How to Grow Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia Rotundifolia)

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A tall, cheerful flower, this annual (grows just one year) offers a fun way to fill the back of a border or add instant color to any landscape. Mexican sunflower produces bright dahlialike flowers in orange, yellow and brilliant red. It also makes a good cut flower.

Things You'll Need

  • Bypass Pruners
  • Compost Makers
  • Fertilizers
  • Garden Hoses
  • Garden Spades
  • Garden Stakes
  • Plants
  • Seeds
  • Choose a site with average to poor, well-drained soil in full sun.

  • Plant seeds directly in soil after your region's last average frost date. Or start seeds indoors six to eight weeks earlier.

  • Thin plants to about 2 feet apart.

  • Keep soil evenly moist, but don't overwater - this flower likes it a little on the dry side.

  • Trim faded flowers to promote longer blooming.

  • Fertilize every 8 to 10 weeks, or work in a slow-release fertilizer (or plenty of compost) at planting time.

  • Tear out and discard plants in fall, after frost fells them.

Tips & Warnings

  • Mexican sunflower reaches heights of 2 to 5 feet.
  • You may need to stake plants, especially taller varieties or those in windy areas.
  • Don't overfertilize Mexican sunflower, or it will become floppy, with more foliage than blooms.

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