Maximilian Sunflower

Sunflowers are my all time favorite flower. They seem to me to be a happy flower , always looking towards the sun. Sunflowers are typically an annual plant, however the Maximilian Sunflower is a perennial (meaning you don’t have to replant every year).

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It’s what the sunflowers do.”

~ Helen Keller

Whether your looking for something that deters deer in the garden, blooms pretty and late, has edible parts, attracts birds, creates a green mulch, stops grass invasion or is very low maintenance – I  would recommend looking at the Maximilian Sunflower.

Maximilian Sunflower

The perfection of elegance – Maximilian Sunflower


The perfection of elegance – Maximilian Sunflower


This stunning beauty is more than it appears (as with all plants in permaculture). This particular strain of sunflower grows 5 to 7 feet tall and sports 4 inch yellow blooms in the late fall. Giving fall a spectacular splash of color when most everything else is gone.


  1. Deer won’t eat them – the stems are covered with a coarse fuzz that the deer do not like. Therefore the deer are greatly discouraged in poking their heads (and bodies) through a thick screen of blossoms. If you trim the stalks in the winter to about 4 feet tall, the deer absolutely dislike them then. (This can be a bit of an eyesore in the winter – think about it, a bunch of cut stalks with no leaves sticking out of the ground.)
  2. The Maximilian Sunflower isn’t invasive, although it does grow thickly creating a beautiful barrier for the rest of the garden.
  3. In the early spring, trim the stalks to the ground and you have a fantastic mulch base, or compost
  4. The Maximilian Sunflower is a relative of the Jerusalem Artichoke – which means its edible. The sunflower produces edible shoots that can be eaten raw or cooked. The seeds can also be harvested and used to make sunflower oil – you will need an oil press get a good one (you get what you pay for).
  5. The seeds attract birds to your garden
  6. With a hardiness to -30 degrees Fahrenheit I’d say it’s a plant to have just about anywhere.
  7. It’s very drought tolerant and grows in all types of soils (even in yucky red clay).
  8. It also blocks any unwanted grasses or weeds from encroaching into the opposite garden side. (Because we ALL know how grass and weeds like to travel to unwanted areas.


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