HELIANTHUS Annuus 'Velvet Queen' (Sunflower - Velvet Queen) is a popular variety of the common sunflower. It is prized for its stunning, deep red to burgundy flower heads and is often chosen for its bold and rich color.
'Velvet Queen' Sunflower is a tall annual plant that typically grows to a height of 5 to 8 feet (1.5 to 2.4 meters) and spreads about 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) wide. It has sturdy, hairy stems and large, rough-textured leaves. The plant produces a single large flower head at the top of each stem.
The flower head of 'Velvet Queen' Sunflower is the highlight of this variety. It is composed of a dark brown center, known as the disc florets, surrounded by vibrant, deep red to burgundy ray florets. The ray florets are slightly reflexed, giving the flower head a velvety appearance. The flower heads are typically large, reaching up to 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter.
'Velvet Queen' Sunflower typically blooms from mid-summer to fall, depending on the specific growing conditions and climate. The flowering period can last several weeks, providing a striking display of richly colored flowers in the garden. The large and vibrant flowers of 'Velvet Queen' Sunflower are attractive to pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. They provide a valuable nectar and pollen source. Additionally, the mature seeds are highly favored by birds, making this variety a great addition to wildlife gardens.
Helianthus annuus 'Velvet Queen' thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. It is adaptable to various soil types, including sandy or loamy soils, but prefers fertile soil. Regular watering is needed, especially during dry periods, to support healthy growth and flowering. The tall stature of this sunflower variety may require staking to prevent the stems from bending or breaking under the weight of the flower heads.
'Velvet Queen' Sunflower is generally low-maintenance. Deadheading spent flowers can help promote prolonged blooming and prevent seed formation. However, allowing some seed heads to mature can provide food for birds and contribute to the natural reseeding of the plant. Supporting the stems with stakes or a small trellis may be beneficial to prevent them from bending or breaking under the weight of the flowers.
'Velvet Queen' Sunflower is typically grown from seeds. Sow the seeds directly into the garden soil after the danger of frost has passed, or start them indoors a few weeks earlier and transplant the seedlings outdoors. Provide adequate spacing between plants to accommodate their size. The plants will benefit from regular watering, especially during dry spells, to support healthy growth and flowering.
'Velvet Queen' Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is a stunning variety that adds a touch of deep red and burgundy to gardens and landscapes. With its richly colored flowers, it is often chosen for its visual impact and ability to create a focal point. Whether grown for its ornamental value or to attract pollinators and birds, 'Velvet Queen' Sunflower can bring a vibrant and bold presence to any garden setting.
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