Sunflower Helianthus annuus 'Ballad'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
sunflower 'Ballad'


The plant known as the sunflower 'Ballad' boasts a classic sunflower appearance with vibrant, large, daisy-like flowers. Its petals are a brilliant yellow, radiating from the central disk like rays of sunshine, which is typically a darker brown or even black, giving a bold contrast against the yellow. The central disk is where the seeds develop, a characteristic feature of this type of sunflower. The leaves of the 'Ballad' sunflower are hearty and broad, with a deep green color that provides a lush backdrop for the striking blooms. The plant has a sturdy stem that supports the weight of the flower head. Overall, the sunflower 'Ballad' presents the quintessential look of a sunflower with its sunny, cheerful petals and a brown or black central disk.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Common Sunflower, Wild Sunflower, Annual Sunflower, Sunflower.

    • Common names

      Helianthus annuus.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Sunflower 'Ballad' is generally considered non-toxic to humans. If ingested in normal quantities as food (such as eating the seeds), it is not harmful. However, consuming any plant in excessive amounts or parts intended for ornamental purposes could potentially cause gastrointestinal upset or allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. No severe toxicity symptoms are expected from this plant.

    • To pets

      Sunflower 'Ballad' is typically safe and not toxic to pets. It is not known to contain any substances that are poisonous to domestic animals like dogs and cats. However, ingestion of large quantities of plant material may cause mild stomach upset. There are no specific toxicity symptoms associated with pets ingesting sunflowers, and serious consequences are unlikely.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 feet (1.83 meters)

    • Spread

      1.5 feet (0.46 meter)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Sunflowers are known for attracting bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, which are essential for the success of gardens and the health of the ecosystem.
    • Improves Garden Aesthetics: The vibrant yellow blooms and tall stature of sunflowers can add striking visual interest to gardens and landscapes.
    • Source of Food for Wildlife: Sunflower seeds are a food source for a variety of birds and small mammals once the flowering season is over.
    • Soil Improvement: Sunflowers are known to help in improving soil health by aerating the soil with their deep roots and as they can extract heavy metals and toxins from the soil.
    • Educational Opportunities: Growing sunflowers can be an educational experience, as they are an excellent plant for teaching about the life cycle of plants and the importance of pollinators.
    • Easy to Grow: They are known to be easy to cultivate and maintain, making them ideal for beginner gardeners or educational projects.
    • Can Act as Windbreaks: The sturdy stems of sunflowers can serve as natural windbreaks, protecting smaller plants and reducing soil erosion.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Sunflower oil, which can be extracted from the seeds of Helianthus annuus, may have anti-inflammatory properties.
    • Cardiovascular health: Sunflower seeds are a source of vitamin E and fatty acids that may contribute to heart health.
    • Antioxidant: The seeds contain compounds such as flavonoids and vitamin E that have antioxidant properties.
    • Skin health: Topical applications of sunflower oil may benefit skin barrier function and hydration.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • As a natural dye: Sunflower petals can be used to create a natural yellow dye for textiles and crafts.
    • In biodegradable plastics: Sunflower oil can be converted into resins used to produce plastics that are more environmentally friendly.
    • As birdfeed: Sunflower seeds in their shells are a prime food choice for feeding birds, particularly in the winter when food is scarce.
    • In industrial lubricants: The high oleic acid content in some sunflower oils is used in industrial lubricants for machinery.
    • As flotation devices: Hollow sunflower stems can be used in homemade flotation devices for their buoyancy.
    • For livestock forage: Sunflower plants can be used as silage for feeding cattle, providing a nutritious alternative to traditional fodder.
    • As mulch: Dried sunflower stalks, leaves, and other plant parts can be used as mulch to improve soil quality and reduce weeds.
    • In biomass fuel production: Sunflower biomass can be converted into solid fuel blocks for use in heating and power generation.
    • As stuffing material: Dried sunflower stalks can be used as a stuffing material for upholstery and dolls.
    • In artisanal paper making: Sunflower fibers can be incorporated into handmade paper for a unique texture and appearance.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The sunflower is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The sunflower is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Adoration and Loyalty: Sunflowers like 'Helianthus annuus 'Ballad'' which is commonly known as sunflower, symbolize adoration and loyalty due to their nature of turning their heads towards the sun throughout the day, as if worshiping the light for its warmth and sustenance.
    • Positivity and Strength: Sunflowers represent positivity and strength, related to their ability to grow in tough conditions, standing tall and vibrant, often associated with happiness and optimism.
    • Longevity and Vitality: They also symbolize longevity and vitality, which comes from their hardy nature and the fact that sunflowers produce an abundance of seeds, representing fecundity and the continuation of life.
    • Seeking Truth and Light: The sunflower's characteristic of following the sun is also associated with an individual's search for truth or enlightenment, always seeking the light or higher guidance in life.

Every week
10000 - 20000 Lux
Every year
Spring-early summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Sunflowers, including the Helianthus annuus 'Ballad', prefer regular watering to maintain moist soil, especially during their active growing season. They should be watered deeply once a week with about 1 to 1.5 gallons of water per plant, depending on the climate and soil conditions. In hotter, drier periods, you may need to water more frequently, possibly every 2-3 days, ensuring you're not just wetting the surface but soaking deep into the roots. Decrease watering as the plant matures and the weather cools. It's important to avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.

  • sunLight

    Sunflowers like the Helianthus annuus 'Ballad' need full sun exposure to thrive, ideally receiving 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. The best spot for these sun-loving plants is in an open area, away from shade-casting buildings or trees, where they can soak up the sun throughout the day without obstruction.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Sunflowers such as the Helianthus annuus 'Ballad' grow best in temperatures between 70 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit but can withstand temperatures from just above freezing to about 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit. They are not frost-tolerant, and growth can be stunted if temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, making them ideal for warm to hot climates.

  • scissorsPruning

    Sunflowers, including the Helianthus annuus 'Ballad', typically do not require much pruning. However, deadheading the spent blooms can encourage additional flowering and improve the plant's appearance. Pruning should be done after the first flower fades, usually in late summer or fall, cutting back to just above a leaf node or bud.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Sunflowers, like Helianthus annuus 'Ballad', thrive best in a well-draining soil mix with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. A good mix can be created using equal parts of loamy garden soil, compost, and coarse sand or perlite to ensure proper drainage. The organic matter from compost also provides nutrients to support growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Sunflowers, such as the common sunflower, are typically not repotted as they are annual plants. They grow for one season, where seeds are sown directly into the ground or initial pots, and do not require repotting. Once they flower and seed, the cycle is complete.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Sunflowers, by their nature, prefer outdoor conditions and do not require high humidity environments; they are quite tolerant of dry air. Therefore, no specific humidity level is necessary for the common sunflower beyond natural outdoor conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide full sun and use a large pot with drainage.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun with well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      2-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The common name for Helianthus annuus 'Ballad' is sunflower. The life of this sunflower starts with seed germination, which requires warm soil and occurs within 7-10 days after planting. Following germination, the seedling stage is characterized by the emergence of the cotyledons and the first set of true leaves. As the vegetative stage progresses, the plant develops a strong stem and more leaves, photosynthesizing to fuel growth. The sunflower then enters the reproductive stage, forming a bud that develops into a large flower head, which typically blooms in the summer. Finally, after pollination and seed development, the plant reaches maturity with seeds that can be harvested and then the plant dies, completing its annual life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-early summer

    • Propogation: The Helianthus annuus 'Ballad', commonly known as the Sunflower 'Ballad', is most commonly propagated through seeds. The best time to sow Sunflower 'Ballad' seeds is in the spring after the last frost when the soil has warmed up to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). Seeds should be planted 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep in well-draining soil and spaced about 6 inches (15 cm) apart to allow for ample growing space. Seedlings typically emerge within 7 to 10 days. It's important to provide the seedlings with full sunlight and to maintain moderate moisture in the soil throughout their growth period. Once the plant is established, it continues to grow rapidly and will flower in the summer. Sunflowers are annuals, meaning they complete their life cycle in one year and need to be replanted each season.