Teddy Bear Sunflower Complete Guide To Grow And Care

The ‘Teddy Bear’ sunflower derives its name from its resemblance to a cuddly, amiable teddy animal. This modest, two- to three-foot-tall sunflower cultivar is equally weighted wherever it is planted because of its extra-large, double, golden blossoms. It is striking when planted in patio pots, flower beds, decorative borders, and vegetable gardens.

This is an annual sunflower with large, dark green leaves that are held aloft on robust stalks. The same plant and bloom are produced from seeds that are kept, gathered, and planted again the next growing season. Bloom time draws bees, butterflies, and birds to the garden from midsummer until the first frost.

Teddy Bear Sunflower Plants Overview

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Common Name  Teddy Bear Sunflower
 Botanical Name  Helianthus annuus ‘Teddy Bear’
 Family Asteraceae
 Plant Type  Herbaceous annual
 Mature Size  2-3 ft. tall
 Sun Exposure Full sun
 Soil Type  Sandy loam, well-drained
 Soil pH  6.0 to 6.8
 Bloom Time  Summer
 Flower Color  Golden yellow
 Hardiness Zones  2-11 (USDA)
Native Area North America, Mexico

Teddy Bear Sunflower Care

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There is one significant distinction between growing and caring for this sunflower and other varieties of annual sunflowers: this dwarf variety is far more resistant to disease and pests. The teddy Bear’s small size also makes it more resilient to wind and other bad weather than larger cultivars. The key things to keep in mind are as follows:

  • Let it receive lots of direct, bright sunshine.

     

  • Plant it in soil that drains well and is rather fertile.

     

  • Regularly remove deadhead wasted flowers

Light Requirements

The Teddy Bear sunflower requires six to eight hours per day of intense, direct sunshine. Since all sunflowers follow the path of the sun, they are heliotropic. Throughout the day, observe how the enormous, spectacular blooms’ flowerheads rotate to face the sun.

Soil and Potting

Although they don’t care what kind of soil you use, sunflowers need well-draining soil. They do best on soil that is rich in organic matter and has a pH of 6.0 to 6.8—a slightly acidic range. Before planting, include compost to promote robust health and larger, more durable flowers.

Watering

Every week, Teddy Bear sunflowers require one inch of water, depending on the amount of rainfall and the state of the soil. Stems can become unstable and produce root rot if they are overwatered. Plants at ground level should be well soaked until the soil is six inches deep, or until the top two inches of soil have dried off.

Water this miniature sunflower in containers at least once or twice a week.

Temperature and Environment

When the temperature rises to between 70 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit, sunflowers start to display. If the soil doesn’t dry up, they may tolerate greater temperatures. It is best to gather seeds before the temperature drops below freezing. The average humidity is suitable.

Fertilization

Fertilizer is not necessary for Teddy Bear sunflowers when grown in rich soil. For those cultivating this cultivar in containers or simply wanting to give your plants a boost, start your planting process by adding compost or a balanced granular fertilizer like NPK 10-10-10. Throughout the growing season, apply a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month to potted plants or non-fertile garden soil.

When to Harvest a Teddy Bear Sunflower

The lifespan of cut flowers is six to twelve days. When the golden rays have partially appeared but have not yet fully opened, that is the ideal moment to remove flowerheads. When plants are stressed—due to drought or excessive moisture—avoid pruning them. Reaping flowers for arrangements such as vases and bouquets stimulates the plant to bear additional flowers.

How to Grow Teddy Bear Sunflower From Seed?

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Sunflowers are quite simple to grow from seed, and as the soil temperature reaches between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, they will consistently germinate. Although seedlings can be effectively transplanted if they are little, about two inches tall, direct sowing is the preferred approach. When the temperature reaches between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which is typically three weeks after the last frost in temperate zones, plan to sow seed. After gathering your seeds with a tiny hand trowel or hoe, do the following:

  • Before sowing, some growers advise soaking the seed in water at room temperature for eight to twelve hours. While it may speed up germination by a few days, soaking seeds is not necessary for them to sprout.

     

  • Make a shallow ditch that is 1/2 inch deep. With the pointy end down, space the seeds two inches apart. Add half an inch of soil on top. As an alternative, you can press seeds about 1/2 inch deep into the ground with your finger. In two to three weeks, seedlings begin to sprout.

     

  • Once sprouting has started, space seedlings 18 inches apart.

Sunflower seeds can also be sown directly into the garden using this method:

  • In order to loosen the top two inches of soil, rake the planting area.

     

  • Lightly distribute the seeds throughout the whole planting area.

     

  • Gently cover the seeds with 1/2 to 1 inch of soil using a rake.

     

  • Make sure not to move the seeds when you use a hose to hydrate the planting area.

     

  • As soon as the seedlings appear and develop two sets of leaves, space them eighteen inches apart.

Potting and Repotting Teddy Bear Sunflower

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Select plastic or terra cotta pots if you intend to plant “Teddy Bear” sunflowers in pots. Make use of six-inch seed starting pots that provide adequate drainage. Take these actions:

  • Before planting, soak seeds in warm water for eight to ten hours. You can skip this step if you’d like.

     

  • Spoon potting mix into pots, keeping it slightly moist.

     

  • With the pointy side down, plant three to four seeds 1/2 inch deep, softly cover with dirt, and then water.

     

  • Plant container(s) in a sunny spot with slightly damp but not saturated soil. In two to three weeks, seedlings begin to show.

     

  • When two sets of leaves sprout and the seedlings are strong enough to handle, divide them and place them in separate pots with a 12-inch diameter to allow them to grow to their full height and width.

Teddy Bear Sunflower Common Pests and Plant Diseases

The Teddy Bear sunflower exhibits strong resilience to pests and diseases, in contrast to many standard-size sunflowers. Aphids and spider mites may be drawn to it, much as to most other plants. To get rid of them from the plant, use a powerful garden hose spray or apply insecticidal detergent.

Another fungal disease that may harm this sunflower is powdery mildew. Apply horticultural oil or neem oil as soon as leaves or stems show signs of infection.

How to Get Teddy Bear Sunflower to Bloom?

The sunflower variety known as “Teddy Bear” blooms consistently without any help from the grower. Starting in mid-summer, each plant produces four to five double, golden yellow blooms when cultivated in medium, well-draining soil. Deadheading on a regular basis promotes recurrent blooming until the first frost.

Common Problems With Teddy Bear Sunflower

This dwarf sunflower is generally trouble-free and requires little maintenance. Yellowing of the leaves can be caused by overwatering, underwatering, or low nitrogen levels.

Also Read: Pilea Involucrata Complete Guide To Grow And Care

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