HOW TO GROW TEDDY BEAR SUNFLOWERS
Even though they look more like miniature mops than stuffed animals, it's still pretty easy to understand how the 'Teddy Bear' sunflowers got their name.
They are fluffy, bright yellow, and a comforting small size, especially compared to their relatives that can grow to 10 feet or more!
Scientists have even determined that double-flowered sunflowers in the famous paintings by Vincent van Gogh They were of the 'Teddy Bear' type, but they couldn't find the genetic mutation that gave them the green centers as the artist describes them.HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR SAFFRON FLOWERS
It is easy to see why Van Gogh was drawn to these beauties.
Children tend to like them too, perhaps because there is something so reassuring about a bouquet or container full of bright, fuzzy flowers.
And the Royal Horticultural Society awarded this cultivar the prestigious Garden Award of Merit in 2015.
Fortunately, you don't just have to admire them in the floral section of a florist or grocery store, as it is entirely possible, and easy, to grow your own.HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR CARNATION FLOWERS
Most garden centers have seeds or you can find them online at True Leaf Market , in a variety of package sizes.
Just thinking of these sunny and sassy yearbooks makes me think of the lyrics to that Elvis song, “I just want to be you…”
So hum with me, as I teach you the tips and techniques for growing your own 'Teddy Bear' sunflowers.How to have bulbous flowers all year round
TIPS FOR GROWING TEDDY BEAR SUNFLOWERS
WHAT ARE TEDDY BEAR SUNFLOWERS?
Sunflowers 'Teddy Bear' are adorable, starting with that name. But they also have other charms.
An open pollinated dwarf cultivar of Helianthus annuus These annuals are characterized by fluffy, double-petalled flowers that are five to six inches wide.
Although this variety produces minimal pollen, the bees and other pollinators love furry pom pom flowers.Horse chestnut - flowers.
Chefs and salad fans also appreciate these flowers. The individual petals, which are actually florets, look pretty and taste great paired with mezclum mixes, or as an edible garnish in soups, cakes, and other decorative baked goods.
And at the end of the season, you can harvest the edible seeds Either to plant next year or toast as a tasty and nutritious snack.
Each plant sends out a thick central stem that branches into multiple double flowers and reaches a mature height of only two to four feet tall.
They bloom for a period of about five weeks, usually starting 75 days after direct seeding, and provide color for the remainder of the summer.Dandelion flowers
Like your child's beloved stuffed animal, these annuals come in handy in many situations.
They are a colorful option for mixed beds or perennial borders. Its compact and bushy shape is ideal for filling the spaces in front of tall varieties of H. annuus of long stem in a garden or landscape.
With large flowers on sturdy stems, they are the best choice for cut gardens and make attractive flower arrangements.
Since they bloom for a period of five weeks or more, you will have an ample supply to fill your vases.
Gardeners who want attract pollinators They will appreciate this variety, as will anyone who wants to save seeds to plant next year.
This cultivar is open pollinated, so as long as you are not growing it near any other variety of H. annuus , the saved seed should produce flowers that are true to the parent plant.
They are also a good choice for grow in pots , or anywhere in the garden where they can get a lot of sun.
Since they are so easy to grow and so lovely, I also consider them a standout option for a Kinder garden .
All tips from our guide to growing sunflowers se apply to this small variety.
In summary , H. annuus thrives in a place a full sun , with at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. Plants require organic, loose, well-drained soil.
For this particular cultivar, here are some tips:
1. PLANT SEEDS AT THE RIGHT TIME
Despite all the volunteers he may have seen sprouting underneath your bird feeder , the safest bet for planting outdoors is to wait for the soil temperature to reach 65-85˚F. This is the optimal temperature for successful germination. Alternatively, you can start sowing indoors .
2. GIVE THEM ENOUGH SPACE
They may not reach the lofty heights of some of their relatives H. annuus , but 'Teddy Bear' sunflowers have a bushy growth habit. Space plants 18-24 inches apart.
3. PROTECT YOUNG PLANTS
Birds, rabbits, squirrels, and the like like to chew on seedlings. Protect them with row covers or bird nets if you have a problem with those marauders in your yard.
4. GIVE THEM ENOUGH TIME TO GROW
It's just a very general rule that smaller edibles grow faster. In this case, similar to a miniature winter squash, 'Teddy Bear' sunflowers take as long to bloom as many of their much larger relatives. They may be short in stature, but they still need 75 days or so from planting to produce their beautiful flowers.
5. DEADHEAD REGULARLY
Steadily cutting off spent blooms will encourage the stems to produce more blooms for the season.
6. AVOID PESTICIDES IN FOODS
Avoid using pesticides and herbicides at any time during the growing process if you intend to consume the petals or seeds.
A GENTLE SUNFLOWER?
When I can't see my loved ones in person, I try to write. One of my favorite goodbyes is "Consider yourself hugged."
Sunflowers 'Teddy Bear' are something like that.
You can't hug them, no But to me, seeing some of their cheery faces nodding and smiling in a border, or a sweet bouquet of these sunny, furry flowers in a vase, feels like a virtual hug.
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