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Red Sunflowers: Appearance, Benefits & Growing Guide

Sunflowers, the national flower of Russia and Ukraine, have wide varieties, but the most loveable one for me is the Red Sunflowers.

Initially, I intended to bring some cut Red Sunflowers for my guest room as a decorative, but later I could not lay off my eyes on the beautiful Sunflower garden of my neighbor’s.

Generally, Red Sunflower blooms with vibrant red petals along a dark brown center in mid to late summer and early fall. However, flowers of the red sunflower can range from a deep red to a dusty red hue, which are easy to grow indoors and outdoors. 

A bee is sitting over the pollens of the red Sunflower.
Red Sunflower has a wide range of varieties with beautiful petal colors.

So, I immediately rushed to get the Red Sunflower seed from my neighbor, who had a considerable variety of Sunflowers, which would bring aesthetic value to my garden.

But I had to face some confusion and hurdles. So, let me guide you about the Red Sunflowers and tell you about my journey.

Are Red Sunflowers Natural?

Most of us have a mindset of Sunflowers being yellow to orange in color, but that’s just because of our ignorance.

Take Red Sunflowers as an example itself. They give such an unnatural look making us think that the yellow color might have dyed over time.

Meanwhile, Red Sunflowers are natural and authentic, featuring hue red to dark maroon color varieties.

A beautiful maroon Sunflower with its branch.
Red Sunflower gets its color differences due to pigments like anthocyanins and carotenoids.

Red Sunflowers or Mexican Sunflowers might not be the rarest but are rare to find in someone’s house like other common Sunflowers.

Here is the table for a quick overview of Red Sunflower.

Scientific NameTithonia Rotundifolia
OriginTropical region of North America
USDA Zone1-11
Growth HabitPlace with low wind, bright direct sunlight, and requires a stake in the mature stage.
HeightRanges from 1 to 8 feet depending on the types and color of the petals.
Leaf StructureTriangle to heart shape with hairs on lower surface, 3 lobed and ranges to 12 inches in length with 4 inch width.
Leaf Color and SizeGreen with the blade length ranging from 6-33 cm and width of 5-22 cm.
Flower StructureRays like with large petals
Grown forSeeds and Flower.
Blooming TimeMid-summer till early frost.
ToxicityNon-toxic to humans and animals
Plant Type Annual and perennial forb

What do Red Sunflowers Mean?

Red Sunflowers are herbaceous annual, or perennial, depending on their varieties, taking over your house’s gardens and indoors too.

Perennials have grouped small flowers with tiny, many seeds, while annuals possess a single bloom per stem with large seeds and fewer in number.

Interestingly, Red Sunflower has multiple meanings in which red represents passion, love, and lust. Overall they indicate wealth and good luck.

A beautiful Sunflower with yellow tips and red mid along with its branches.
Red Sunflowers indicate luck and peace and can be an excellent asset to the garden and rooms for their beautiful blooms.

People also worship the flower as a symbol of the God of the Sun.

Also, as a symbol of longevity and expression of love, the beautiful bloody Sunflower goes well with red roses.

Not only with red, but you can prefer other shades of roses to the combination of Sunflowers, as it will all hold a tremendous floral arrangement.

What are the Types of Red Sunflowers?

Never go behind the name of Red Sunflower, thinking that it has only a red color variety to offer.

Here is an entire table to identify various Red Sunflowers.

TypesPlant Height RangeFlower Features
Autumn Beauty5 feet - 8 feetPetal color varies from brick red to burgundy and deep yellow to golden with some bicolor type and are pollenless.
Black Beauty Sunflowers4 feet - 6 feetDeep velvety-maroon petals that appears as black in color and are pollen free.
Cherry Rose4 feet - 6 feetPetals have deep cherry to maroon color with light peach tips and are pollen free.
Chianti Sunflowers4 feet - 5 feetWine-red petals splashed with gold and purplish stem, and are pollen less.
Chocolate6 feet - 7 feetBrown petals on the top with striped yellow beneath the petals, and has pollen.
Crimson Queen3 feet - 6 feetDeep red with fiery orange petals and are pollen free.
Double Dandy1 feet - 2 feetPetals appears as a double blooms and has reddish mauve color and are pollen free.
Evening Sun6 feet - 8 feetSmall flowers with petals resembling the sunset and has warm copper to mahogany, rust and sometimes bicolored shades and has pollen.
Fire Catcher4 feet - 5 feetBicolor with yellow to deep red to orange shade and have pollen.
Indian Blanket4 feet - 5 feetBicolor with the mix of deep red and rusty rusts in the mid and deep golds to mellow yellow tips and are pollen less.
Little Becka2 feet - 3 feetPetals have yellow to fiery copper tips with red shade in the mid, and are pollen free.
Moulin Rouge4 feet - 8 feetDeep red petals and are pollen free.
Procut Red(Burgundy Sunflower)4 feet - 6 feetPetals have deep burgundy color appearing as black and are pollen free.
Red Sun5 feet - 6 feetVibrant red to orange petals with small area near the center has yellow shine and have pollen.
Red Wave3 feet - 4 feetPetals are velvety red in color with pollen free center.
Ring of Fire4 feet - 5 feetPetals have ring of red in the mid surrounding the chocolate brown center with a vibrant yellow tip and are pollen free.
Rouge Royale4 feet - 8 feetTrue red petals with dark burgundy shades and are pollen free.
Tiger Eye2 feet - 6 feetBright yellow petals with deep crimson center as if an eye and are pollen free.
Velvet Queen5 feet - 7 feetPetals have deep red-mahogany shade from its center with traces of orange at the tip and are pollen less.
Fire Cracker2 feet - 3 feetSmall with bicolor combination of golden yellow tip and bright red mid and are pollen free.

Red Sunflowers Benefits

The Mexican Sunflower is a lovable and widely spread flower for its color combination and beautiful sun rays like flowers.

But only a few of us know about their benefits in our daily life besides ornamental. Here, Red Sunflowers have more to offer!

1. Home Decoration

The beautiful Red Sunflower has that vibrantly red-maroon look, with yellow to a golden combination, providing a classy look.

Pairing them with other flowers like Roses, Lilies, Gerberas, Carnation, and lavender Limonium will add to the aesthetic value of your room.

Red Sunflower kept in the slim glass vessel can enhance the table decor.

Among all, the combination that I tried was Red Sunflowers with peach roses for my kitchen decor by making a bouquet.

You can also choose to keep it in a vase as it will add to the aesthetic value of your guest room table, corner table in the living room, or study table.

If you have one, you can also use the flowers for a vintage look for your restaurants and cafe.

2. Culinary Use

After bringing the Mexican Sunflower, try using the petals to decorate salads and dinner plates for your loved ones, and enjoy the ambiance.

Also, the flower offers you dietary food as the striped seeds are either roasted as snacks or as an ingredient of detox water.

A bowl consisting a mix of yogurt with red and green apple with sunflower seeds.
Red Sunflower has culinary benefits, can be eaten as an edible seed, and is rich in nutrients.

The tiny, black seeds can produce oil you can use for cooking, as the oil from Red Sunflowers is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and easy to digest.

You can also prepare dishes from Red Sunflowers seeds and use the petals as a color additive for your salad and desserts.

DIY Recipe for Salad

One of the best recipes can be the grape, bacon, and sunflower seeds salad, whose complete process is as follows:

  • Fry 8 thin pieces of bacon over a frying pan until reddish brown.
  • Soak the extra oil in the paper towel and crumble 7 of it.
  • Mix the crumbled bacon with 1/3 cup of Sunflower seed kernels in a resealable bag.
  • Mix one head of broccoli cut into small pieces with 1 cup of seedless grapes and 1/3 cup of chopped onion in a bowl.
  • Whisk a cup of mayonnaise with three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons of white sugar in a bowl.
A bowl containing onion, brocoli and sunflower seed crumbs over a table.
Seeds of Red Sunflower can be a snacks and is most popular in China as a street snack.
  • Crumble down the last piece of bacon to mix in the bowl, and add black pepper as per your taste.
  • Pour the mix into the mix of veggies and toss it smoothly to cover the entire portion.
  • Now, You can cover the bowl with something or plastic wrap and let it marinate for 2 hrs in the refrigerator.
  • At last, sprinkle the mixture of bacon and sunflower seed before serving, and mix them well. I hope you enjoy it!

3. Plant as a Gift

I think you might have already received the Red Sunflowers from your friends or relatives or your partner as a gesture.

If not, you can start the trend by giving the bride red roses and Sunflower bouquets as a wedding gift, or your loved ones in a floral arrangement would always bring smiles to their face.

A person is holding a bouquet containing red roses and sunflower.
Red Sunflower suits any type of flowering plant and is receiving love for its vibrant color combination.

Even the bridesmaid loves the combination of Sunflower with Red  Roses, Lilies, Daisies, Dahlia, Poppy, and Lavender as it signifies love and cheerfulness to the new couple.

It would also be an excellent gift for a baby shower as Sunflower defines purity and innocence.

Besides, dresses with Red Sunflowers go well for your cocktail party. So You can enjoy the benefits of Sunflowers to their fullest.

4. Nutritional Benefits

The fruit of the Red Sunflower is its seeds which hold high nutritional value and are rich in minerals, vitamins, and healthy fats.

Even a tiny pack of Red Sunflower seed can hold great value for your daily dose of sufficient nutrient intake. Here is the nutritional value of 30g of shelled seeds.

PrincipleNutrient Value
Fat15 g
Protein6 g
Carbohydrate6 g
Fiber3 g
Vitamin A15 IU
Vitamin B60.4 mg
Vitamin C0.4 mg
Magnesium97.5 mg
Iron1.6 mg
Calcium23.4 mg

5. Medicinal Benefits

According to Food Source Information, the Sunflower Seeds oil is suitable for people with cholesterol problems and has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties.  

They can reduce cardiovascular disease, control cancer antigens, and increase antioxidant capacity.

Getting flavor along with medicinal benefits is a bonus for your body as Red Sunflower seeds have an abundance of phytochemicals like flavonoids, phenolic acids, and peptides.

How to Grow Red Sunflowers

Growing Red Sunflowers will not tire you much if you remain true to the procedures and provide them with enough love.

The method suitable for propagation is by seed. There is propagation by cutting, too, but that is more useful for the perennial variety of sunflowers. 

So, the annual Red Sunflower grow from regular seeds, not heirloom seeds, as they are hybrids and might not be true to their parents except for the Velvet Queen, Autumn Beauty, and Evening Sun type. 

The flower is opening its petals.
Red Sunflowers tend to bend towards the direction of the Sun, so provide direct sunlight to enjoy its movement.

However, you can try growing them in your garden by buying seeds from online sites and following specific steps.

Red Sunflower Outdoor

The Mexican Sunflower looks beautiful as a lawn and garden plant once they reach its maximum height, and you may try that for your house.

  • Find a spot that receives plenty of daily direct sunlight for at least 6 to 8 hrs.
  • Dig the soil half inches deep from the ground.
  • Place the seeds at the spacing of 6 inches from one another when the soil has a warm temperature.
  • Apply loose soil over the seed and water it regularly to maintain the moist level as it cannot tolerate drought in the seedling stage.
  • Keep a check for pests like field cricket, bunnies, thrips, and beetles in the seedling stage, as they may attack the plant quickly.

Red Sunflower Indoor

If you plan to use the Red Sunflower as an indoor houseplant, you might have to give extra care initially, but you can follow the steps for tackling the situation efficiently.

  • Choose a container according to your variety size. Mainly for small variety, the pot should be 8 inches and use around 12-18 inches container for a wider variety. 
  • Fill 3/4 of the entire container with well-draining, light soil and place one to two seeds in an 8-inch pot and around three to four seeds in an 18-inch pot.
3 to 4 containers containing seedlings of Sunflower is lying over a table.
Red Sunflowers need care and watering daily during the seedling stage with well-draining potting soil.
  • Apply loose soil over the seed up to 1/2 inches deep, or you can see the label in the package.
  • Put the plant in a space receiving 6-8 hours of direct sunlight or under grow light if it is not receiving enough light. 
  • Sprinkle the water a bit each day, and do not overdo it.
  • After germination occurs, you need to water the plant once every five days and keep 4 to 5 inches of the soil consistently moist.
  • When blooming has taken its entire course, place your Sunflower near the southwest-facing window as it will fulfill the 6-8 hours of light requirement.

How to care for Red Sunflowers

After bringing and potting the Red Sunflowers, you do not have much tedious work as half of it has already been done by you.

The main work left is to provide them with the optimum surrounding that it demands to flourish its blooms.

Look below to understand the requirement for Red Sunflowers.

FactorsOptimal Conditions
Sunlight 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.
WateringWater daily during the seedling stage and in their growing stage provide themm with at least 7.5 litres of water weekly. Water them till it reaches deep down the roots.
Temperature70°F- 78°F
Humidity80%- 90%
SoilWell-draining,slightly acidic soil rich in organic matter.
pH from 6.0 to 7.5
FertilizationDiluted liquid fertilizer solution per week
RepottingWhen seedlings are 30cm (1ft) tall
PruningTwice a year for perennial sunflowers
Pests The plant needs to free from Tarnished plant bug, Sunflower moth, Seed weevil, Beetle, Caterpillar, and Midge.
DiseaseThe plant needs to be away from Bacterial stem rot, Sclerotinia basal rot, and Sunflower rust.


The beautiful bloom is the gift I am receiving for the love and care I am providing to my Red Sunflowers.

They have lightened up my garden, and the cutting of the Sunflower is just so mesmerizing in the vase of my living room that I am planning to regrow the Red ones every year. 

Nevertheless, do not hesitate if you are planning to bring the Red Sunflower to your garden and let me know if I am of any help to you. 

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