This Giant Zinnia plant has been growing in a large container pot for at least 4 years!
Interesting enough, now that I haven't watered it much because of the drought situation, the plant has grown larger with more leaves and producing more blossoms. I grow zinnias to provide food and a place to land for butterflies. Butterflies love to rest and warm themselves in the sun on flat wide plants such as zinnias. And they are attracted to yellow.
Now and then I see a monarch butterfly flying high above the garden, and it would great if we could help provide more waystations for them. This is why we also grow several kinds of milkweed in large containers in the back yard. And the zinnia plant is nearby.
More about the milkweed later...
Every summer I like to grow one or two sunflower plants in the backyard as a treat for the bees and for bee counts for the Great Sunflower Project http://www.greatsunflower.org/
As you may recall from one of my posts in April, I purchased two sunflower plants from Annie's Annuals. One was a Lemon Queen and one a Mammoth Sunflower.
One day I discovered the Lemon Queen snapped in half. Either a crow or squirrel probably sat on it, and it couldn't take the weight. Then we were down to this one, a Mammoth. It is now about 5 feet tall and is producing two flowers. The image above of the flower buds is taken in profile. Each bud has its own stem.
All of our sunflower plants in the past grew much taller, some close to seven feet! I think this sunflower is shorter because I haven't watered as much this year.