Torch Tithonia

$ 2.25

Also called Mexican sunflower. Years ago, I planted a wildflower mix, and the planting was soon dominated by 4-foot tall plants with single, reddish-orange flowers. I never was able to figure out what the flower was until I happened upon a similar planting at the Olbrich Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin. It was tithonia. The tall plants have attractive, soft green foliage with a fairly large number of bright 4"-5" blooms. I find this very striking, especially as a backdrop plant to other vivid colored annuals like zinnias and calendula.

15 seeds 

Torch Tithonia


Tithonia speciosa


Germination: 7-14 days

Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 70-80ºF

Seed Planting Depth: Sow on the surface, seeds need light to germinate

Starting Indoors: Start indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Provide 70-80ºF soil temperatures until germination. Transplant 12-24” apart after the last frost.

Sowing Outdoors: Direct sow outdoors after the last frost, only in areas with long growing seasons

Growth Habit:  Upright, branching

Height and Width: 4-6’ x 2-3’

Spacing: 12-24” apart

Light Needs: Full sun

Soil Needs: Average to poor, dry, well-drained

Approximate days to flower from seed: Blooms in 85-90 days

Uses: Cut flowers, beds and back of borders, cottage gardens, containers and planters, attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, drought tolerant, deer resistant

Care:  Deadhead to encourage more flower production. Over-fertilizing will produce plants with more foliage than flowers. Tall plants can benefit from staking