Western Sunflower

Western Sunflower (Helianthus occidentalis) is a compact native perennial with large yellow-orange flowers. It blooms for many weeks in late summer, attracting a wide variety of insect pollinators and seed-eating songbirds. It spreads by rhizomes to form large colonies, so it’s a great solution for poor soil sites. Give it room to spread alongside other meadow or prairie flowers.
Zones4 - 8
Advantages
attract-butterflies
Attract Butterflies
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Attract Birds
bee-friendly
Bee Friendly
hcg-deer-resistant-icon
Deer Resistant
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Native
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Good For Cut Flowers
multiplies--naturalizes
Multiplies / Naturalizes
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Good For Erosion Control
Light Requirements
full-sun
Full Sun
Water Tolerance
Low-Water
Mature Height 24-48" tall
Mature Spread18-24" wide
Bloom TimeLate summer to early fall
Shipping DetailsShipping begins the week of April 11th, 2022 Learn More…
Item Package SizePlant - 5" Deep Pot
SKUHC017866

USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

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SKU
HC017866

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This compact-growing, native perennial sunflower blooms for many weeks flowers beginning in late summer, attracting a wide variety of pollinators and later, seed-eating songbirds to its seed heads. Native to the eastern half of the US, the flowering plants only reach 3 to 4 feet in height. Spreading by rhizomes (horizontal growing roots), the plants will form large colonies, so give it room to expand. Growing in a wide range of soil types and climates, this wildflower makes a wonderful low-maintenance cottage garden or meadow/prairie plant. It’s also useful on slopes to hold the soil. Western Sunflowers makes a great companion for Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe), Purple Coneflower (Echinacea), and many native ornamental grasses like ‘Blonde Ambition’ Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis) and Prairie Switchgrass (Panicum).

More Information
SKUHC017866
Item Package Size
Plant - 5" Deep Pot
Common Name
Western Sunflower
Botanical Name
Helianthus occidentalis
Zones
4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Flower Color
Yellow
Mature Height
24-48" tall
Mature Spread
18-24" wide
Bloom Time
Late summer to early fall
Ships As
Potted Plant
Soil Type
Sandy Soil, Average Soil, Compost Enriched Garden Loam Soil, Well-Drained Soil
Soil Moisture
Waterwise
Advantages
Attract Butterflies, Attract Birds, Bee Friendly, Deer Resistant, Native, Good For Cut Flowers, Multiplies / Naturalizes, Good For Erosion Control
Ideal Region
Northeast, Midwest, West, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Coastal California
Planting Time
Spring / Summer, Fall
Neonicotinoid Free
Native To
North America
Ships To Canada
No
Planting Guides

Tips On Growing Helianthus (Sunflower)

Helianthus (Sunflower) are showy late summer/early fall blooming native wildflowers that are deer and rabbit resistant. There are both annual and perennials sunflower varieties.

Preferred growing conditions:

  • Both annual and perennial Sunflower varieties grow easily in all types of soil including clay.
  • Plant in full, hot sun.
  • Sunflowers do not need to be mulched, but when planted in a garden with other plants that are mulched, they amenable to most common types of mulch including crushed gravel in xeriscapes.
  • Perennials like Helianthus maximiliana and its hybrids are xeric (waterwise). After becoming well established by their second growing season they do best with deep but infrequent watering. Too much water makes them tall and floppy; it’s best to grow them on the dry side.
  • Annual types need regular irrigation when there has been no rain.
  • Perennial types just need a few handfuls of compost and Yum Yum Mix in the planting hole to get them off to a good start.
  • Annual types benefit from more extensive soil preparation and will grow more vigorously when the soil has rototilled or dug to a depth of 8 to 12 inches and enriched with ample compost and Yum Yum Mix.

Special comments:

  • Undaunted® Lemon Max hybrid perennial sunflower sets a lot of seed. If re-seeding is not desirable, it should be deadheaded shortly after blooming has finished to reduce the number of volunteer seedlings.
  • Maximilian sunflower varieties are very vigorous growers that spread via underground roots. They should not be planted in flower beds with good soil as they will crowd out their neighbors; they are best planted in poor soil sites along fences, empty walls and other peripheral areas where their large size is an advantage.
  • Sunflower seeds are a favorite food of many songbirds, so don't deadhead the plants after blooming.

Garden Care:

  • Leave perennial plants standing over the winter and cut them back hard to a height of 1-2" in early to mid-spring.
  • Perennial varieties are easily divided in the spring to propagate additional plants or keep them in bounds if they grow too wide.
  • The seed of annual varieties should be planted when the soil begins to warm up in late spring. Sow seeds at the same time when planting corn in your area.

View more Planting Guides, or download our complete Planting Guide for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.
Shipping
ZoneShipping Status
Zone 2Shipping begins the week of May 16th, 2022
Zone 3Shipping begins the week of May 16th, 2022
Zone 4Shipping begins the week of May 16th, 2022
Zone 5Shipping begins the week of April 25th, 2022
Zone 6Shipping begins the week of April 11th, 2022
Zone 7Shipping begins the week of April 11th, 2022
Zone 8Shipping begins the week of April 11th, 2022
Zone 9Shipping begins the week of April 11th, 2022
Zone 10Shipping begins the week of April 11th, 2022

As soon as your order is placed you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Some perennials are shipped as potted plants, some as perennial roots packed in peat.  The ‘Plant Information’ section describes how that item will ship. All perennials and spring-planted bulbs are packaged to withstand shipping and are fully-guaranteed. Please open upon receipt and follow the instructions included.

Perennials and spring-planted bulbs are shipped at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennial and spring-planted bulb orders will arrive separately from seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment and all items are shipping to the same address, there is no additional shipping charge. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (800) 925-9387 or contact us by email.

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