Skyscraper sunflower

‘Skyscraper’ sunflower is known for its height of about 12′ tall and masses of bright flowers. These branching plants each grow multiple flowers and tend to reach maturity about 70-75 days after planting. The 10″-14″-wide flowers are yellow, and the foliage is dark green. These large plants benefit from staking and grow well beside a wall or fence line.

Skyscraper sunflower basics

Skyscraper sunflowers are annual flowering plants that are also known as giant sunflowers. These tall plants can reach up to 12 feet in height and produce large yellow flowers.

These plants are a branching type that produces more than one flower per sunflower plant, as well as a host of large dark green leaves. Skyscraper sunflowers typically grow in the ground and do best in full sun. They are fairly easy to care for and require little maintenance.

How to grow Skyscraper sunflowers

‘Skyscraper’ sunflowers can reach heights of up to 12 feet, so choosing a location that accommodates their tall stature is crucial. Select a spot in your garden that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Ensure the area is shielded from strong winds, as their tall stems can be vulnerable to bending or breaking.

These sunflowers prefer well-draining soil. If you have clay, straight sand, or rocky soil, amend your garden soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve fertility and drainage. ‘Skyscraper’ sunflowers are not overly picky about pH but aim for a range between 6.0 and 7.5 if you’re going to bother to test.

Plant the seeds after the last frost date when the soil has warmed. Make a small indentation in the soil with your finger to sow the seeds. Place 2-3 seeds in the indentation and cover them with soil. Sow the seeds about an inch deep in the soil, spacing them about 2 feet apart to give each plant enough room to grow. Water thoroughly after planting.

Caring for Skyscraper sunflowers

Caring for skyscraper sunflowers starts with ensuring the plants have adequate amounts of water. While these plants are drought-tolerant, they won’t reach their full height if water is scarce. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Mulch around the base of the plants to help retain moisture and control weeds. You’ll also want to pull nearby weeds and feed the plants with organic plant fertilizer.

Given their height, ‘Skyscraper’ sunflowers may need support. Consider staking them with bamboo poles or sturdy stakes as they grow to prevent them from toppling over in windy conditions.

While sunflowers are not heavy feeders, a balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied at planting can promote healthy growth. Avoid over-fertilizing, particularly with nitrogen-rich formulas, as this can encourage more foliage growth at the expense of flowers.

‘Skyscraper’ sunflowers typically bloom in mid to late summer. The seeds are ready to harvest when the back of the flower head turns brown, and the seeds are plump and have hard shells. If you’re growing them for ornamental purposes, enjoy their towering blooms as a striking feature in 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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