Sunflowers are the essence of summer and their big bold yellow flowers are pure happiness. They’re a wonderful magnet for bees, and sunflowers have the clever ability to turn their faces towards the sun until the flower heads mature and are then fixed in the one direction.
October is the perfect time to sow your very own mini field of sunflowers!
Yates® Yellow Empress Sunflowers will grow to an impressive 1 – 1.5 m tall and develop very large flowers up to 35 cm in diameter. They can be grown as a dramatic garden backdrop or create a stunning flower bed feature.
Grow your own sunflowers with these easy steps:
Find a spot with well-drained soil that receives at least 6 hours of sunshine a day and is sheltered from wind.
As the plants grow, they may need to be supported with a stake.
Flowering will start from around 12 weeks after sowing.
Flower stems can be cut for a beautiful vase display. For optimum vase life they’re best picked in the cool of the early morning, before the flowers are too old, and remove all the leaves that will sit below the water.
Grow a butterfly field
The sight of colourful butterflies fluttering around the garden is pure delight. Not only do they bring a smile to your face, they can also help pollinate some types of flowers.
It’s important for gardeners to grow a variety of plants that flower throughout the year, so butterflies are attracted into the garden and provided with a source of food.
Yates® Butterfly Field Beneficial Insect Mix is a blend of colourful pollen and nectar rich flowers to attract butterflies and beneficial insects into the garden and provide them with pollen and nectar over a long period. It will also provide food for caterpillars, helping to nurture the butterfly life cycle.
The mix contains butterfly attracting and beautiful flowers like cosmos, salvia, agastache, monarda and calendula, as well as milkweed (Asclepias), which attracts Monarch butterflies. Yates Butterfly Field will start flowering from around 10 weeks after sowing. Results will vary depending on the climate and time of year.
Yates Butterfly Field is quick and easy to sow and grow. Find a sunny spot in a garden bed, enrich the soil with some Yates Dynamic Lifter® Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser, scatter the seed thinly over the soil surface and then rake in lightly, so the seed is around 3 mm deep. Firm down, water gently and keep moist while the seeds germinate and seedlings establish.
To keep the plants looking tidy and prolong the flowering season, remove spent flower heads regularly. Otherwise leave them to mature and self-seed. Feed the flower patch every 1 – 2 weeks with Yates Thrive® Flower & Fruit Soluble Fertiliser, which is a complete plant food that’s boosted with additional flower-promoting potassium.
Butterfly hint: butterflies will enjoy a saucer of muddy water to drink from. Yes, muddy! The muddy water provides moisture, salts and minerals.