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Sunflowers are among the easiest and most rewarding annuals to grow. They're also some of the tallest, with many varieties producing huge, saucer-shaped yellow flowers that tower over other plants in the border.
Helianthus annuus 'Double Shine' bers fuzzy, double flowers in a mustard yellow, on strong, tall stems. It's ideal for growing towards the back of a herbaceous border, and makes an excellent cut flower.
For best results, sow seed in individual 10cm pots of moist seed compost in April to May, cover with cling film and place on a sunny windowsill or greenhouse bench. Remove the cling film once the seeds have germinated, and water plants regularly, allowing the water to drain. Pot on into larger pots with multi-purpose compost, before eventually planting outside once all risk of frost has passed.
Sunflowers are hungry plants - enrich the soil before planting out with plenty of well-rotted manure or garden compost, and water plants regularly. You may need to stake plants in exposed gardens.
Cultivar: Double Shine
Plant type: Hardy annual
Flower colour: Yellow
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy
Skill level: Beginner
Time to plant seeds: March to May
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