I grew tithonia (aka Mexican Sunflower) a few years ago for the very first time, my garden hasn’t been without it since. Even though I’m not a huge fan of orange flowers, I grow these. Tithonia provides a very important source of late season food for pollinators, particularly migrating monarchs.
Not only are these plants great for pollinators, they’re tough plants, thriving in poor, dry soil. Mine are blooming like crazy in the less than stellar side of the garden. They also grow fairly tall, making them a really nice border around the vegetable patch. I use them as a wind break since they grow to about 5 feet tall. Every time I’m in the garden, there are monarchs on the tithonia and the echinacea. Both very important plants to have in our gardens for pollinators.
Blooms midsummer to frost on 60-72″ inch branching annual plants. Loves hot, dry sites. Can be used as a cut flower. Tithonia is frost tender and will be gone with the first fall frost. Open pollinated plants are easy to save seed from. Packet includes 25 seeds.
DAYS TO GERMINATION:
7-14 days at 70-85°F (21-29°C)
DAYS TO MATURITY
85 – 90 Days
Direct seed: after last frost. Sow once soil temperature is 70-85°F (21-29°C). Barely cover seeds as light is required for germination.
Transplant: sow 6 weeks before last frost in 5″ pots to give them space to grow to a nice size before transplant. Starting under a grow light or near a window is best as light aids germination. Using a seedling heating mat will aid in germination.
Fertile loam or sandy soil with good drainage. Tolerates poor soil. Excess nitrogen results in tall plants with few flowers.