Chalky / Alkaline / Clay / Heavy / Moist / Well Drained / Light / Sandy
Helianthus annuus 'Shock-o-Lat' is a lovely branched variety of sunflower, bearing masses of large, bicoloured blooms in chocolate-brown and golden yellow. No two flowers are exactly alike.
Reaching a height of 200cm, it's ideal for growing at the back of herbaceous borders. And, as flowers are pollen-free, Helianthus annuus 'Shock-o-Lat' is perfect for cutting, both fresh and as a dried 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 multipurpose 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.
Helianthus ‘Shock-o-lat’ and wildlife
Helianthus ‘Shock-o-lat’ is known for attracting bees, beneficial insects, birds, butterflies/moths and other pollinators. It has nectar/pollen rich flowers and has seeds for birds.
Is Helianthus ‘Shock-o-lat’ poisonous?
Helianthus ‘Shock-o-lat’ has no toxic effects reported.