Procrastination Payoff

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Typical of my gardening efforts this year I missed my deadline to cut down the towering, passalong Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower) that lives in the western border.

Not wishing to encourage this native plant to spread any further I usually clean it up early, but it really has a nice autumn display.

Seedheads of Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Seedheads of Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

 

Deep burgundy foliage of Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Deep burgundy foliage of Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

28 thoughts on “Procrastination Payoff

  1. Julie

    The seed heads are really lovely in their own right Susie, and mother nature put the perfect leaf with them, I leave a lot of stems over winter to help with sheltering insects and because they look good with frost on too.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Funny how mother nature seems to get so much right! It is nice to leave some stems for birds and insects and to give the garden some winter interest.

      Reply
  2. gardeninacity

    Often procrastination does pay off. I for one am usually too impatient to cut stuff back or replace it. Good for you in showing such restraint, whether intentional or not! Your swamp sunflower is a lovely plant for autumn.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you. Some years the swamp sunflower has burnt to a crisp and fallen over long before this time of year. We had plenty of rain late in the summer which helped make it look nice this fall.

      Reply
  3. Cathy

    That’s really pretty – both the leaves and the seed heads. It certainly does pay to put things off sometimes! It’s still standing nice and tall too. I have to cut things fairly promptly or they flop in our moist autumn fogs!

    Reply
  4. Christina

    I don’t mind leaving things that are easy to pull up seedlings but not those that put down a deep tap-root which will continue to grow even if the top is chopped – the fennel in my garden being an example but I like the form so they are still there dropping seeds – silly me. I think your sunflower is lovely and I’m sure it can’t be too difficult to control.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The sunflower and I have managed to co-exist, but I tried to pull it all up one year and it had other ideas. Now I am glad to keep it as it adds a lot to the late summer.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Ann, I’m not sure if the seedheads dry well or not. I don’t usually collect much to dry. Perhaps I’ll give them a try as I am saving a few things for a special flower arranging class in March.

      Reply
  5. CathyT

    It really is quite lovely Susie – there’s so much colour in it still as well, what with the foliage and the yellow in the seedheads. Swamp sunflower sounds like it might survive at the bottom of my garden – which I think is just about to be flooded as I type!

    Reply
  6. Annette

    Would be a pity to cut it back too soon as it’s such a beauty. The autumn foliage looks similar to Lemon Queen. Do you suggest a root barrier when planting?

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Mine was a passalong plant so don’t know if mine is wild or a named cultivar. I just pull up all but one piece in the autumn to try to contain it.

      Reply

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