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2018 sunflower - Flower of the Year
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Flower of the Year: Sunflower

Wood Buffalo Communities in Bloom has selected the sunflower as the 2018 Flower of the Year. The committee chose the sunflower for its reputation of being a cheerful and easy-to-grow flower.

The sunflower is native to North America, but it has spread across the world through export. Native Americans planted wild varieties as a source of food, but modern breeding has emphasized petal size and count over seed production in many varieties.

As a symbol of adoration, longevity and loyalty, the sunflower plays a vital role in history including being a food source for animals, birds and people, as well as demonstrating faithful tendencies to follow the sun across the sky.

The sunflower can range in height from 10 centimetres to over four metres tall, depending on the variety. As a committee, we have chosen the shorter varieties so that each can be planted in either pots or gardens, allowing everyone to enjoy the bright, cheerful plant.

Look for the Wood Buffalo Communities in Bloom booth at various community events to get your free pack of sunflower seeds!

By Joanne Fisher, Wood Buffalo Communities in Bloom Committee Member

Sunflower Planting and Care Instructions

  • Start seeds outside following last frost
  • Select an area with full sun and protected from the wind
  • Use light soil with good drainage
  • Plant seeds 1” deep, and approximately 6” to 10” apart
  • Keep soil moist until germination
  • Allow 10 to 14 days for germination
  • Water regularly, and use very little fertilizer
  • Stake stems if needed
  • To harvest, cut flower heads and allow 2 to 3 weeks to dry
  • Store seeds for next season

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