Helianthus debilis 'Vanilla Ice'
- Position: full sun
- Soil: moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: July to September
- Flower colour: creamy-yellow
- Other features: contact with the foliage may aggravate skin allergies
- Hardiness: fully hardy
One of the best-loved summer flowers, this compact sunflower has creamy-white flowers, which will last for ages in fresh, cut arrangements - especially if gathered while they are still in bud. Alternatively, leave them to add a naturalised charm to a sunny border. An ideal, easy to grow option for the novice or young gardener. The flowers are said to be edible, the buds tasting like artichokes, while the petals have a bittersweet flavour.
- Garden care:Under glass, start them off in late winter by planting the seeds up to 5cm deep in deep pots or root trainers filled with good seed compost. When large enough to handle, plant outside in spring after gradually hardening off. Alternatively, sow directly into a well-prepared seed bed in spring and thin to 30cm as they grow. If sowing outside, temporarily cover the bed with a net to protect the seeds from birds, and keep an eye out for slugs and snails when the seedlings emerge.
- Sow: February-June
- Flowering: June-September
- Approximate quantity: 45 seeds.
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