giant sunflowers

helianthus_growerJuly 21, 2006

Hi all im new to this site but i have been growing giant sunflower varieties for many years,is there anyone else out there that grows them? if so what are your results?

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gianteggplant(z9CA)

I have grown them (Craven, Bott's, Diane's, etc) for the past several years and the tallest had been only 12 ft (but got a near 20' head in 2005). Last year my giant sunflower were permature, and again this season. I don't know the cause but I think it has something to do with the strange weather pattern. As for the height I find that cooler weather actually produce taller plants. The temperature here for the last few days is in the 90s.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 2:18AM
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helianthus_grower

So far this year i have a row of 12 botts strain sunflowers in my front garden that are 10ft tall & are not showing any sign of head formation as yet.I have a 13ft american giant in my back garden which is about to flower as i started it off a bit early (in mid April). I also have a row of 8ft cravens which i started off in mid may.The problem is,is that im moving house in the first week in august & im taking these giants with me,i hope this wont stunt the growth too much.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 7:11AM
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farmfreedom

I believe there exists a " skyscraper strain " that has tall ones the world record is around 25 feet .

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 11:21AM
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gianteggplant(z9CA)

hgrower, sunflower don't adapt well when you move them to a new environment, which I have done in the past. Sudden increase in temperature can kill them.
farmfreedom, The world record strain is Craven. skyscraper is just one of many giant varieties.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 1:37PM
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helianthus_grower

Thanks for the advice giantegg, but i think i will still take that chance as i think that my bott's should push 14ft at least. I forgot to mention that i also have 4 hemkers. Last year my hemkers only put on 50ish flower heads, but this year they seem to be doing better as i have added more nitrogen & potasium.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 10:45AM
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tropicalfreak(z10b Ft Lauderdale)

can anyone list the giant strains?? and where i can find seeds??
when fall comes i will be planting sunflowers.
thanks, cliff

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 4:54PM
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gianteggplant(z9CA)

Cliff, Brian's site should help, though he hasn't updated his site for a while as he is moving it. http://www.geocities.com/sunflower_info/

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 4:22AM
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giantseeds

Hi all, switch to gallery and check out my 15ft craven/american cross sunny that's just in bloom. This is a variety i have been working on for a few years.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 2:36PM
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gianteggplant(z9CA)

When did you start breeding them and what is the variety "american"? Nice to see another giant sunflower grower doing well.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 2:49AM
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farmfreedom

anyone breeding in colors or teddybear strains or crossing giant head or giant seed with tallest strains ?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 10:55AM
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giantseeds

This sunny is a cross between American giant hybrid and norm cravens old seed, because i have crossed it with a hybrid and i'm still in experimental stages with it, it does tend to produce different plants. This is the second year i have grown this variety and it seems to be more vigorous than either parent.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 11:06AM
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Brian_NY_NJ_PA(zone 5/6 NY/NJ/)

I don't recommend trying to move any sunflowers unless you absolutely have to. Maybe you can make a deal with the new owners to collect the seed heads when they mature. At best you may get them to survive, but they will probably not grow much taller, and you will have a stunted flower. Most likely they won't make it. The larger a sunflower is, the harder it is to move. The only chance you have is for them to avoid all mid-day sun for at least a week or so. Minute the direct sun hits them, they are finished.

I had sunflowers that reached over 14 ft. that blew over when they were only about 8 ft.

http://www.gardenpics.com/photos/data/500/botts_14ft_PA_08_14_04.jpg

The thing that saved them was during the wind storm, they brought all the dirt with them when they tipped, and somehow it wasn't disturbed. The soil was wet enough that it all held together. We just flipped them back up straight, threw some heavy rocks on top to keep them down, and they were fine.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 7:47PM
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helianthus_grower

Thanks for that advice Brian, i think i will still try & move them, but place them along the east wall of my house.
Gintseeds that craven cross looks pretty impresive.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 5:00AM
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gianteggplant(z9CA)

Any problems so far, hgrower?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 3:24AM
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helianthus_grower

The sunflowers wilted for the first week but have now seemed to have taken i hope!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 10:08AM
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mgilliam9173

Now that summer is over, can someone tell me how to care for two giant sunflowers I have in my backyard. I was told to cut them down but that doesn't seem right. Any advice?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 11:52AM
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