If it’s October, it’s time for the annual New Mexico sunflower show in my backyard.
The nice green leaves make such a lovely backdrop in the perennial garden, that it seems they’ve always been there.
It isn’t until the yellow flowers start to bloom up the tall stems that I remember how much I like this plant.
The flowers start as tight buds that slowly unfurl one by one to create a beautiful hedge of green and gold. I’ve written about sunflowers many times before, but may have neglected to mention this steady performer.
One of my favorite things about this native prairie plant, in addition to its drought-hardy nature, is that it’s the last plant to put on a show in my garden. It waits until late September or early October to start blooming and won’t quit until the first hard freeze.
High Country Gardens offers several varieties of New Mexico sunflowers including Helianthus maximiliana ‘Santa Fe’.
If you’re making a list of native perennials to add to your xeriscape garden next year, I’d recommend planting several of these. They’re hardy to Zone 4, will grow to 5-6 feet tall in most soils and will multiply each season.
Oh, and don’t forget–they bloom beautifully in October.