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Lemon Queen sunflower

The Lemon Queen sunflower is a multi-branched sunflower cultivar with pale yellow flowers that blooms in the late summer and early fall. These annual plants are easy to grow in full sun and are generally low-maintenance in the garden. The Lemon Queen sunflower is also well-known for its attractiveness to beneficial pollinators such as honeybees.

Sunflower by front gate

Lemon Queen sunflower basics

The Lemon Queen is a sunflower cultivar that is known for its lemon-yellow, pointed petals and chocolate-brown center. The pale lemon yellow blooms are known to attract bees and butterflies, which are essential pollinators for many gardeners. They are also known to deter certain pests, such as snails, deer, and rabbits.

This sunflower plant grows multiple branches, meaning that a single plant can grow dozens of flowers. The Lemon Queen Sunflowers are known to grow very quickly and can reach tall heights. This sunflower variety can grow to about 5 to 7 feet tall with a spread of about 6 feet in about three months.

Lemon queen sunflower seeds

How to plant Lemon Queen sunflowers

To plant a Lemon Queen sunflower, wait until after the last frost of the spring season. While very small sunflower seedlings can sometimes survive a light frost unaffected, larger seedling plants can be severely damaged by a hard frost.

For those that live in a location that has mild winters, sowing the seeds between April and June works great. For those that live in locations with harsher winters, you should consider sowing the seeds in late May or June.

Planting lemon queen sunflowers

Choose well-draining soil if possible. If you’d like to plant it in a pot, choose a big one (at least 10 gallons if possible). Make a little 1/2-inch deep planting hole. Then, place one seed inside the hole. Cover lightly with soil.

It is also important to check how much light you are getting wherever you decide to plant the sunflower so that it is getting enough sunlight every day, especially the warm afternoon full sun. They are usually heat tolerant and enjoy such atmospheres.

Once the seeds start to germinate (usually in about a week) ensure that each Lemon Queen flower is planted 12 inches apart from its neighbor so that the sunflowers have room to grow.

How to grow Lemon Queen sunflower plants

Caring for ‘Lemon Queen’ sunflowers, especially when grown to attract pollinators, involves specific practices to ensure healthy growth and abundant flowering. Regular watering is essential for ‘Lemon Queen’ sunflowers, especially during dry spells and when the plants are young. Water deeply at the base to encourage deep root growth, but avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.

Once established, these sunflowers are quite drought-tolerant. Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plants. Mulch helps retain soil moisture, keeps the roots cool, and suppresses weeds (meaning even lower maintenance requirements).

If your soil is nutrient-rich, additional fertilization may not be necessary. Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to promote healthy growth if the soil is less fertile. Avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers, as they can encourage leaf growth at the expense of blooms.

Due to their height, ‘Lemon Queen’ sunflowers may need support to prevent them from falling over, especially in windy areas. Use stakes or garden ties to gently secure the stems.

Regularly check for pests such as aphids and caterpillars, and manage them with appropriate organic controls. Keep an eye out for fungal diseases, especially in humid conditions, and treat as necessary. Avoid using pesticides that could harm bees and butterflies.

Planting a variety of flowers that bloom at different times can provide pollinators with a continuous food source. Provide a water source, like a shallow birdbath, for the pollinators. Your ‘Lemon Queen’ sunflowers will grow healthily and become a bustling hub for pollinators, enhancing the biodiversity and beauty of your garden.

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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