Tithonia Torch Red - Seeds
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Tithonia, also called Mexican Sunflower, is an annual plant that is native to Mexico and Central America. This drought tolerant plant likes warm weather.
Tithonia blooms from summer to fall. The daisy-like flowers in orange and yellow, grow 2 1/2" to 3 inches across. Remove spent blooms to promote new flowers.
Grow Tithonia plants at the back of the border. You can also grow them in groups. They will grow 36" to 60" tall. Some people grow them in containers. If you choose to do so, put them in large floor pots.
Tithonias have rough, hairy leaves on tall, vigorous plants. Shorter varieties are now available that will stay approximately 4 feet tall. The flowers are single and up to 3 inches in diameter. The color is a deep orange-red, even though there is now a variety with chrome-yellow flowers.
Mexican Sunflowers attract butterflies.
Tithonia is also referred to as ""Golden Flower of the Incas".
Propagating tithonia: By seed. Seeds may be sown outdoors; for earlier flowering, start them indoors 6 to 8 weeks earlier. Seeds germinate in 7 to 21 days at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Tithonia must have full sun, but it will grow in average soil with good drainage.
- It is one of the most heat- and drought-resistant plants, growing reasonably well in soils of low fertility.
- Plant in the garden after all danger of frost has passed.
- Space plants 21/2 to 3 feet apart.
- Do not overwater.
- Protect the plants from high winds and stake them -- this is particularly important in late summer and fall when they are tall and top-heavy.
Uses for tithonia:
Its size and coarseness of the foliage dictates planting it at the back of the border. The color is so intense that it only takes a few plants for impact. It is also useful for covering fences and shielding background eyesores in the garden. Tithonias make good cut flowers as long as the hollow stems are seared after cutting and plunged into 100 degrees Fahrenheit water.
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