Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia) Planting and Care Guide
Quick Facts About Mexican Sunflower
Mexican Sunflowers offer everything a gardener wants! They are easy to start from seed, they put on a long, showy display of brilliant colors, they attract butterflies and other pollinators to the garden, and the flowers are great for cutting. Grow them along with zinnias and cosmos for a cut-and-come-again cutting garden that lasts all season long.
Start Mexican Sunflower seeds directly outside in the spring once frost danger has passed. In frost-free zones, the flowers will be perennial.
Mexican Sunflowers love full sun, and they thrive in the heat of summer. They are not picky about soil as long as it drains well. The soil can even be gritty and rocky with little nutrients to grow Mexican Sunflowers well. The smaller varieties are suited for containers, and the taller varientes are great for the flower border or the garden.
How to Plant Mexican Sunflower
- In the spring, weed the area and work the soil 6 inches in depth
- Work in compost to ensure the soil drains well
- Rake out the soil and tamp it down
- Sow the Mexican Sunflower seeds about every 12 inches
- Press the seeds into the soil and barely cover with soil - light is needed for germination
- Keep the area moist for germination
- Once seedlings are several inches in height, thin to the strongest plant every 18 inches or so
- Provide support for the plants if located in a windy area
Care And Maintenance
- Water Mexican Sunflower regularly to help establish the young plants
- Once established, the plants are drought tolerant so water only during dry periods
- There is no need to fertilize the plants
- Provide support if the plants are in a windy location
- If there is a lull in blooming, the plants can be cut back by 1/3 to both promote more blooms and to neaten the plants
- In the spring, in rainy area, slugs and snails may be a problem for the young seedlings - bait may need to be used to control the pests