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Mexican Sunflower

Caitlin Espejo

Author

The sunflower from Mexico! This shrub is well-known for its bright orange and yellow blossoms. In this blog, we will talk about its origin, where they grow and some of the benefits of growing Mexican sunflowers.  

The Mexican sunflower is scientifically known as Tithonia rotundifolia, however, they are also referred to as tree marigold. These tall plants are native to Mexico and Central America. It grows naturally in various areas such as open fields and roadsides. Many people all over the world use it in their landscapes because of the colorful and bright flowers it produces. It is also used because it attracts pollinators. The Mexican sunflower has distinctive characteristics such as the following: 

  1. Vibrant flowers – These large flowers come in shades of yellow, orange and red. They look like sunflowers; however, Mexicans sunflowers have more vivid hues.
  2. Grows tall – These plants are normally tall plants that can be 3-8 feet tall. Due to their tall height, these plants standout in your garden.
  3. Grows fast – Particularly in warm climates with lots of sunlight, these plants develop rapidly, establishing themselves as adult plants from seedlings.
  4. Easy to grow – Mexican sunflowers require little to no upkeep and grow in various soil types, however, like mentioned before, they grow best in well drained soil.
  5. Attract pollinators – They are a great addition to gardens that want to help local wildlife because their vibrant, nectar-rich blossoms draw pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Mexican sunflower plants are found across the state of Florida given the warm climate. They grow easily and flourish in warm, sunny climates with well-drained soil. These plants prefer warm climates and full sun exposure in order to grow properly, especially during the warmer months like the summertime. You will see the plants vibrant flowers in the summer and fall time of the year. One thing about the Mexican sunflower is that they are drought tolerant, meaning that they don’t need watering. On top of that, these plants don’t need any fertilizer to help them grow.

There are several types of Mexican sunflowers.

  1.  Torch – This variety is known for its bright orange flowers and grows between 5-6 feet tall.
  2. Fiesta del Sol – This variety is considered the dwarf variety as it produces smaller flowers between 2-3 feet tall. These flowers are yellow and orange and tend to have a more compact growth habit compared to other Mexican sunflowers.
  3.  Goldfinger – This one is another dwarf variety. These ones have bright yellow or golden flowers and can grow between 4-5 feet tall.
  4. Torch Yellow – Similar to the Torch, this variety produces yellow flowers, however it has a different coloration.
  5. Red Torch – This is another variation, and it is known for its bright red-orange flowers.
 
 

There are several benefits to growing Mexican sunflowers in your garden. We have mentioned a few earlier, but to recap, here are some reasons as to why you should grow them in your garden: 

  1. It attracts pollinators – Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are attracted to the bright flowers which promotes biodiversity, and it aids in pollination for other plants in your garden.
  2. Low maintenance – These plants are generally easy to grow and require little to no maintenance.
  3. Grows fast- These plants will fill up your garden quickly as they have a rapid growth rate.
  4. Pop of color- These plants have vibrant flowers to add a pop of color to your garden.
  5. Used for arrangements – Since these plants grow tall, you can cut them to make floral arrangements to place inside your home.
  6. Chop and drop – These plants are the best form of biomass to give to the other plants in your garden. It helps them grow a lot. 
 
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