A member of warm-climate shrubs and trailing plants, their more famous member is the morning glory. grown majorly as ornamental plants, Ipomoea have trumpet-shaped flowers in bright shades of blue, purple and pink. Some of its blooming varieties has stunningly large blooms. As trailing and twining plants they make excellent ground and wall cover.
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- Sunflowers grow best in locations with the direct sun (6 to 8 hours per day); they prefer long, hot summers to flower well
- Sunflowers have long tap roots which need to stretch out so the plants prefer well-dug, loose, well-draining soil; in preparing a bed, dig down 2 feet in depth and about 3 feet across to ensure the soil isn’t too compact
- Find a well-drained location, and prepare your soil by digging an area of about 2-3 feet in circumference to a depth of about 2 feet
- Though they, re not too fussy, sunflowers thrive in slightly acidic to somewhat alkaline (pH 6
- 0 to 7
- Sunflowers are heavy feeders so the soil needs to be nutrient-rich with organic matter or composted (aged) manure
- Or, work in a slow release granular fertilizer 8 inches deep into your soil
- If possible, put seeds in a spot that is sheltered from strong winds, perhaps along with a fence or near a building
- Culinary Use:
- The edible sunflower seeds can be eaten raw, cooked, roasted, or dried and ground for use in bread or cakes, as a snack
- The seeds and the roasted seed shells have been used as a coffee substitute
- Oil can be extracted and used for cooking and soap making
- Yellow dyes have been made from the flowers, and black dyes from the seeds
- The residue oil cake has been used as cattle and poultry feed, and high quality silage can be made from the whole plant
- The buoyant pith of the stalk has been used in the making of life preservers
Planting And Care
- Water plants deeply but infrequently to encourage deep rooting
- Feed plants only sparingly; over-fertilization can cause stems to break in the fall
- Tall species and cultivars require support
- Bamboo stakes are a good choice for any plant that has a strong, single stem and needs support for a short period of time
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