Thursday, March 29, 2018

Chianti Hybrid Sunflowers

My selection of sunflowers to grow from seed this year include Chianti Hybrid and Mammoth Russian. I picked up a $1.59 seed packet of Burpee Chianti Hybrid Sunflowers from HomeDepot. What a surprise when I opened the package to find only 6 black sunflower seeds! I would have thought at least one dozen to the packet.

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seeds from Burpee
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seeds from Burpee
On Saturday, March 17, 2018, I planted the 6 sunflower seeds in a long rectangular black planter. Within 5 days I actually had a sunflower seedling emerging.

The First Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedling
The First Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedling on the Fifth Day
At 7 days, there were 5 sunflower seedlings. At 12 days, I was still waiting to see the 6th seedling ... I trust the sunflower seed is viable, but just taking its time. The packet states that seedlings will emerge in 7-14 days.

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedling
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedling on the Twelfth Day
The Chianti Hybrid Sunflower is a rich, vibrant burgundy-red 3-4" pollenless blooms. Burpee states that the bloom will be sparkled with gold. That sounds very much like the prized, wine-colored sunflowers I grew in my last two annual sunflower gardens. I believe I created a similar, hybrid sunflower and didn't realize it was a Chianti Hybrid.

Beautiful Wine-Colored Sunflower from Leesburg FL Garden
Beautiful Wine-Colored Sunflower from Leesburg FL Garden June 30, 2016
According to the Burpee seed packet, the sunflower usually takes 55 days to bloom. And, the height should be 4 to 5 ft. My wine-colored sunflowers, as shown in the above photo, were always well over 6 ft. in height!

Beautiful Wine-Colored Sunflower from Jacksonville FL Garden
Beautiful Wine-Colored Sunflower from Jacksonville FL Garden April 22, 2015
In my last Jacksonville, FL sunflower garden, I grew some spectacular wine-colored sunflowers. That sunflower collage mosaic shows the various sunflower blossoms ... surely looks like that might have been a Chianti Hybrid Sunflower!

Fifteen Days Update : April 1, 2018

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedlings
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedlings April 1, 2018
It has been fifteen days on the planting of the sunflower seeds. It seems the 6th seed is not happening ... although you never know! Like waiting for the fat lady to sing or something. I used that planter as a starter for the Russian Mammoth Sunflower seeds. Drilling 12 little holes with my gloved pointer finger, I planted one dozen of those seeds. Hoping for a mammoth experience!

Twenty-One Days Update : April 7, 2018

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedlings Protective Covering
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedlings Protective Covering
As soon as the Chianti Hybrid sunflower seedlings were a couple of inches, I opted to cover each one with an empty Lipton Green Tea plastic bottle to protect them.

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedlings Protective Covering
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedlings Protective Covering
Preparing the bottles, I cut off the top and bottom, removed the labels, and then punched 2 round holes in the bottom on opposite sides.

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedlings Protective Covering
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedlings Protective Covering
I then anchored the bottles with landscape pins that I was using to secure my weed barrier cloth.

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedlings Protective Covering
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedlings Protective Covering
Now, the new seedlings can stand up rather than flop over.

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedlings Protective Covering
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedlings Protective Covering
And, they are protected from hungry rabbits, squirrels and birds!

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedlings Protective Covering
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedlings Protective Covering April 7, 2018
Covering the Chianti Hybrid Sunflower seedlings with the plastic bottles produced a greenhouse effect. Measuring the tallest seedling, it came in at a solid 5 inches on April 7, 2018. The past couple of days there has been a bit of a growth spurt.

I've been nurturing these seedlings for the past 3 weeks, moving them to the shed at night to protect them from nocturnal critters! During the day, if it is sunny and fairly calm, I have moved the container to the front yard garden for full day sun. Up above, you can see the container in the garden. There is a metal edging that encloses the area along with several small moth balls.

GROWTH PROGRESS OF CHIANTI HYBRID SUNFLOWERS


Chianti Hybrid Sunflower 10 inches tall on April 24, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower 10 inches tall on April 24, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower 26 inches tall at 48 days on May 5, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower 26 inches tall at 48 days on May 5, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower 39 inches tall at 55 days on May 12, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower 39 inches tall at 55 days on May 12, 2018
Sunflower Garden in Enclosure at 55 and 41 days on May 12, 2018
Sunflower Garden in Enclosure at 55 and 41 days on May 12, 2018
On May 12, 2018, it was 55 days for the 5 Chianti Hybrid Sunflowers and 41 days for the 9 Russian Mammoth Sunflowers. In the garden photo, you can see the tallest sunflower is the Chianti Hybrid in the middle back. The second tallest is the Russian Mammoth in the middle front.

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower 59 inches tall at 63 days on May 20, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower 59 inches tall at 63 days on May 20, 2018
The star Chianti Hybrid Sunflower grew some 20 inches in just over one week as seen in the May 20, 2018 photo. The star sunflower is nearly 5 ft. tall and loaded with buds that will surely be blooming in a few days. Thanks to all that rain we have been getting over the past week in Central Florida.

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower 59 inches tall at 63 days on May 20, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower 59 inches tall at 63 days on May 20, 2018
The top bud on the star Chianti Hybrid Sunflower has turned and positioned itself towards the morning sun. We are getting a peek at the beautiful chianti or wine color blossom that is revealing itself. There are a number of tinier backup buds up the top stem!

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower top bud at 65 days on May 22, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower top bud at 65 days on May 22, 2018
Take a look at the two photos -- the one above and the one below -- of the bud and then the blossom. What a difference a day can make here in hot and humid Leesburg, Florida!!

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom at 66 days on May 23, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom at 66 days on May 23, 2018
It is especially favorable to growing sunflowers, provided you can keep the bunnies, squirrels and birds from getting a little too curious and hungry. It seems a bird must have landed on one of the Chianti Hybrid Sunflower plants as the top portion of the stem was severely bent. I installed a orange metal stake to brace the plant so it doesn't snap in two!

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom at 69 days on May 26, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom at 69 days on May 26, 2018
Looking at the rich color of this Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom, it surely seems to be more in the line of a rusty-wine color and not entirely chianti-wine colored as in the photo on the seed packet. Yes?

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower 66 inches tall at 69 days on May 26, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower 66 inches tall at 69 days on May 26, 2018

FINALLY - CHIANTI HYBRID SUNFLOWER BLOSSOMS!!


I have been waiting for the other 4 Chianti Hybrid Sunflower plants to blossom so I could see if those blossoms are like the ones on the seed package. And, now, for the reveal ... yes ... I do believe the four remaining Chianti Hybrid Sunflowers are going to be more wine-colored! I honestly believe that the first sunflower plant, whose blossoms I have been sharing above, is actually an Autumn Beauty!!

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom at 76 days on June 2, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom at 76 days on June 2, 2018
The first of the remaining 4 sunflowers to bloom has the prettiest color and shape! Now, this is more like it. Isn't that the most beautiful and rich color?

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom at 76 days on June 2, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom at 76 days on June 2, 2018
Sharing another sunflower's blossom -- I love to try and capture the blossom against the sky for a pretty contrast in colors. This is definitely a winner!!

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom at 76 days on June 2, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom at 76 days on June 2, 2018
And, sharing yet another sunflower's blossom ... this one has a center that seems puffed out or more raised than the others. All three Chianti Hybrid Sunflower blossoms are quite striking in color!

Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom at 77 days on June 3, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom at 77 days on June 3, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom at 77 days on June 3, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom at 77 days on June 3, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom at 77 days on June 3, 2018
Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom at 77 days on June 3, 2018
As the Chianti Hybrid Sunflowers matured, I was blessed to photograph some very pretty blossoms.

Pretty Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom
Pretty Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom June 14, 2018

Pretty Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom
Pretty Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom June 14, 2018
Sunflower Garden with Chianti Hybrids and Russian Mammoths
Sunflower Garden with Chianti Hybrids and Russian Mammoths June 15, 2018
The sunflower garden was pretty amazing during the middle of June 2018. The Chianti Hybrids were maturing as the Russian Mammoths were making their appearance.

Pretty Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossom June 20, 2018

OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!


30 Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Heads for Drying
30 Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Heads for Drying June 20, 2018
By June 20, 2018, I already had cut off thirty Chianti Hybrid Sunflower heads for drying and harvesting seeds.

Final Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossoms
Final Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Blossoms June 27, 2018
On June 27, 2018, I cut several of the final Chianti Hybrid Sunflower blossoms for a vase and then took out the plants.

Sunflower Garden and Russian Mammoths
Sunflower Garden and Russian Mammoths June 28, 2018
You can see the empty spots in the sunflower garden where the Chianti Hybrids once stood! It was a bittersweet day to see them go as they were so pretty!

MESSAGE TO CONTENT SCRAPERS!

No, it is NOT OK for you to steal my copyrighted images and written content for your own purposes! I have put a lot of hard work into growing my own flowers and photographing them to share with my readers online. That doesn't mean you can just drop by and SNIP my flowers.

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