Helianthus annuus 'Ms Mars'
- available to order from summer
- approx 20 seeds
- Position: full sun
- Soil: moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: July to September
- Hardiness: fully hardy
This is just as easy to grow as the more common sunflower, but the reddish brown eye of this one his surrounded by a collar of chunky, reddish pink ‘petals’, which become paler towards their tips. The flowers are a magnet for pollinators, and are ideal for cutting.
- Garden care:Under glass, start them off in late winter by planting the seeds up to 5cm deep in deep pots or root trainers filled with good seed compost. When large enough to handle, plant outside in spring after gradually hardening off. Alternatively, sow directly into a well-prepared seed bed in spring and thin to 30cm as they grow. If sowing outside, temporarily cover the bed with a net to protect the seeds from birds, and keep an eye out for slugs and snails when the seedlings emerge.
- Sow: March-May
- Flowering: June-October
- Approximate quantity: 20 seeds.