Here are various sunflowers we have grown over the years in our front, side and back yard in S.W. Florida. They are the easiest plants to grow from seed and can be done year-round. Although the tall ones blow over during a typical, blustery rainy season in the summer.
They are excellent pollinator attractors, drawing in honey bees, butterflies, skippers, and moths. Most of them are sweetly fragrant. The typical sunflower yields plenty of pollen, part of their beauty, but it can stir up allergies and make a yellow mess on the table below if you put them in a vase. As you search through the seed catalogs you can find pollenless, florist types.
The old fashioned giant sunflower grows up to 8′ tall and yields one big bloom. Then it goes to seed that attracts birds and squirrels. But now you can choose multi-headed plants that branch and give 12-20 big blooms. The dwarf plants can be grown in the garden or an 8 to 10″ pot and only get 18-24″ tall.
What is it about sunflowers that make people smile? Every time I cut some and put them in vase to give away they are always received with a happy response. Sure, yellow is a happy color and these big, floppy blooms are almost cartoonish but maybe they literally brightens up someone’s day.