Sunflower 'Patio Ice Spray' (Helianthus annuus)
Green centres with lemon petals. These dwarf sunflowers are the result of many years of hard work from an Australian flower breeder and represent the latest innovation in sunflower breeding. Average height in a pot is 25-40cm; in a garden 30-45cm. They like space in a garden, to allow side branches to develop fully – similar to taller branched hybrids. Growers can also nip out primary bud or flowering head to allow side buds to come on. They are easy to grow in a pot but planting out in garden beds is effective too. The big advantage that these pollen-free sunflowers have over traditional sorts is that they last much longer when picked. Each flower also lasts much longer in the garden than older varieties. I generally plant sunflower seed 1cm deep from November until January but October wouldn't be too early and in warmer gardens seed can be planted in September. They don't need a lot of extra irrigation and are happiest in full sun.
When to sow: Late September to January
Where to sow: Direct in a prepared garden bed after the last frosts.
Depth to sow: 1cm
Aspect: Full sun or as sunny a spot as possible.
Soil: Prepared, well drained, fertilised soil. Add lime if soil is too acid.
Spacing: Between plants: 30 cm
Packet 20 seeds