Black Russian Sunflower
This sunflower has a giant yellow flower head, up to 15″ across with on a single, tall stalk, 12′ – 15′. The seeds of Mammoth Black Russian have a high oil content. This sunflower cultivar traveled to Europe where it was further cultivated into this giant. Great for bird seed mixes. Thin seedlings to 2′ – 3′ apart. These may need support against a wall or fence in windy areas and will do better if planted with composted manure and slow-release fertilizer. Allow the heads to dry completely before removing the seeds.
Keep them deadheaded until the end of the season. If you deadhead your sunflowers, they will keep pumping out new blossoms in their will to create seeds and more sunflowers. Don’t cut the stalk way back, the next sunflower often forms just inches from the place you deadheaded.
Leave the very last batch of spent flowers for the birds and for next year’s flowers. When it seems like the sunflowers are slowing down, leave the last set on flower heads on the plant for the birds. Even if its a little ugly going into Fall, birds like the seed heads right on the plant. Little finches especially like to sit on top of the old brown seed head and bend over and pluck seeds out.
Height: 12-15 feet