Friday, September 3, 2010

'Sunshine Daydream' Helianthus for Mid-Summer Bloom

Sunshine Daydream (Helianthus x multiflorus ‘Sunshine Daydream’) has been blooming non-stop in my Northeast Tennessee garden for the past two months.

This double-flowering yellow false sunflower is a new introduction from North Creek Nurseries, a wholesale nursery in Landenberg, PA. Sunshine Daydream is a branch sport (mutation) of native cultivar ‘Capenoch Star’. It is a mid-summer flowering perennial.

Sturdy 5 - 6 feet tall by 2 - 4 feet wide plants support bouquets of bright yellow double flowers. The dahlia-like blooms measure 2.5 inches across. The spent flowers are seedless and do not threaten to become a weedy problem in years to come.

Sunshine Daydream performs best in full sun, preferably in moist well-drained soil. Keep plants in full vigor with monthly applications of a water-soluble fertilizer such as Miracle -Gro™ or equivalent or feed bi-monthly with 10-10-10 or equivalent.

Sunshine Daydream stands up to summer's heat and humidity. Established 1- year old plants are moderately drought tolerant. This long-lived perennial is hardy in USDA zones 4 thru 8. The summer foliage of Sunshine Daydream is remarkably resistant to powdery mildew, a fungal disease which plagues some helianthus species.

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