Did you ever dream of growing something beautiful that also repaired lousy dirt?
Probably not, but if you knew there WAS something beautiful that also repaired bad dirt, I bet you’d want to grow it. When I found out about these guys, I was hooked.
Meet Tithonia diversifolia:
LEARN MORE about these and other compost crops in my book Compost Everything!
Though the varieties I’ve encountered in the US don’t produce viable seeds, they are easily propagated through cuttings. Once you get some, it’s really easy to make more. I stick them all over my food forest.
The only time Mexican sunflowers bloom here is in November, so I’m enjoying it while they last. The butterflies are happy and the blooms make great cut flowers, with a rich honeyed aroma.
See? I’m not just a brutal utilitarian. I can appreciate pretty things, as long as they’re also useful.
Whoops. Guess I AM a brutal utilitarian.
If you want to grow these amazing plants, you can get cuttings of Tithonia diversifolia on ebay.
Cuttings root very easily, just like cassava. Just pop them into a pot (or in the ground, if you’re going to have a frost-free winter) and they’ll be growing in no time. Plant them out after the last frost and you’ll have your own forest of giant flowers by next fall.