Today in Gardenprue we have to talk about the Helianthus annuus or as we usually know it, the sunflower . We are going to tell you a little about the history and origin of this famous plant and how we usually do, advise you on how to grow it.
And as a bonus to this article we will tell you a great curiosity, the reason why sunflowers look at the Sun.
GROWING SUNFLOWERS IN YOUR GARDEN
In Spain we know Helianthus annuus as sunflower, but it also has other names such as mirasol, tile corn, jáquima, calom, etc.
It belongs to the Asteraceae (compound) family, a group to which more than 23,500 species belong among 1,600 genera. Its origin dates back to America, but is currently widespread throughout the planet, both as a food-producing plant, as an ornamental or oleaginous (oil production).
SUNFLOWER GROWING GUIDE
CLIMATIC NEEDS IN SUNFLOWER CULTIVATION
Regarding temperatures, the correct thermal gradient determines the optimal growth of the sunflower, but luckily this is usually wide. The highest temperatures it supports are 35 ºC when they are constant (it supports higher peaks) and the lowest temperatures are above 10 ºC.
It is useless to have it in the shade. Once he has direct access to sunlight, he alone will be in charge of going perpendicular to its rays, as you will see at the end of the entrance.
THE IDEAL SOIL
Given its root system (we will comment on it later), it is a plant that adapts easily to any type of soil as long as its conditions have good drainage. Alkaline soils generally do not cause you mineral deficiency problems. The ideal ones are those that have good content either in sand or in clay (although you will not find problems with other soil structures either).
To know how the subscriber will be in the cultivation of sunflowers, we will do it in two ways. One that would be using compost, the amount of which will go by eye, bordering the plant and acting as mulching or mulching to prevent root dryness, and another by providing data regarding the content of most minerals, as we did with a few crops in the nutritional needs article .
Here you have the data:
Sunflower nutritional requirements
SUNFLOWER WATERING NEEDS
It should be borne in mind that sunflowers reach quite a height and have great fruit production and oil content. This translated in some way means that it needs important watering , especially in its flowering and fruiting (start of flower buds and 15 days after flowering).
One good thing about it is that it has a powerful root system, so it will draw water from soil strata where other plants are not able to. This is precisely why it supports dry seasons well (despite the fact that it requires abundant watering to keep it healthy and productive), since it supports the temporary dehydration of its tissues well.
WHY DO SUNFLOWERS ROTATE FOLLOWING THE SUN?
The sunflower, like many other plants (only this is the best known and most famous case) has phototropism.
This means that there is a response on the part of the plant to a light stimulus, such as solar radiation. Within phototropism we find heliotropism and which is directly related to the sun (Helium).
You will find a much more complete answer on this page full of curiosities of all kinds .