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Three Unique Sunflowers To Grow That Are Sure To Turn Heads!

If you are looking to go beyond traditional sunflower blooms this year, check out these three unique sunflowers to grow that are definite show-stoppers! 

Sunflowers not only add great visual interest to properties, but they are also extremely easy to grow. Their bright and cheery blooms are a welcome site no matter where they are planted – all without taking a ton of effort on your part. 

Different sunflower varieties can range from just over one foot tall all the way up to a towering 15 feet in height. Some of them grow single blooms while others put forth multiple blooms per plant. Those beautiful blooms can even reach over 24 inches in width depending on the variety.

Traditional yellow sunflowers growing in a field
While there’s nothing wrong with traditional sunflower varieties, it’s fun to “grow outside the box” sometimes!

They are not only a welcome site for people, but they are also great for attracting pollinators galore to garden spaces. And, don’t forget that some of them feature edible seeds that you can save and roast for your own consumption!

Since there are over 70 different varieties of sunflowers you can grow, the following three unique varieties might be new to you. They may just become the welcome addition you need for your property this summer season! 

Growing Sunflowers

For a real in-depth look at how to grow sunflowers, be sure to check out the article, “How To Grow Sunflowers.” These basic tips will get you started though. 

Planting Sunflowers

Sunflowers require a location that receives full sun each day. Avoid growing them in locations with strong winds if you are have a taller variety. Even though they have thick, sturdy stems, sunflowers are so top-heavy that winds can cause severe damage to mature plants. 

Sunflowers grow as annuals in zones 2 through 8 but can be grown year-round in zones 9-10. While the seeds can be started indoors, they grow so easily from seed that direct sowing is best. 

As soon as the soil reaches 50º Fahrenheit (10º Celsius) and the threat of frost has passed, you can get your seeds into the soil. Most well-draining soil works well for sunflowers, but amend heavy clay-like soil to create looser soil. 

Sunflower seedlings growing in dark soil.
Sunflowers are one of the easiest plants to grow from seeds.

Plant seeds about an inch and a half deep. The spacing you use will depend on which variety of sunflower you are growing, so be sure to check your seed packet or keep a record of the seeds you are using. A spacing of two feet between plants usually works well if that information is unavailable.

Keep rows of sunflowers about 30 inches apart to ensure proper airflow. Sunflower seeds will germinate in around a week to two weeks. Thin seedlings if needed for proper spacing once plants are a few inches tall.

Sunflower Maintenance – 3 Unique Sunflowers To grow

Adding mulch around the base of your sunflower plant will help to suppress weeds and help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature. Just be sure to keep it a few inches away from the stem to avoid rot. 

Give each plant around a gallon of water each week, taking into consideration rainwater as well. No fertilizer is needed to keep sunflowers looking beautiful. 

Watch for signs of downy mildew, powdery mildew, and rust. Some pests like aphids, cutworms, and flea beetles are also attracted to sunflower plants. You might also have to fight off birds and other small critters once the blooms start maturing and their seeds begin to dry out. 

Sunflowers also make beautiful cut flowers. Their blooms will typically last around a week when placed in water, making them a great addition to any table or countertop. You can also save and harvest the seeds from most sunflower varieties.  

A dark red chocolate cherry sunflower bloom
The deep, rich colors of the Chocolate Cherry Sunflower make this variety really stand out.

3 Unique Sunflowers To Grow

Now that you know the basics of growing sunflowers, let’s check out three unique varieties. You can direct sow all of these flower varieties. Even better, they are easy to care for and are great for attracting pollinators. They are also drought and heat tolerant. This makes them a great addition to any garden space, especially those areas that are in need of some taller visual interest. 

Chocolate Cherry Sunflowers

At the top of the list of unique yet stunning sunflower varieties to grow are Chocolate Cherry Sunflowers. These unique sunflowers look just as beautiful and as delicious as their name sounds! 

Chocolate cherry sunflowers feature petals in deep, rich burgundy surrounding a dark brown center. They can grow to around six to eight feet tall, making them the perfect addition to grow behind shorter flowers in your garden space. 

Chocolate cherry sunflowers also look amazing when grown along barns, sheds, or a fence line. Just be sure to plant them in a location that gets a bit of protection from any strong winds. 

Space seeds about 24 to 30 inches apart for proper air circulation and to help prevent issues with diseases. These sunflowers take 65 days or more to reach maturity after planting.  

Titan Sunflowers 

The next unique sunflowers to grow on your property are Titan Sunflowers. Boy do they live up to their name, too! Each plant produces one massive stem with a huge bloom in the iconic sunflower yellow color. 

A large sunflower head - a unique sunflower to grow
The massive heads on the Titan sunflower produces a ton of seeds just waiting to be harvested.

The titan sunflower variety grows to an astonishing 12 to 14 feet tall and features massive blooms that can reach two feet across. The large blooms also produce large seeds, making it a great variety to grow when your goal is to harvest and save seeds. 

Because of their taller mature height and large seed heads, titan sunflowers might need staking or, at the very least, protection from winds. They do have extensive root systems which help to keep them upright at least. 

When planting, space titan sunflower seeds about 24 to 30 inches apart. The seeds will take 75 or more days before reaching maturity.   

Red Torch Mexican Sunflower 

Last but definitely not least is the Red Torch Mexican Sunflower. While they technically aren’t “sunflowers” (they are in the daisy family), their taller stature and warm-hued blooms make them a great addition to the must-grow unique list. 

The red torch Mexican sunflower features beautiful 2 to 3-inch blooms with orange petals and bright yellow centers. Their fiery blooms continue from mid-summer until the first frost. They are perfect for attracting monarch butterflies and other pollinators to your property.

Several red torch sunflowers - a unique sunflower variety to grow
While they might not technically be sunflowers, the Red Torch Mexican Sunflower is still a great addition to this list!

The red torch Mexican sunflower grows to around 4 to 6 feet tall. Space seeds about two feet apart when planting for best results. Plants should reach maturity in around 60 or more days.  

No matter which of these unique sunflowers you choose to grow, any variety will add beautiful color, texture, and cheer to your garden and property space this year!

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