Sunflowers are gorgeous, vibrant, and easy to grow. With so many different varieties to choose from, how does the Velvet Queen sunflower stand out, and why should you choose this queen to grow in your garden?
Velvet Queen sunflowers are a deep red and orange color and they grow to be about five to seven feet tall. They have a velvety petal texture and are multi-branching annual sunflowers. They should be planted mid-spring to avoid frost. Velvet Queen sunflowers typically bloom in August or September and make for gorgeous cut flowers.
These flowers are absolutely gorgeous, and they stand out as one of the few non-yellow sunflowers. They’re an absolute joy to have in any flower garden, and if you want to learn more about them, keep reading below.
Velvet Queen sunflower basics
The Velvet Queen sunflower is an heirloom sunflower variety known for its rich burgundy flower petals. These stunning flowers have been grown in gardens and flower beds for decades due to their gorgeous flowers!
Unlike most sunflowers, these flowers aren’t yellow. Instead, they sport a dark burgundy color with an almost black center of the petals that sometimes fades into light orange at the tips. The brown disc floret has a ring of yellow inside all the dark seeds, helping the coloration stand out even more. They make for beautiful and interesting cut flowers.
Velvet Queen sunflowers aren’t the tallest sunflower plants out there, but they’re definitely not the shortest, either. These tall plants stop growing at five to seven feet. The flower heads can be up to eight inches in diameter.
They’re also multi-branching flowers. More than one flower will sprout off of one stalk, so if you plant one seed that sprouts, it might bloom four flowers. Four to seven flower heads are the average you can expect, but you can definitely get more to grow. According to Guinness World Records, the worldwide record for most sunflowers on one plant is 837, so seven is definitely not the limit.
They’re also annual flowers, which might sound like they bloom every single year, but that’s not the case. Perennial flowers/plants are the ones that bloom every single year. You’ll need to plant fresh sunflower seeds every year (or allow the sunflowers to drop enough seed on the ground that some seedlings will sprout up next spring).
How to plant Velvet Queen sunflowers
These plants bloom in the summer, which means they need to be planted in the spring. But don’t plant them too early in the spring. Mid to late spring is the best time to plant these to keep the seeds from going through frost.
Sometimes seeds can survive light frosts, but sunflowers like heat and don’t have much tolerance for deep cold. If you plant them too early, they might freeze before they have a chance to germinate.
Another way to avoid frost is by growing these flowers inside in pots until they germinate, which is when you can move them and replant them in your outdoor flower garden.
Unfortunately, you can’t grow sunflowers indoors for the whole year. They get too big, and they need at least six hours of direct sunlight to survive, so they don’t do well as houseplants.
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To get them the sunlight they need, make sure to direct sow them in the sunniest spot of your garden. They don’t do well in shade, and this particular variety of sunflower can survive through droughts, so don’t worry about them getting too much sun.
These flowers have an eighteen-inch spread, so planting them at least two feet apart will give each plant plenty of space to grow and spread out.
When planting the seeds, dig a hole that’s about half an inch deep. Then place one seed in the soil and cover it with soil.
How to grow Velvet Queen sunflowers
Velvet Queen sunflowers grow quite fast. They can take seventy to a hundred days to bloom, which is about ten to fourteen weeks. And, since they’re annual flowers, they will bloom in their first year (instead of taking a few years to bloom, like many perennial flowers).
The most important part of growing any plants is the sunlight and watering. As long as they’re in direct sunlight for at least six hours, remember to water them at least once a week.
When you water them, you need to make sure you’re deep watering them. Shallow watering makes the roots grow on the top level of soil, which does not allow for them to get as many nutrients and they are more likely to be ripped out of the ground by animals or strong winds.
Deep watering is done by pouring water into the soil in the same spot for a long period of time, which sinks the water deeper into the ground. Deep watering them at least once a week will make sure the root bound further into the ground.
As long as the soil conditions are healthy enough, you won’t have to fertilize your flowers. But if they’re growing slowly with drooping leaves, it’s a sign that you should probably add some fertilizer to their diet.
Once the season is over, you should make sure to dig up the plants. They won’t last longer than a year, and you really don’t want dead flowers clogging up your garden when you can plant a new set.
Reasons to grow Velvet Queen sunflowers
Velvet Queen sunflowers are gorgeous additions to any bouquet or garden. They’re not bright yellow, so they pair well with darker, more mature color schemes and they’re not too big that they won’t fit in the bouquet (unlike skyscrapers, which might be too big). They also add some nice color contrast to classic yellow sunflowers.
All flowers mean something when added to bouquets, and when Velvet Queen Sunflowers are added to bouquets, they have a slightly different meaning than bright yellow sunflowers.
Burgundy sunflowers represent loyalty and support, and bright orange sunflowers represent passion and strength. Since these flowers are both burgundy and light orange/yellow, they can carry meanings for both colors.
Butterflies and bees love these flowers, but their number one fans are birds (due to all of the seeds in the disc floret). If you want beautiful hummingbirds, bluebirds, and more frequenting your garden, you should grow some Velvet Queens. And don’t forget their pollinator-magnet sister variety, Lemon Queen.