Sunflower 'Teddy Bear' Helianthus annuus 'Teddy Bear' (d)
'Teddy Bear' is an upright annual to 1m tall, with broadly ovate leaves and rounded, fully-double bright yellow flowerheads to 12cm wide, in summer
About this plant
Teddy Bear Sunflower, Fluffy Sunflower, Cuddly Sunflower, Teddy Bear Dwarf Sunflower
Color of leaves
1-3 feet (0.3-0.91 meters)
1-2 feet (0.3-0.61 meters)
- General Benefits
- Ornamental Value: Helianthus annuus, commonly known as sunflower, cultivar 'Teddy Bear' has a unique, fluffy, double-petaled appearance resembling a teddy bear, adding aesthetic appeal to gardens and landscapes.
- Garden Attraction: The sunflower's bright and large flower heads attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, promoting biodiversity and a healthy ecosystem.
- Educational Interest: Sunflowers like 'Teddy Bear' can be used in educational settings to teach about plant growth, pollination, and the importance of insects in gardens.
- Easy to Grow: Sunflowers are known for being easy to cultivate, making 'Teddy Bear' a good choice for beginner gardeners or those looking for low-maintenance plants.
- Wildlife Food Source: The seeds produced by sunflowers, if left on the plant, provide a food source for birds and other wildlife during the fall and winter months.
- Cut Flowers: 'Teddy Bear' sunflowers make excellent cut flowers for bouquets and arrangements due to their unique appearance and lasting qualities.
- Source of Seeds: Mature sunflowers produce seeds that can be harvested for replanting or for consumption as a nutrient-rich snack.
- Soil Improvement: Sunflowers can help improve soil health by breaking up compacted ground with their strong root systems and by adding organic matter when they decompose.
- Companion Planting: When planted in vegetable gardens, sunflowers can act as a companion plant, potentially improving the growth of other plants and deterring certain pests.
- Privacy Screen: Due to their height and dense foliage, sunflower plants like 'Teddy Bear' can be used as a natural privacy screen or to create a living garden border.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Natural Dye: The bright yellow petals of the sunflower can be used to create a natural dye for fabrics, providing a non-toxic coloring option for crafts and textile projects.
- Companion Planting: Sunflowers are excellent companions in the garden as they can provide shade for lower-growing plants and attract pollinators and beneficial insects.
- Biomass Fuel: The stems and hulls of sunflowers may be used as a biomass fuel source, providing an alternative energy option that is both renewable and biodegradable.
- Livestock Feed: The leaves and stalks of sunflowers can be used as fodder for livestock, offering an additional source of nutrition for farm animals.
- Art Supplies: The petals and seeds of sunflowers can be utilized in art projects, such as creating collages, or used directly as stamps or brushes for painting.
- Educational Tools: Sunflowers can be used in educational settings to teach children about plant biology, life cycles, and the importance of pollinators in ecosystems.
- Photography Prop: Due to their large, distinctive blooms, sunflowers are commonly used as a vibrant subject or backdrop in photography and visual art.
- Soil Remediation: Sunflowers can help remove heavy metals and other contaminants from the soil, making them useful for rehabilitating polluted sites.
- Construction Material: Dried sunflower stalks are sturdy and may be utilized in rustic crafting or as a sustainable material in eco-friendly building projects.
- Bird Habitat: By leaving sunflower heads in the garden during the fall and winter, they provide shelter and a food source for birds and other wildlife.
- Feng Shui
The Sunflower is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Adoration and Longevity: As a variety of Sunflower, the Teddy Bear represents adoration and loyalty to the sun, typically as a symbol of its warm and enduring nature, which also translates to longevity in life and relationships.
- Positivity and Happiness: The bright and cheerful appearance of the Teddy Bear sunflower is often associated with happiness and positivity, bringing joy to gardens and bouquets alike.
- Strength and Vitality: They symbolize strength and vitality due to their sturdy stems and vibrant blooms that follow the sun, representing an ability to withstand challenges.
- Fertility and Bounty: The Sunflower family is known for its abundant seed production, thus the Teddy Bear variety is also symbolic of fertility and provision of sustenance.
- Loyalty and Friendship: Sunflowers are tied to the concept of loyalty due to their characteristic of heliotropism, where the blooms turn to follow the sun throughout the day, and this is mirrored in the Teddy Bear's unwavering appearance.
- Focus and Dedication: The focused manner in which sunflowers track the sun can be interpreted as a message of dedication and single-mindedness in one’s endeavors.
Teddy Bear Sunflowers require consistent moisture, especially during their germination and early growth stages. Water the plant deeply once a week, providing about 1-2 gallons of water, ensuring the moisture reaches the roots. During hot spells or drought, water twice a week, keeping the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Always check the top inch of the soil; if it feels dry, it's time to water. Avoid overhead watering to minimize leaf wetness and reduce the risk of diseases.
Teddy Bear Sunflowers thrive in full sun and require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. The ideal spot for these plants would be in an open area with unobstructed exposure to the sun. They're not suited for shade; insufficient light can lead to weak stems and poor flowering.
Teddy Bear Sunflowers prefer warm conditions and are best grown when temperatures range between 70°F and 78°F. They can tolerate a minimum temperature of around 50°F and a maximum of about 90°F. However, prolonged exposure to temperatures outside these ranges can be detrimental to their growth and flowering.
Pruning is not commonly needed for Teddy Bear Sunflowers as they are annual plants. The removal of spent flowers or deadheading can encourage more blooms and extend the flowering period. Prune dead or damaged leaves to maintain plant health and appearance. The best time to prune is during the cooler parts of the day to prevent stress on the plant.
Teddy Bear Sunflower thrives in well-draining, fertile soil with plenty of organic matter. A mix of garden soil, compost, and perlite in equal parts generally provides a good balance of nutrients and aeration. The ideal pH for this sunflower variety ranges from 6.0 to 7.5.
Teddy Bear Sunflowers are annual plants, so they generally do not need repotting as they will not survive beyond a single growing season. Instead, they are sown directly where they are to flower and are not repotted.
- Humidity & Misting
Teddy Bear Sunflowers are not particularly humidity-sensitive, and they do well in outdoor conditions where the humidity is typical of a temperate climate. However, they should not be subject to prolonged periods of high humidity as this may encourage fungal diseases.
- Suitable locations
Ensure full sun, use large pots with drainage, and support stems.
Plant in full sun after frost risk passes in fertile soil.
- Life cycle
The sunflower 'Teddy Bear', a dwarf variety of Helianthus annuus, begins its life as a seed, typically planted in the spring after the last frost when the soil temperature reaches about 70°F (21°C). Germination follows, where roots and shoots emerge, leading to the seedling phase characterized by the growth of true leaves after the initial cotyledons. As it enters the vegetative stage, the plant develops a thick stem and lush foliage, followed by budding where the iconic fluffy, golden-yellow flowers start to form. Pollination occurs, often with the help of insects like bees, which is necessary for seed production. The flowering stage is notable for its attractive, full blooms, which are smaller than the standard variety but abundant in number. Finally, the plant reaches maturity with the drying of the flower head, where seeds can be harvested and the cycle begins anew with the next planting season.
Spring to early summer
Propogation: The common sunflower variety known as 'Teddy Bear' is typically propagated through the means of seeds. The best time to sow these seeds is after the last frost of spring when the soil has warmed up, which usually means waiting until the temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). To propagate 'Teddy Bear' sunflowers, simply press the seeds about 1/2 inch (1.27 centimeters) deep into well-draining soil in a sunny location. Space them about 6 inches (approximately 15 centimeters) apart to allow for ample growth. Regular watering and ensuring that the soil remains moist but not waterlogged is vital for germination which normally occurs in 7 to 14 days. Providing support, like stakes, as the plants grow larger can help prevent stem breakage due to the weight of the flowers, particularly necessary for this fluffy, double-petaled variety.