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Teddy Bear Sunflowers – A Cuddly Giant Flower

I love all sorts of sunflowers.  They are my daughter’s favorite flower and I plant them in all of my garden beds each year.  I have some in my test garden that are about 7 feet tall right now and still not opened.  I plant the large yellow type and rust colored ones too, but I have never had a chance to plant these beautiful teddy bear sunflowers.

How to grow Teddy Bear Sunflowers

Image adapted from a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license photo. Photographer Mike Peel.

Unusual Teddy Bear sunflowers.

The beautiful thing about these plants is the huge and round blossoms that it puts out. The variety is called a Teddy Bear sunflower and it is just gorgeous. The image below is by photographer Pamela Nocentini who has captured one in all its glory.

Teddy Bear SunflowerThe plant is an annual, sown from seed each year in the spring. Helianthus annuus is the botanical name.  Like all sunflowers, it will need staking to support the heads.

Kids really love this Teddy Bear sunflower. This unusual member of the sunflower family is unlike regular types. It has cuddly-looking, 4-5 inch fully-doubled yellow flowers that are held up on sturdy dwarf plants 2 1/2-3 feet tall.

  • Full Sun
  • Sow seeds in April to May.
  • Days to germination 7-14.
  • Water deeply but infrequently.
  • Amend soil with organic matter.
  • Do not over fertilize or the stems may break.

One source that I have found for the seeds is Territorial Seed Company. I have also seen seeds for sale for this plant on Amazon.  

There is also a dwarf version of the teddy bear sunflower.  It does not have quite the same puffy blossom but is still very pretty. This variety grows to about 3 feet tall so is quite manageable.dwarf teddy bear sunflower

I have not tried to grow this plant from seeds from either company. If you do, please let us know how they germinate in the comments below.

When fall rolls around, I combine sunflowers with pumpkins in a unique no carve sunflower pumpkin display. Check it out!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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Maria Fallone

Tuesday 25th of August 2020

We grow the tall Teddy Bear Sunflowers every year. Start them from seed in March, keep them in sunny spot. Plant in ground when no frost. Wish I could post photos. Love them


Sunday 30th of June 2019

I was at the Philadelphia Flower Show and purchased Teddy Bear Sunflower seeds (along with many others) from Hudson Valley Seed. They do organic gardening which I appreciate. Mine haven’t bloomed yet but they’re growing beautifully!!🌻


Sunday 30th of June 2019

You are in for a treat when they do bloom!

Sarah Patten

Tuesday 14th of May 2019

We have grown Teddy Bear sunflower for it years. It is one of our favorites and grow it as a freebie when people come and buy from our greenhouse. True to its description it will only get 2 1/2 -3 ft tall with a beautiful head. It needs support once the head starts to form and stays in bloom for weeks. We get our seeds from Baker Creek heirloom seeds


Monday 17th of June 2019

Just curious as this is my first year with teddy bear sunflowers, I received mine mothers day weekend from our daycare, it was already potted for me and is about a foot tall with pretty green leaves; how long before it sprouts the actual heads? there are five stems if that matters and is in a small to medium potting container (desk size). Any advise as I am anxiously waiting to see how gorgeous this flower blooms.


Tuesday 14th of May 2019

Thanks for the tip Sarah. It is nice to know about reputable sellers of seeds.

Nimra Khalid

Thursday 18th of April 2019

can anyone help me with the fungal or bacterial diseases of teddy bear sun flower i want to do research on it but i am unable to find data regarding this ?


Saturday 20th of April 2019

You might find some help on this site (The national sunflower association.).


Sunday 17th of February 2019

I have been growing various types of sunflowers for years now as they are my favourite and make a nice cover as well for privacy around decks and what not. I have had some as tall as ten feet and harvest the seeds each and every fall. Some are used for replanting the next year and the rest go to feeding the birds over winter. Just purchased teddy bear seeds last night off amazon and look forward to planting when spring comes around.


Sunday 17th of February 2019

My daughter loves them so we always have them here. I had good luck with my teddy bear seeds last summer.