This is one of the most cultivated of the tall perennial sunflowers. It is a true prairie forb that exists across much of North America from California to Quebec. Natural populations favor rocky or fertile prairies, limestone-rich soils, roadsides and old fields. The plants have tall, upright stems and form substantial clumps.
The long, fuzzy, green leaves of Maximilian's sunflower curve backwards and look as if they've been folded upwards at the ends, so water funnels across them as if from a spout. Its fuzzy green stems are flexible and strong enough to support the numerous flowers of this late season bloomer. Flowering can occur from late summer to late fall, depending on geographic location. The tall stems become lined with many single, yellow daisies with yellow or brown centers. The small to medium-sized flower heads can be quite heavy and cause the tall plants to fall over, so staking is generally required. Another option is to cut its stems back by half in early summer, which will result in shorter sturdier plants.
Full to partial sun is required for good health and flowering, but this tough, adaptable plant tolerates a wide variety of neutral to alkaline soil types. In poorer, rockier soils the plants tend be sturdier and require less staking. Established specimens can even withstand periods of drought. Maximilian's sunflower is great for wildlife; its flowers are highly attractive to butterflies, and its seeds are favored by seed-eating birds. Place this substantial perennial in large garden spaces. It is also ideal for roadside plantings and wildflower gardens. The flowers are great for cutting and have a long vase-life. Plants tend to self-sow. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Helianthus
Species - Maximiliani
Common name - Maximilians Sunflower
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 4 - 9
Height - 4'-10' / 1.20 - 3 m
Spread - 2'-3' / 0.60 - 0.90 m
Plant type - Perennial
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Sand
Water requirements - Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Landscape uses - Cutflower, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Wildflower
Germination rate - 80%
Bloom season - Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall, Late Fall
Leaf / Flower color - Dark Green / Yellow, Light Yellow, Gold, Brown
|Germination||Direct sow in mid spring. |
An earlier start can be made by sowing 2 - 3 seeds per pot in a greenhouse in early spring.
Use a fairly rich compost. Thin to the strongest seedling, give them an occasional liquid feed to make sure they do not become nutrient deficient and plant them out in late spring or early summer.