For a perfect fit, choose perennial sunflowers. They’re easy to maintain and nourish. Long-lasting, autumn bloomers are also available.
perennial sunflowers serve as a tribute to the beloved summer’s conclusion late in the season. During the transition of the leaves, perennial sunflowers brighten our spirits.
The tall, single-headed giants are usually the sunflowers in a garden. Or the vast golden-headed flower fields, which are beautiful and sun-worshiping. These long-lasting perennial blooming plants are in their annual form.
Diverse Kinds of Perennial Sunflowers
North, Central, and South American sunflowers are indigenous to the region. This fascinating genus of plants contains over 70 species.
Clump-forming and multi-stemmed perennial plants abound.
In full sun, perennial sunflowers thrive. They grow more prolifically in the sun, as one would expect.
Perennial sunflowers prefer a wide range of growing conditions, depending on the species. Some prefer dry, hot conditions with poor to sandy soil. Some species, on the other hand, prefer rich fertile soils with damp areas.
From Easy Spreading to Incredibly Rare
Certain perennial sunflower varieties are extremely uncommon and difficult to locate. Perennial sunflowers are actually endangered or at risk in certain cases.
In the Piedmont regions of the Carolinas, the most uncommon species may be found. The Schweinitz’s sunflower is how it’s known.
Several other perennial sunflowers, such as the Maximilian sunflower, on the other hand, can adapt to a variety of environments. Surprisingly, they can naturalize and spread easily outside of their native area.
Sunflowers are a Fascinating Flower
The Asteraceae family of flowering plants includes sunflowers, which belong to the genus Helianthus.
Daisies and asters, both from the daisy family, are additional plants in this group. Composite flowers are what this family’s flowers are called.
Surprisingly, what seems to be a solitary bloom is deceptive. It’s really a bouquet with colorful bracts surrounding a tightly packed bouquet of flowers.
Composite flower forms such as sunflowers are excellent examples. Each individual bloom of annual sunflowers, for example, produces a seed. The rays or bracts that surround the cluster of flowers are particularly important in attracting pollinating insects.
5 Reasons To Grow Perennial Sunflowers
1. Edible Garden
In an edible, permaculture, or survivor garden, perennial sunflowers are a great addition. In food forests, they’re a popular addition. Because many of the sunflower species found here are food sources, this is the case.
They were widely used by indigenous communities in North and Central America, notably Helianthus tuberosus (Jerusalem Artichoke). In the autumn, harvest Jerusalem artichokes. Raw or cooked, they’re delicious.
2. Wildflower Garden
Sunflowers are a perennial that is particularly simple to cultivate. They’re a fantastic addition to a bloomingbackyard.com garden, which is Shade-Tolerant Wildflowers. Visual beauty of wildflower gardens is stunning. Perennial sunflowers are particularly simple to grow. In the wildflower garden, perennial sunflowers can make it spectacular.
3. Native or Naturalized Garden
Sunflowers are naturalized perennial plants. They may naturalize with little effort. Plants that are endangered or threatened should be carefully monitored. To put it another way, make room for them. This helps to protect vulnerable plant populations.
4. Pollinator Garden
Of course, growing plants with the goal of attracting pollinating insects is a fantastic strategy. Many pollinating insects, as well as birds, benefit from perennial sunflowers’ food, nectar, and shelter. Their populations, in turn, thrive because of this.
5. Fall-Blooming Garden
Perennial sunflowers extend the bloom season into fall, in addition to the low-maintenance styles of gardens mentioned above.
During the conclusion of summer, a perennial garden is frequently at risk of fading away. Notwithstanding this, through the fall, there are several excellent plant options with spectacular flowers.
Asters, daisies, mums, coneflowers, and sedum are some of the perennial sunflower fall-blooming companions.
7 Perennial Sunflowers That Bloom Year After Year
1. Ashy sunflower (Helianthus mollis)
From July to September, the ashy sunflower blooms.
Ashy sunflower grows in the Central and Eastern United States, which is interesting.
In poor, sandy to gravelly soils, this long-blooming sunflower thrives in full sun. It spreads 1 to 3 feet and grows to a height of 2 to 4 feet.
Ashy sunflower seeds are prized by bird populations, including goldfinches.
It’s a naturalizing sunflower that forms colonies. It can also spread by rhizomes and seed if given the opportunity.
This showy sunflower needs excellent drainage. It’s a hardy perennial that grows in USDA zones 4 to 9.
2. Western sunflower (Helianthus occidentalis)
Late-season cut flower arrangements with western sunflower are a fantastic option.
Western North America is presumed to have western sunflower. It is, however, found throughout Central and Eastern North America. It’s a West-native, not a European native.
Sunflower seeds from the west are particularly effective at soil stabilization. It also grows well in rocky sandy soils in full sun, as well as a variety of other soils. Heavy clay soils are less compatible with clump-forming plants.
Because they spread via underground rhizomes, they benefit from division.
From 4 to 8, Hardy is a good choice. The average height of western sunflowers is 2 to 3 feet. Long-lasting orange-yellow blooms 2 inches in diameter. In the late summer and early autumn, they arrive.
3. Swamp sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius)
For many native bees, this is a key perennial. The name Swamp Sunflower implies that it grows in moist, wet, and marshy soils.
Swamp sunflower grows to be about 5 to 7 feet tall, making it one of the tallest sunflowers. However, it may reach a height of ten feet.
Between Zones 5 and 9, Hardy is a good choice. From New York to Florida and east to Missouri, Texas, and Oklahoma, you may find swamp sunflower in the eastern United States.
Open marshes, meadows, floodplains, and bottomland woods are all good places to look for it.
Late migrating butterflies and birds rely on swamp sunflower for food and nectar.
The flowerheads are 2 to 3 inches long and grow on tall stems. They are, in actuality, the final blooms to appear.
Late September or early October is when the bloom season starts. During the winter, the brown seed heads stay intact. Birds get their winter food from this.
4. Giant sunflower (Helianthus giganteus)
The regular annual sunflowers are similar to giant sunflower, which is a perennial. Because of the 3 to 9-foot-tall central stems, the flowers grow on them.
Many birds, butterflies, and bees are attracted to the giant sunflower. They do it by feeding various animals and giving them shelter.
Giant sunflower grows well in marshy, wet environments as well as woods, just like swamp sunflower. In addition, eastern Canada and the United States are home to huge sunflowers.
From July to September, this fast-growing sunflower flowers.
Large 2-to-3-inch golden yellow blooms with black yellow centers bloom on the tree. When prepared, giant sunflower tubers are edible and delicious. Raw or cooked, the tiny seeds are also edible.
5. Cheerful sunflower (Helianthus x laetiflorus)
With its lovely, cheerful long-blooming sunflower, the name says it all.
In certain regions, the huge 2 to 3 ½ inch blooms bloom from August through November.
The deep butter yellow petals are surrounded by an almost red core. The cheerful sunflower grows to be 6 to 7 feet tall in the heat. In dry hot environments, it flourishes. Happy sunflower prefers bright, well-draining soils.
Throughout the United States and Canada, there are scattered populations of cheerful sunflower. Between zones 4 and 8, it’s difficult to grow.
This sunflower’s tubers or roots are also edible. They don’t create a lot of offspring.
6. Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani)
Maximilian sunflower is a good choice for wildflower gardens and perennial borders because of its showy blossoms. It’s also a quick naturalizer. Because of its self-seeding capabilities, this is the case.
It’s simple to cultivate this big perennial sunflower. It can grow in a variety of soils, from dry to moist. Moreover, drought and clay to sandy soils are also tolerated. This makes it a fantastic choice for many gardens.
The sunflower Maximilian grows between 3 and 10 feet tall. Moisture levels may have an impact on this. In zones 4 to 9, it is hardy.
Late-season birds and butterflies will appreciate the Maximillian sunflower. Maximilian sunflowers bloom from August to September, hence this. Flowers that are 2 to 3 inches across are significant, showy, and huge. They have deeper yellow centers and are a vivid yellow color.
7. Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)
Every food forest and permaculture list must include Jerusalem artichoke, also known as sunchoke.
The roots of this well-known edible sunflower are delectable. They produce lovely cut flowers at the same time.
Zones 3 through 9 have Hardy. This tall perennial can grow up to 10 feet tall.
It thrives on moist or dry well-draining soil in full sun and requires little upkeep.
The flowers are a brilliant yellow color. Flowers range in size from 2 to 4 inches across.
From August through September, they blossom.
In some places, Jerusalem artichoke may become weedy.
This intriguing sunflower has nearly limitless potential for customization. Native, wildflower, and cut flower gardens are all excellent choices. In the vegetable patch, it is particularly unusual. It really could be the first blooming-backyard sunflower to thrive!
Sunflowers are used for so many things. Their autumn blooming and wildlife attracting qualities are particularly noteworthy. Are you looking for a sunflower that will bloom year after year?