Annuals forum: best red sunflower?

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PA (Zone 6a)
pinkruffles
Jan 24, 2017 2:17 PM CST
Would gardeners who grow, or have actually seen, different varieties of red sunflowers, tell me which ones you like best? I don't want a very tall one, because I am growing them in a large container. I am looking for one that is closest to red or rose, or burgundy. I don't really like the rust or brownish-red ones, or the ones that are a REALLY dark red. I wondered about Procut Red or Prado, but pictures can be so deceiving! Your suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Jan 28, 2017 3:49 AM CST
All sunflowers that are "red" or "black" are actually "burgundy" or "rust." The terms "red" and "black" are marketing ploys, like many "blue" flowers which are really purple.

That said, several years ago I grew "Moulin Rouge" which is a deep burgudy with small splashes of saffron.

Thumb of 2017-01-28/Jai_Ganesha/58392d

Here is an old picture. As you can see, the bloom is the same size of a Tithonia (the bright fire orange on the left), which is to say about 3-4" at most. Edit: just realized the perspective here is weird. The bloom really is the same size as the Tithonia. In fact, some of my Tithonias were bigger than my sunflowers.

The plant is a hybrid so it does not produce pollen or seeds. It branches out in several directions so you could keep it relatively short if you wanted to by pinching it. But be aware that sunflowers often have wider root systems than they're "supposed" to (depending on conditions of light, water, food, etc.) so they can be difficult to grow in containers--even the "container friendly" varieties. They grow VERY fast and sometimes they'll be fine then the next day toppled over.

One other other thing to keep in mind: just because a sunflower is short does not mean it has small flowers, and just because it is tall does not mean it has large flowers. There are examples in both directions that defy what you'd think at first!
Keep going!
[Last edited by Jai_Ganesha - Jan 28, 2017 3:58 AM (+)]
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Name: Grannyh
Monroe City, Mo (Zone 6a)
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Grannyh
Feb 4, 2017 2:20 PM CST
Hi Pink! `
Don't know if this is the shade you were exactly looking for, but I grew this one last Summer (2016) and I loved it!
It's called 'Ms. Mars' and I got mine from Burpee on a free shipping weekend.
I planted several of them around our Garden and they only got about 24" to 30" tall. I'm going to plant them again!
Nice size blooms in ratio to the plant size.

Thumb of 2017-02-04/Grannyh/66e911
Thumb of 2017-02-04/Grannyh/17246a

If life gives you lemons, make another glass of lemonade and plant the lemon seeds! Smiling
PA (Zone 6a)
pinkruffles
Feb 4, 2017 2:37 PM CST
Oh Grannyh, they are BEAUTIFUL--just Thank You! what I'm looking for!! Thank you so much for the pictures!! I will definitely check for free shipping offers from Burpee. I do see Burpee seeds in a number of our local stores too--does anyone remember seeing this particular variety in stores? Shipping charges REALLY add up, esp. if you are ordering from several different companies!!
PA (Zone 6a)
pinkruffles
Feb 4, 2017 2:42 PM CST
Jack, thanks too for posting a picture--that variety is more rust colored than I like. I'm glad you told me about the possible toppling over problem, and about the sizes of the flower in relation to their height--that will be helpful to know!
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Jai_Ganesha
Feb 5, 2017 5:47 AM CST
You're very welcome.

I'm 99% sure I grew Mrs. Mars and most of the flowers were lighter pink. The 1% doubt is because I got them from another gardener, not the store. But they were still really pretty.
Keep going!

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