Lemon Bicolor sunflower. This is part of the Pro Cut series of sunflowers. Blooming in about 50 to 60 days from planting, this is a pollenless variety. With sturdy stems, the plants reach five feet in height. The gorgeous blooms grow to four inches across, and have intriguing dark centers.
Sunflower Sunny Smile
Sunny Smile sunflower is another dwarf pollenless variety. However, the ultimate size of the plants does depend upon its growing conditions. It usually reaches about 1˝ feet in height. Up to three inches across, the blooms have dark centers with golden orange petals. Very quick to bloom, these start opening around 50 to 55 days from planting.
Sunflower Sunrich Orange Summer
This is a great new pollenless variety. The flowers are a rich golden orange with dark brown centers. They appear on sturdy stems. Though the overall size of the plant does depend upon your growing conditions, it
can be three to five feet tall. This variety begins blooming about five to ten days earlier than Sunrich Orange. This series includes some other wonderful colors that deserve mention even if they aren’t new. Among these are Gold with a striking green center as well as Orange and Lemon.