Why plant Audubon® Native Ox-eyed Sunflower?
Petal Power! Oxeye Sunflower just won’t stop. This enthusiastic native Spirit will pump out its cheery golden flowers for weeks and weeks each summer, much to the delight of your backyard pollinators. Underappreciated natives like digger bees, mining bees, leafcutter bees, sweat bees, and carpenter bees will get right to work, alongside the more familiar honey bees and bumblebees. In fall, the bees’ job is done, but Oxeye Sunflower keeps on giving. This time it’s seeds for the finches, sparrows, and juncos. You’ll enjoy watching the birds from your patio as they dig in.
Oxeye Sunflower seems to like people—it often appears where the soil has been disturbed in some way. It certainly likes to be invited into our gardens, where it performs like a champ. Handsome, easygoing, and floriferous, it looks at home in formal borders and in naturalistic gardens alike. In the wild, Oxeye Sunflower is found in all of the lower 48 states east of the Rockies (except for Florida), and in central to eastern Canada. It occasionally escapes the garden and reseeds into surrounding areas, but it is never invasive.
How to use Audubon® Native Ox-eyed Sunflower in the landscape?
Several of our native bee species nest in flower stems over the winter, and Oxeye Sunflower is one plant they use. Don’t be too fastidious about “cleaning up” the garden in fall! Our hardworking insects need those spaces to survive.
Hardiness Zone: 3-9
How To Plant Audubon® Native Ox-eyed Sunflower
Plant Oxeye Sunflower in all-day sun in soils of average moisture and fertility. In extremely hot, dry sites, plants may suffer and scorch, while in overly fertile, wet, or shady sites, stems may grow too tall and lush and will fall over. Oxeye Sunflower will typically go three to five years before needing division. If flower production is declining or plants seem weak, simply dig them up in early spring, discard woody sections, and replant the healthy pieces. Or, allow plants to reseed to start new patches. For maximum wildlife benefit, wait until early spring to cut back spent stems.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.