Did you know there are almost 70 different sunflower species?
That’s right, and with all these varieties, you’re spoilt for choice when choosing the variety to grow in your garden.
Bearing flowers annually, sunflowers are often grown for their stunning appeal and their multiple functionalities.
But that’s not all — these incredibly adorable flowers possess a valuable extract in the form of edible oil.
And the best part — sunflowers are also quite easy to maintain!
Usually, a sunflower can grow between 3 to 18 feet, depending on the variety. The flower beads usually measure around 2 to 6 inches in width.
The flowers are often most popular in yellow, but other other color options like orange, red, and even burgundy are also available. I mean, whether you want them as an ideal houseplant or intend to pot them in your garden, sunflowers are perfect.
However, there are times when we desire something different, either for its uniqueness or due to unfavorable conditions for growing sunflowers in our surroundings.
Fortunately, there is an array of alternatives available. These alternatives not only match the beauty of sunflowers but in fact, some are so similar that it’s nearly impossible to tell them apart.
These flowers usually belong to the Asteraceae or the daisy family. But what exactly are some of these flowers, and how do you find them? Well, that’s what we’ll be discussing in here. Let’s dive right in!
13 Different Flowers That Look Like Sunflowers
1. Black-Eyed Susan
When it comes to Sunflower look-alikes, you will find plenty of flowers from the Asteraceae family making it to our list. One of the top contenders would be the Black-Eyed Susan, which is also popularly known as the Gloriosa Daisy.
These plants boast a stunning yellow and orangish flowers with a dark brown area in the middle. Widely found in the wilderness, they add just the right color to your regular grasslands.
One impressive attribute about Black-Eyed Susans is they’re easy to maintain. In fact, if you want a flower that isn’t much of a hassle to keep healthy, this option perfectly fits the bill.
As potted plants, Black-Eyed Susans are found in different variants like the Indian Summer, Cherokee sunset, and Autumn color.
In the United States, these flowers flourish in moderately hardy zones spanning from 3 to 9. Some regions even cultivate them annually during the winter season. Susan flowers exhibit rapid growth and thrive when exposed to full or partial sunlight.
Now, if you plan to grow them at home, it is best to stick to a few guidelines.
One of the first things you need to check is the temperature of the soil. These plants germinate better when the soil temperature has met or exceeded 70 degrees F. In certain parts of North America, planting the seeds between March and May is recommended.
You will then find them blooming between June and September. Germination usually takes a month or 40 days, but this will vary depending on the species.
Furthermore, while planting the seeds, make sure the soil is nutritious and well-drained. It should be moist and not soggy at any instance.
Since these flowers are similar to Sunflowers, they enjoy plenty of sunlight. As such, it’s highly recommended to grow them in full sun, although you can also try partial shade.
While sowing the seeds, ensure they are loosely covered by the soil. The plant can withstand difficult soil conditions, but it is recommended to keep the soil fertile.
Upon maturing, Black-Eyed Susan can assume a height between 1 and 3 feet and a width of 10 to 20 inches. That is one of the many reasons you need to plant seeds right next to each other. This will create a perfect border once the flowers finally bloom.
2. Gerbera Daisy
If you plan to add a perfect tinge of colors to your yard without investing in Sunflowers, the Gerbera Daisy might be a great option. With lush, dark green foliage, these flowers have leaves assuming a width of 12 inches or more.
Unlike many other sunflower look-alikes, these plants are known for their fuzzy leaves. The stems of these plants are stout, usually ranging between 6 to 8 inches.
Upon maturing, they can produce 3-inch flowers in different colors like red, magenta, purple, orange, yellow, and even salmon. In certain instances, they may even be bi-colored.
If you plan to grow them at home, ensure the plants get complete sun and fully fertilized soil. They thrive best in US hardiness zones ranging from eight to eleven.
As with any other Sunflower lookalike, you need to water it frequently for the best results. Also, snip the withered flowers once in a while. This will boost flowering, especially during the winter months.
3. False Sunflowers
Perfectly named, these plants are a group of perennials belonging to the same Asteraceae family as the Black-Eyed Susan.
Like sunflowers, they too, are known for their bright yellow hues and long leaves. Upon maturing, they make just the perfect border in your wildflower garden. As with the Black-Eyed Susan, the False Sunflowers are easy to grow and care for.
In the US, they thrive best in hardy soils ranging from 4 to 9. These blooms can tolerate high heat, and they usually need plenty of sunlight to assume full growth.
Unlike many other flowers, false sunflowers are susceptible to drought and poor soil conditions. Common variants include the Ballerinas and the Summer Suns.
If you plan to grow them at home, it is recommended to follow some simple guidelines.
First, you should always pluck the flowers once bloomed to avoid re-seeding and ensure more blooms. However, this may not be as necessary if you are growing it in a completely natural environment.
Care and maintenance are absolutely minimal. In fact, it’s so little you can even forget about them post-planting. However, it is recommended to deadhead to promote blooms.
Yet another member of the Asteraceae family, coneflowers are both easy to grow and care for. Available in various colors, these colors bear multiple similarities with the regular sunflower.
Common variants include yellow, pink, fuchsia, occur, red, magenta, purple, and even orange, and sometimes white, but that’s very rare. Their centers are rich in nectar and therefore attract plenty of bees and butterflies.
Ideally, Coneflowers thrive best in properly drained soil and require significantly less water than other perennials.
In terms of soil hardiness, zones between 4 to 9 work best for them. Coneflowers are also popular as the Harvest Moon and Sunrise for their stunning hues.
If you are planting them at home, make sure you choose a location where they get full sun for at least 6 to 8 hours at a stretch. Adequate amount of sunlight will ensure
If you live in a warmer zone, 8 or higher, consider providing 1 to 3 hours of afternoon shade. This will help the flower thrive better and prevent them from side effects of excessive sun.
Coneflowers usually grow in clumps and that is why they won’t manage to spread far and wide like other perennials. Older variants are likely to self-seed if you keep the blooms in a proper position. This will also ensure that you get plenty of plants.
Ideally, you should plant these flowers during the spring months. This will ensure that it doesn’t experience any danger from the frost.
If spring can’t work for your case, you may also want to plant it during the early months of fall. Just ensure that they get enough time (at least 6 to 7 weeks) for establishing their roots before the potential frost, or else they may not bloom the following spring.
5. Bush Daisy
These are yet another common perennial resembling tiny Sunflowers. Alternatively known as the Golden Daisy or the African Daisy, these are but tender shrubs that bloom with pretty yellow flowers.
As with sunflowers they have a black seedy center that tends to attract plenty of pollinators and birds.
These flowers are not known for closing during the evenings or the night. They also bloom throughout the year. In the US, Bush Daisy will grow in hardy zones ranging from 9 to 15.
Plus, they require full sun and nutritious, moisture-laden soil. If you are a gardener, you might want to grow them near your hedge or as a border in massive patio pots.
Abundantly found in the North American regions, these are yet another pretty perennial. They can grow to a height of 2 to 4 feet and are a great choice to border your garden or walkway.
Belonging to the Asteraceae family, these flowers have wide and heavily designed petals. You will find them in shades of yellow, red, or multicolored variants.
Also known as the Pot gold, these plants thrive best when they receive full soil and moisture-laden soil.
In the US, they are abundantly found in hardiness zones of 4 to 7. For the best results, you should water the plant regularly.
Known to be related to the Sunflower family, these vibrant flowers evoke the perfect image of autumn. You should ideally plant them in spring, and upon blooming they can produce flowers ranging from 1 to 3 feet in height. Common colors include red, orange, salmon, white, and magenta.
While growing them at home, ensure the ‘mums’ receive plenty of shade. The soil should have ample moisture, and you should water it regularly for best results. And if you’re in the US, keep in mind that these plants do well in hardiness zones ranging from 4 to 9.
8. Yellow Daisy
Yellow daisies bloom in June, and they continue bearing flowers throughout summer.
Their flowers resemble sunflowers, only the tinier variants. The stems of these plants are erect and the disk (usually present in the middle of the flower) is best known for its yellowish-green hue.
As with most sunflower look-alikes, Yellow Daisies require moisture-laden soil with complete sunlight.
9. Diantus Carophyllus
Alternatively known as Carnations, these flowers resemble sunflowers with their thin petals and large central disk.
Unlike sunflowers, however, their disks are bright yellow, and their colors range from red to orange.
If you plan to plant them at home, ensure the plant gets complete sun and partial shade during the afternoons. It thrives best in US hardiness zones ranging from 3 to 10.
While Zinnias may not resemble Sunflowers, they have some striking similarities. First are their petals that are thin, and second is the color which is just as gorgeously yellow as the sunflowers.
If you choose this flower as your sunflower alternative, ensure you provide the conditions for healthy growth.
For one, the plant needs plenty of sun. That means you need to be a bit strategic with where you drop the seeds.
Plus, ensure that you plant them in well-drained soil to remain healthy. As for the soil type, these flowers do well in hardiness zones ranging from 3 to 10.
Unlike the Gerberas, daisies are only available in white and yellow. One attribute they have from the majority of other sunflower look-alikes is their leafless stems and dainty appeal.
To grow daisies in the US, a hardiness zone of 3 to 9 remains a prerequisite. Also, provide plenty of natural sunlight to plant and water it regularly.
Coreopsis is a spectacular plant with yellow, salmon, and orangish flowers. They are almost similar to daisies and can thrive in all soil conditions.
The ideal hardiness zone ranges from 3 to 9. And as with most other sunflower lookalikes, they need full sun and loamy soil.
13. Transvaal Daisies
Transvaal Daisies are known for their notched leaves and bright flowers. Usually, these flowers can assume a height of 10 to 18 inches depending on the type.
While the flowers are usually single, they may sometimes be double or semi-double. The colors range from pink, yellow, and red.
Now that you have a clear idea about the best sunflower lookalikes, wait no further; pick your favorite and brighten your backyard or patio like you always wanted to!