Collecting tithonia seeds

efeuerAugust 20, 2014

Does anyone know how long it takes to mature tithonia seeds? I have been deadheading my plants to keep the flowers coming and I would like to know when to stop in order to give the seeds time to properly mature.

Also, as a sad footnote, my most beautiful plant snapped off right at the roots during a recent storm. It was about 7 feet high and very full. The ones that I had tied to the fence were okay. I guess those big wide leaves act like sails in a storm and catch the wind, and the stems are somewhat brittle. The stems look so tough I thought they could withstand anything, but apparently not.
Liz

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Slatewiper

How did they work for the butterflies? I've been thinking of planting them next year.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 8:59AM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

Liz,

I tried the smaller tithonia ('Fiesta del Sol') this year. The larger variety was just too big for my small garden. I can't speak to how attractive they were to the flying insects as I was away from home all summer but I can report they began blooming earlier for me than the larger variety and they are much shorter than the larger variety, at least as grown in my garden. They had to fight for themselves as I wasn't able to weed or water this summer but they hung in there and are still blooming.

This is a bloom from the big tithonia I grew. I am 5'6" and was standing on the ground looking up at it. As I recall, it didn't begin blooming until late summer.

I will try to watch and see if they smaller blooms attract anything this late in the season. I noticed a lovely Gaint Swallowtail late yesterday nectaring on the Penta's and also saw a Monarch but by the time I got back outside with my camera, it was no where to be found. My garden looks like a wild meadow so they must feel right at home! I have a lot of the

Can anyone else comment regarding the attractiveness of the smaller Tithonia as a nectar plant?

I have a lot of Verbena bonairiensis this year and it is always a big draw as a nectar plant. I didn't plant it this year, just lots of babies from last years plants.

Mary

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 1:59PM
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efeuer

The giant tithonias worked out very well for me. They were a huge draw for butterflies. The tiger swallowtails love them. They also drew monarchs, which in general are not so plentiful around here anymore. The silver spotted skippers love them, too. That's why I want to grow them again!
Liz

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 7:10PM
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bernergrrl(z5 IL)

Hummingbirds loved mine last year--would have 4+ Monarchs and a hummer zipping around last year.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 9:10AM
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