‘Choco Sun’ And Other Dwarf Sunflowers

SUN Choco-Sun-mainDwarf Sunflowers remain very popular throughout October because of their small size and big blooms. A natural choice when sprucing up for the October holiday season, the Sunflower is strongly associated with both the harvest and the extended Indian summer we often experience this time of year. Blooms last a long time and after that, even with just seed heads, plants will retain their decor value.

Sunflowers perform well in the autumn because they are day-neutral. The length of day doesn’t trigger blossoms to appear or to die back, so blooms can start even at this late date and still last a very long time.

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One of our favorite Sunflowers is ‘Choco Sun’, a very short selection originally developed in Europe. Plants are very compact—so short, in fact, that you can plant them in window boxes or small ceramic pots that march up the front steps. In a display garden, the best spot for ‘Choco Sun’ would actually be at the front of the bed.

Nice and bushy, stems support small golden Sunflowers with dark centers. Leaves are the distinctive heart-shaped green with a slightly rough surface. It’s a classic Sunflower—just extremely petite.

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‘Choco Sun’ grows only about 12–16 inches tall and takes up about 12 inches of space. On a wide windowsill, it will brighten up the kitchen. In a ceramic pot or a small wicker basket, it makes an ideal hostess gift or party centerpiece on the table.

We sell several dwarf Sunflowers for the season in addition to ‘Choco Sun’. From smaller to taller, our other choices in 8-inch pots are:

  • ‘Miss Sunshine’—grows about 12–16 inches; golden yellow with a small brown eye
  • ‘Pacino Lemon’—grows about 14 inches; pale yellow petals with a pale yellow eye
  • ‘Ballad’—grows about 24–36 inches; big yellow petals and a small brown eye

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For children’s holidays, use Sunflowers to create a living decor theme. Sunflowers evoke a response from kids that other plants fail to match. Get children involved in the decorating—Sunflowers are easy to care for and Sunflower seeds are a fun snack to boot!

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‘Miss Sunshine’

Point out to budding gardeners that the blooms track the sun. Check plants in the morning and then check back at the end of the day. Remember—seed heads make interesting keepsakes, as they cut and dry very nicely.

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‘Pacino Lemon’

Bees and butterflies love Sunflowers for their beneficial pollen and nectar; plus, if left out in the snow the seed heads will feed wild birds and mammals during the winter months.