Grow some Mexican sunflowers

Tithonia or Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifoliaare) is a brilliant pollinator plant. Mine are covered in bees and other insects at this time of year and the flowers provide nectar well into autumn.

They are imposing plants, reaching around 1.5m or more, with masses of orange flowers. Great for the back of borders and drawing beneficial insects into the veg plot. I plant them along the side of the plot with sunflowers, salvia and cosmos to create an ‘insect corner’. The branches do get quite heavy so you may need to stake.

They are annuals so a pack of seeds sown in spring will produce loads of plants. I get them sown under cover in April and they are ready for planting out once the risk of frost has past. You can also direct sow in May. They like a sunny position and free draining soil – watch out for slugs as they are susceptible while small.

You can buy seed from lots of suppliers. Mine originally came from Sarah Raven @sarahravensgarden but I save seed now.