10 branching sunflowers

Branching sunflowers produce multiple stems and blooms from a single plant. The main stem puts off many side shoots, each capable of developing its own flower head. This characteristic leads to a more extended flowering period, as not all blooms open at the same time.

Branching sunflowers come in a variety of sizes and colors, ranging from classic bright yellow to shades of orange, red, and even pale yellows or whites. The size of the blooms can vary as well, with some being as large as traditional sunflowers and others smaller.

Sunflower by front gate

1. Lemon Queen sunflower

Lemon Queen is one of the most popular types of branching sunflowers to grow. If you are looking to brighten up your late-season garden, these are the flowers for you. These beautiful, tall perennials have bright yellow petals that are only 2 inches across. The flowers grow abundantly, covering the bush they grow on. Along with the yellow petals come dark green leaves, creating a show-stopping look. Their lovely display lasts for about six weeks, from late summer to fall.

These flowers prefer well-drained soil and full sun for adequate growth. They will attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds but are deer and rabbit-resistant. Don’t skip this plant if you’re hoping to attract beneficial pollinators to your garden!

Autumn beauty sunflower seeds

2. Autumn Beauty sunflower

Autumn Beauty is another favorite variety that grows in a multi-head branching form. These truly are a beauty to see in the late summer and fall months. The petals of these sunflowers vary from pale yellow to a dark auburn color. The plant bears tons of long-stemmed flowers with dark centers among a bed of leaves. These sunflowers grow between 3 and 6 feet and bloom year-round.

The Autumn Beauty loves full sun and well-drained soil. They draw in plenty of wildlife, like butterflies and bees.

3. Rouge Royal (Moulin Rouge) sunflower

Rouge Royal sunflowers (formerly called ‘Moulin Rouge’) are another must-have branching variety in the garden. These truly red flowers are extremely beautiful to behold in the late summer and fall. They are perfect for cutting flowers in the home as this variety doesn’t drop pollen.

The sunflower buds are edible. Some people grill, marinate, or sautee them for unique side dishes and appetizers. These sunflowers are drought-resistant once established in the soil.

Velvet queen

4. Velvet Queen sunflower

Velvet Queen sunflower is one of the darkest of all sunflowers. It has a deep velvety coppery-bronze color to its bloom. The sunflower heads are even darker in color, almost brown. The spreading stems with multiple flowers make them perfect for cut flowers and table arrangements in the fall. These wild sunflowers love full sun and well-drained soil just like their counterparts.

5. Ring of Fire sunflower

Ring of Fire sunflowers have a five-inch sunflower head with golden petals. The golden petals stretch outward from a ring of red in the middle. The center of these sunflowers is a chocolate brown color. These sunflowers truly stand out in a crowd of regular growing sunflowers. They grow to about 4 or 5 feet tall and spread 2 or 3 feet.

Ring of Fire Sunflowers love full sun and are great for cut flowers and arrangements. If you don’t cut the stems in your cut flower garden, the seeds produce yummy food for wildlife.

6. Sonja sunflower

Sonja sunflowers have tangerine-colored petals with dark centers. Each plant has sprays of about eight or more branches with strong stems. The 4-inch blooms come out in late summer and early fall and are wonderful for a cutting garden. These sunflower varieties dislike root disturbance, but transplanting them outdoors after sowing can sometimes lead to early sunflowers.

These flowers love full sun, so plant sunflowers in a space where plenty of sunlight will hit them throughout the day.

Planting soraya seeds

7. Soraya sunflower

The Soraya sunflower variety is the big sister to the Sonja sunflowers. This variety has larger flowers and thicker, sturdier stems. The blooms are about 4 inches in diameter, and the plant bears about 20 to 25 stems. This is the first sunflower to win an All-American Selections award. Grow these branching varieties in full sun for optimal growth.

8. Chocolate sunflower

Chocolate sunflowers are a lovely brown color from petal to center. What’s cool is that their underside is striped in yellow, giving it a little pop when the sun hits them just right. They are great in bouquets or as a garden border. The stem length is roughly 10 to 24 inches long. Bees love these flowers, and so do flower farmers.

9. Gold Rush sunflower

Gold Rush is another favorite. The gold petals of this early and classic sunflower are lovely in any cutting garden. The rounded, overlapping petals are a beautiful yellow-orange color and surround a chocolate center. They grow 18 to 32 inches in height and have a 4 to 5-inch bloom. These pollen-less flowers are a lovely addition to any garden and make great bouquets.

Plant them in full sun and harvest as the color first begins to show or when the blooms are almost completely open for longer vase life. These make lovely cut flowers to give as gifts.

10. Apricot Daisy sunflower

Apricot Daisy is a nicely branching sunflower that has a lime green center and peach or apricot-colored flower petals. When cut for arrangements, they very much resemble daisies. These cut flowers are great for bouquets and in-home arrangements because they are pollenless. They grow to about 4 feet tall.

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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