Velvet Queen Sunflower
A lovely red-orange sunflower native to the western United States. Produces multiple 5 – 6” heads on a 7’ plant making it an excellent cutting sunflower for floral decorating. Very drought tolerant, deer resistant and hard to find amongst the yellow sunflowers typically seen in American gardening. 80-100 days. Annual.
Velvet Queen Sunflower History
(Helianthus annuus) A lovely red-orange sunflower native to the western United States. Produces multiple 5 – 6” heads on a 7’ plant making it an excellent cutting sunflower for floral decorating. Very drought tolerant, deer resistant and hard to find amongst the yellow sunflowers typically seen in American gardening. 80-100 days. Annual. Velvet Queen Sunflowers have a stunning deep red color that fades outward from its black center to the tips that are splashed with a tinge of orange. Velvet Queen Sunflowers grow up to 7 feet tall and offer blooms that are 10 inches in diameter. They are drought tolerant and require a lot of sun.
Growing Velvet Queen Sunflower
Plant the seeds no more than an inch deep and about 6 inches apart. Thin the seedlings once they hit 6 inches tall, leaving the strongest plants about 12 inches apart. For continuous blooms, stagger your planting, sowing a new row of seeds every two to three weeks, beginning in the spring. On average, it takes between 80 and 120 days for a plant to mature and develop seeds. Growing sunflower plants is easy because they’re heat tolerant, pest resistant and fast growing. They’re native to North America so they can adapt to conditions in most locations.
Preserving And Storing Sunflowers
Store sunflowers in an airtight container in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant. Label the container with the variety and the date you harvested. The seed will last for years if stored this way. Allow the seeds to dry for several hours or overnight before storing. Seeds can be freeze-dried using the same general freeze-drying process as other foods. As long as the seeds are dry, they can be freeze-dried starting on any cycle (they do not need to be started on a frozen sequence) and should freeze-dry quickly. Click here to learn more about storing sunflower seeds long term.
Sunflower Medical Uses
Velvet Queen Sunflowers provide a substantial amount of food for birds, so they will flock to them. Sunflowers also make good cut flowers. Studies link the consumption of sunflower seeds to a number of health benefits, including lowering your risk of developing diseases like high blood pressure or heart disease. They also contain nutrients that can support your immune system and boost your energy levels. As an added benefit they repel asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, a range of aphids, tomato worms, and a good many other pests. use sunflowers as a way to draw aphids away from my other plants. Ants move their colonies onto sunflowers. The sunflowers are tough enough that they suffer no damage.
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