Nature Teacher: Life is a Paradox

“The flower that follows the sun does so even in cloudy days.” – Robert Leighton

I’ve always loved sunflowers

Quite frankly, they make me happy and light an inside smile.

Ranging from short, to jack-in-the-bean stalk tall, pale yellow to golden, even red, burgundy and almost black, they’re a delight to the eye and soul.

Red Sunflowers

Miles of Smiles

This year, I planted sunflowers in all sizes and colors to accompany the zinnias, cosmos and dahlias in what I like to call my Make Me Smile garden — a combination I’d seen on another blogger’s site last summer and could hardly wait to plant my own this year.

Colorful flowers in garden

And while I didn’t plant sunflowers in my new mailbox garden, Mother Nature had her own ideas. Still, I was pleasantly surprised. So was the mailman, visitors, and neighbors driving by.

Sunflowers at black mailbox with flag

But these 4 foot tall bushy beauties began to droop…then sag in the off-the charts summer heat. (Being 400 feet from a water source, I planted other drought tolerant plants at the mailbox like salvia, hardy mums, daylilies, and sedum….)

And while the sunflowers in the Make Me Smile garden towered into the sky, buckets of water hauled to the mailbox weren’t enough to sustain these roadside lovelies.

Sunflowers may look like the sun but they love and need lots of water or rain.

sunflowers in all stages
  • Sunflowers need more water than other plants. About 15 inches daily or 2 gallons per week to maintain moist soil to 6 inches deep.
  • Watering deeply helps grow deep roots.
  • On a hot day without water, sunflowers will last less than 2 hours and no more than 4.
  • When sunflowers droop or wilt, they need water!
  • Neglecting to water sunflowers will result in smaller flowers and shorter stems.

Who knew? Such a happy flower flourishes in the rain.

“Sunflower-bordered roads always seem to me the roads to freedom.” – Willa Cather

4 Replies to “Nature Teacher: Life is a Paradox”

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