Tall and Tiny Sunflower Varieties

Grow sunflowers in a pot or grow a sunflower forest with this collection of dwarf and mega varieties.
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Photo By: Image courtesy of Burpee

Photo By: Image courtesy of Burpee

Photo By: Image courtesy of Burpee

Photo By: Image courtesy of National Garden Bureau

Photo By: Image courtesy of Burpee

©2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of National Garden Bureau

Photo By: Image courtesy of Burpee

Photo By: Image courtesy of Burpee

Photo By: Image courtesy of Burpee

Photo By: Image courtesy of Burpee

Photo By: Image courtesy of National Garden Bureau

Photo By: Image courtesy of National Garden Bureau

Sunflower 'Little Becka'

'Little Becka' sunflower tucks nicely into small garden spaces and grows just 3 feet tall. The 6-inch flowers have deep red petals surrounded by glowing yellow "halos." This dwarf bicolor works well in borders or in a bed of cutting flowers. Give it full sun and well-drained soil.

Sunflower 'Sunforest Mix'

If you have children, grow an almost-instant playhouse for them to enjoy. The stalks of 'Sunforest Mix' sunflower can reach 10-15 feet high and spread up to 40 inches across. Plant the seeds in blocks, leaving 3 to 4 feet between each block, to create a living maze. The blooms typically measure a foot or more across.

Sunflower 'Elf'

Said to be the shortest sunflower ever, 'Elf' blooms for a long period of time, bearing bright gold, 4-inch blooms atop 16-inch stems. Try them for a children's garden or a low border. They'll attract lots of butterflies to your garden.

Sunflower 'Soraya'

'Soraya' is the first sunflower to receive an AAS (All-America Selections) Award, thanks to its bright orange-gold flowers with dark brown centers. The plants are heavily branched but don't need staking, even though they grow to 6 feet tall. The flowers, which grow on 20 inch stems, are attractive to birds and butterflies and are great for cutting.

Sunflower 'American Giant'

"Giant" is the right name for these sunflowers, which shoot up to 14 feet in height and have bright yellow faces that measure up to a foot across. Try them as a hedge or border to block an unwanted view. They're among the tallest of the sunflowers.

'Pacino' Sunflower

Perfect for pots, 'Pacino' produces bright yellow sunflowers that max out at 24-inches tall.

Sunflower 'Zohar'

Another pollen-free sunflower, 'Zohar' has orange-gold blooms with dark brown centers held on single stems. The plants grow to 4 feet and bloom throughout the summer.

Sunflower 'Baby Bear'

The shaggy, golden heads of 'Baby Bear' sunflowers may remind you of a fuzzy teddy bear. The blooms are tightly packed with petals and measure about 8 inches across, while the plants mature at 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 feet high. Use this variety in full-sun beds or containers.

Sunflower 'Elegance'

Think 'Elegance' when you're looking for a compact sunflower with bold color. These plants reach 20-30 inches high, but offer lots of flower power with their gold petals and deep brown "eyes." The heavily-branching plants produce lots of flowers on long stems that are good for cutting.

Sunflower 'Bashful'

Salmon pink and pale yellow blooms make 'Bashful' a standout. The flowers are produced in thick clusters, and they're pollen-free, so they won't stain your hands or clothes. Use these extra-bushy plants in beds or containers; they grow to about 3 feet tall.

Sunflower 'Russian Mammoth'

Gardeners who compete at county fairs and flower shows often grow 'Russian Mammoth', a hard-to-beat beauty that towers 9 to 12 feet high. The huge heads can be dried for their thin-shelled, striped seeds, which are meaty and beloved by birds and other wildlife. This easy-to-grow favorite attracts butterflies.

Sunflower 'Frilly'

Sunflower 'Frilly' is loaded with flowerheads made up of narrow, raggedy-looking petals. An inner layer of petals forms a fringe around the dark center disk. Grow this one for cutting, or as a fun novelty. The plants reach 5 to 6 feet in height; this variety does not produce pollen.

Sunflower 'Suntastic Yellow'

'Suntastic' is a prolific dwarf sunflower, producing up to 20 blossoms in three successive "waves" of blooms. The compact plants grow just 20 inches tall, so they're a great choice for containers and window boxes. The yellow-gold flowers have black centers and are pollen-free. This variety is an All-America Selections winner.