Towering in the garden at 6'-10', these tall plants produce giant flowers reaching 1 foot across. This popular variety has been grown in gardens since the late 1800s. Love it for its magnificent beauty or grow it to eat the large sunflower seeds. Plants left standing in fall and winter provide food for birds. It is a great choice for kids to plant and watch grow, and it can be an excellent annual privacy screen or border. The young shoots are also edible as sprouts or a fresh-looking garnish, and the unopened buds may be steamed like artichokes. Easy and fast-growing, it tolerates drought and poor soil.
When to plant outside: RECOMMENDED. Sow in spring after the average last frost date. Since seedlings grow so fast, this is the recommended method.
When to start inside: Sow 4-6 weeks before average last spring frost. Start inside only if previous problems with birds eating planted seed outdoors. Plants grow more vigorously if sown directly outdoors.