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MONSTER sunflowers: Looking for seeds to grow 12-foot-tall sunflowers?

By Gary Bogue
Friday, March 19th, 2010 at 6:49 am in Gardens, Squirrels, Sunflowers.

Gary and Lois stand in one of their backyard garden boxes, surrounded by 12-foot-tall Burpee Mammoth Sunflowers.
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Some of you have been writing and asking where my wife Lois and I get the seeds to grow the 12-foot-tall sunflowers we’ve been growing in our Benicia, Calif., garden. Since you asked:

Dear Gary:
My husband Jim would like to know what kind of sunflower seeds you buy that grow to 12 feet tall with a stalk of 3-4 inches in diameter and where to purchase them.
Sharon Beckerich, Oakley, Calif.

15-inch Burpee Mammoth Sunflower blossom.
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Dear Sharon (and others):
Garden supply stores and many hardware stores have seed racks that display packets of seeds for growing just about every kind of plant you can imagine, and probably a few you can’t. I’ve found two brands and kinds of tall sunflower seeds:

*** Burpee Mammoth Sunflower (Girasol gigante) grows to 12 feet tall.

*** Lane Valley Seed Mammoth Gray Stripe Sunflower (helianthus annuus) grows to 8-10 feet tall.

Gary checks out Burpee Mammoth Sunflower heads hanging on the back fence to feed the squirrels.
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Lois and I like to plant the Burpee Mammoth Sunflowers. They’re like trees and when we plant them here and there around our garden boxes, they REALLY spice up the garden and make it a LOT of fun. (The fox squirrels also spend all their time climbing these giants and checking out the sunflower seeds and ignore the rest of our vegetables.)

Measuring the size of a dried Burpee Mammoth Sunflower blossom. Note that squirrels have eaten most of the seeds.
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When the sunflower blossoms dry and the seeds are ready, I cut off the huge blossom heads (I had one that weighed 14 pounds!) and hang them on the fence for a squirrel smorgasbord. The squirrels get what they want, and we get what we want … a vegetable garden untouched by squirrels. /Gary

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8 Responses to “MONSTER sunflowers: Looking for seeds to grow 12-foot-tall sunflowers?”

  1. Jack Fuller Says:

    Gotta say that I prefer the wild Helianthus that flourishes along unmowed road and rail rights-of-way. They bllom all summer!

  2. Tamara Simmons Says:

    Thank you for posting these pictures of Gary and Lois’s sunflowers. They are breath taking! I planted a combination of Burpee Girasol Mammoth’s and Feryy-Morse Girasol Mammoths. The Burpee sunflowers have a green center and the Ferry-Morse have a brown center. I am very excited because I planted 19 sunflowers!!!! The squirrels, birds (and I think my husband) will go nuts when they bloom!!!!

  3. VINCE CABRERA Says:

    ALL THE WAY OUT HERE IN THE ISLAND OF SAIPAN, I GOT SOME BURPEE MAMMOTH SEEDS THAT ARE STARTING TO SPROUT. I AM EXCITED HOW TALL CAN THEY GET IN TROPICAL WEATHER.YOU GOT NICE PICS, THAT’S A HUGE RADIUS!

  4. Kimberly Says:

    You inspire me! I’m growing exactly what your growing. Currently at 4 1/2 ft. How long do you think I have till they bloom?

  5. Mary Says:

    Do you ever sell your huge sunflower heads? I would love to have one to dry and place in a huge trecher for a primitiove display, and perhaps some for my shed. Please let me know and if so how to purchase from you, thnaks! These are just awesome!

  6. Candy Says:

    I also grew the Burpee Mammother sunflowers last spring. Yes, 12-15 feet tall with a rather high yield! I loved them! They created a GREAT and Attractive privacy fence for our pool area! And when the season was over, they tasted yummy, too!

  7. Nataliya Says:

    Greetings,
    Do you sell these seeds? I would like to have the same gaint sunflower.
    Thank You!

  8. Gary Bogue Says:

    Nataliya: I don’t sell sunflower seeds. You can buy them at any garden supply store. They all usually have a seed section. /Gary

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