Décor Sunflowers are Prime

SD-Miss Sunshine-00Our décor sunflowers are looking prime right now. We often talk about sunflowers this time of year—their popularity never seems to wane. These versatile plants bring plenty of cheery color to summer gardens and keep the interest going all the way into fall. We’re happy when we get more than one season of interest out of a plant, and happier still when the color is appropriate to both seasons.

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A favorite variety this year is ‘Miss Sunshine’. Landscapers and retail centers are impressed with this dwarf—it has classic yellow flowers with brown eyes and provides customers with long-lasting color in a short, compact package. Plenty of 3–4 inch double blooms face up for maximum retail impact. Flowers are held on very strong stems, and the dark green foliage keeps its color throughout the season.

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This variety has an upright, spreading habit, reaching only about 10–16 inches tall and 6–8 inches wide—very short for a sunflower. It’s fairly low-maintenance, but if you take a little time to remove spent flower heads you’ll see more blooms later in the season. ‘Miss Sunshine’ is pollution-tolerant, so it’s suitable for inner city gardens—where it will be an eye-catcher for sure.

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In the landscape, sunflowers are most effective when planted en masse; this dwarf variety is especially nice for smaller sunny spaces and pots. Since it only rises slightly higher than petunias, we like to use it in mixed containers and window boxes or as an accent. Its medium texture and short stature blend well with both fine and coarse selections—try combining it with some nice bright asters and zinnia. At retail, ‘Miss Sunshine’ makes a popular gift item or impulse sale—people love to cut and dry the flowers and, like the birds, they love to munch on the seeds.

In addition to ‘Miss Sunshine’ we have several other popular décor sunflowers that are currently shipping:

SD-Sunny Smile

‘Sunny Smile’: This dwarf sports big, classic sunflower blooms: large-coned flowers have bright yellow petals and measure about 5 inches across. It grows about a foot high and is a reliable heavy bloomer.


‘Ballad’: Considered a dwarf, it grows slightly taller to about 24 inches high. Bright golden yellow flowers have dark bronze centers.This variety is extremely mildew-resistant and pollen-free, making it a popular choice as a gift.

SD-Pacino Lemon

‘Pacino Lemon’: A dwarf, its flowers are soft lemon yellow with golden eyes. This lighter bloom color provides contrast and texture in the garden. Plants will reach about a foot tall.

SD-Solita Choco Sun

‘Solita Choco Sun’: Lots of big, bold yellow flowers with dark eyes bloom on a small plant. This dwarf selection is popular for containers and window boxes. It would dress up the front of a bed nicely.

‘Miss Sunshine’ is available in the 4.5-inch and 8-inch pot. We have ‘Sunny Smile’ in the 4.5-inch pot; ‘Ballad’, ‘Pacino Lemon’, and ‘Solita Choco Sun’ are shipping in the 8-inch pot.