Multi-headed sunflowers, also known as branching sunflowers, are a unique and beautiful addition to any garden or landscape. These sunflowers produce multiple blooms on a single stem, creating a stunning display of colour and texture.
In this guide, we will explore how to grow and care for multi-headed sunflowers, including choosing and preparing the site, planting and caring for the plants, and harvesting and storing the flowers. Additionally, we will discuss the different varieties of multi-headed sunflower seeds available and which ones are known to produce multiple flowers.
By following these tips, you can grow a beautiful and impressive display of multi-headed sunflowers in your own garden.
Multi-Headed Sunflower Seeds
There are many different varieties of multi-headed sunflower seeds available, each with its own unique features and characteristics. Some varieties are known for producing multiple flowers on a single stem, while others produce smaller, more compact blooms.
Popular Multi-Headed Sunflower Varieties
Some popular multi-headed sunflower varieties include ‘Italian White’, ‘Moulin Rouge’, and ‘Autumn Beauty’. These varieties are known for their stunning colours, multiple blooms, and hardy nature.
To ensure the best results when growing multi-headed sunflowers, purchase high-quality seeds from reputable sources. Look for seeds that are labelled for your specific growing region and intended use, and avoid purchasing seeds that are damaged, expired, or of unknown origin.
Choosing and Preparing the Planting Site
Selecting a Suitable Location for Growing Multi-Headed Sunflowers
When choosing a location for your multi-headed sunflowers, look for a spot that receives full sun for most of the day. These flowers prefer warm weather, so avoid planting them in areas that are too shaded or too cool.
Also, consider the height of the plants when mature and plant them in an area with enough space to accommodate their size.
Preparing the Soil and Ensuring Proper Drainage
Multi-headed sunflowers grow best in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Prepare the soil by adding compost, aged manure, or other organic matter before planting. Additionally, make sure that the soil is well-draining to avoid waterlogging and root rot.
Ensuring Adequate Sunlight and Water
Multi-headed sunflowers need plenty of sunlight and water to grow and thrive. Make sure the plants receive at least 6-8 hours of sunlight each day, and water them deeply and consistently to keep the soil moist.
Planting Multi-Headed Sunflowers
Choosing the Right Time to Plant
Multi-headed sunflowers can be planted in the spring after the last frost but ultimately, the ideal planting time will depend on your specific growing region and climate.
Planting Seeds or Seedlings
Multi-headed sunflowers can be planted from seeds or seedlings. When planting from seeds, give them a short soaking and then sow them directly into the prepared soil at a depth of about 1 inch. When planting from seedlings, make sure to plant them at the same depth as they were in their container.
Proper Spacing and Depth for Planting
When planting multi-headed sunflowers, make sure to space them at least 2-3 feet apart to allow for proper air circulation and to avoid overcrowding. Additionally, plant them at a depth of about 1 inch for optimal germination.
Caring for Multi-Headed Sunflowers
Watering and Fertilising the Plants
Multi-headed sunflowers require consistent watering to keep the soil moist and help the plants grow strong and healthy. Water the plants deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather conditions. Additionally, fertilise the plants with a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
Supporting the Plants with Stakes or Trellises
Multi-headed sunflowers can grow quite tall and may need support to prevent them from bending or breaking. Use stakes or trellises to provide support to the plants and tie them gently to the support structure to keep them upright.
Monitoring for Pests and Diseases
Multi-headed sunflowers are generally resistant to pests and diseases, but it’s still important to monitor the plants regularly for signs of infestation or infection. If you notice any issues, treat them promptly to prevent further damage to the plants.
Harvesting and Storing Multi-Headed Sunflowers
Choosing the Right Time to Harvest
Multi-headed sunflowers can be harvested once the flowers have fully opened and the back of the flower head has turned yellow or brown. Cut the stem about 6-12 inches below the flower head and remove any leaves or debris from the stem.
Cutting and Storing the Flowers
To store multi-headed sunflowers, place them in a vase or container with fresh water and change the water daily. Keep the flowers out of direct sunlight and away from any heat sources to prevent them from wilting too quickly.
Saving Seeds for Future Planting
To save seeds for future planting, allow the flowers to fully mature and dry out on the stem. Once the flowers have dried out, remove the seeds from the flower head and store them in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to plant them.
Growing and caring for multi-headed sunflowers can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. By following these tips for choosing and preparing the site, planting, and caring for the plants, and harvesting and storing the flowers, you can enjoy a stunning display of multi-headed sunflowers in your own garden or landscape.
Garden Doctor Tips
“Plant multi-headed sunflowers in the spring after the last frost!”
“Use high-quality seeds of popular varieties known for producing multiple flowers!”
“Harvest the flowers once they have fully opened and the back of the flower head has turned yellow or brown!”
“Save seeds for future planting by allowing the flowers to fully mature and dry out on the stem before removing and storing them!”
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of sunflower has multiple heads?
The sunflower variety that has multiple heads is known as multi-headed or branching sunflowers. Some popular varieties include ‘Italian White’, ‘Moulin Rouge’, and ‘Autumn Beauty’.
Why does my sunflower have multiple heads?
There are several cultivars of multi-headed sunflowers, each with unique characteristics. Here are some popular types of multi-headed sunflowers:
- ‘Italian White’ – This cultivar produces multiple white blooms with dark centres and can grow up to 6 feet tall.
- ‘Moulin Rouge’ – This cultivar produces multiple deep red or burgundy blooms with dark centres and can grow up to 6 feet tall.
- ‘Autumn Beauty’ – This cultivar produces multiple blooms in shades of yellow, orange, and red, and can grow up to 8 feet tall.
- ‘Soraya’ – This cultivar produces multiple golden-yellow blooms with dark centres and can grow up to 6 feet tall.
- ‘Teddy Bear’ – This cultivar produces multiple small, fluffy blooms in shades of yellow and gold, and can grow up to 2 feet tall.
When selecting a cultivar of multi-headed sunflowers, consider factors such as size, colour, and growth habits to choose the best variety for your garden or landscape.
Should I deadhead multi-headed sunflowers?
Yes, deadheading multi-headed sunflowers can help promote additional flowering and keep the plants looking tidy. It is recommended to remove spent blooms regularly.
Can you get multi-headed sunflowers?
Yes, you can purchase multi-headed sunflower seeds from reputable sources. Look for seeds that are labelled for your specific growing region and intended use.
Why does my sunflower have 5 heads?
Yes, depending on the variety, sunflowers can have multiple heads. Some sunflower cultivars are specifically bred to produce multiple heads, while others may produce multiple heads due to genetic mutations or environmental factors such as weather or soil conditions. It is not unusual for sunflowers to have more than one head, and some varieties can produce up to 20 or more heads on a single plant. If you have a sunflower with 5 heads, it is likely a variety that naturally produces multiple heads.
Can a sunflower have 3 heads?
Yes, sunflowers can have three or more heads depending on the variety and growing conditions. However, it is more common for sunflowers to have one or two heads.
Hi, I’m Trev and I’ve been growing things since I can remember. When I was younger, I grew up on a farm, so I have always been around plants and animals. After studying horticulture at university, I decided to start my own nursery which I have run now for 25 years. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their gardens.