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Plant Catalogue




Tithonia diversifolia

Also known as Mexican Sunflower, this member of the daisy family is one of our all-time favourite permaculture support plants;  ideal for helping to establish a food forest.


Tithonia plants grow very quickly, and can reach over 2 metres high in a single Summer. This makes them ideal for providing shelter for tender young fruit trees, while also inhibiting the growth of grass underneath. It is tolerant of drought and poor soils, but doesn't like wet feet or frosts.


It is easy to establish from cuttings, and often grows well from branches poked into the ground. Once you have a few plants growing well it is easy to propagate more.


The leaves contain good levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and the plant produces huge amounts of biomass, able to be cut and harvested multiple times per year. The branches and leaves make an excellent chop and drop mulch around the bases of fruit trees. They can be made into a liquid fertilizer, or added to worm farms or compost heaps.


Tithonia is a plant that needs management; the long stems can root if allowed to touch the ground, so pruning at least once a year is necessary to prevent plants taking over too much space. This cultivar does not set viable seed.


As an extra plus, it produces beautiful, yellow flowers throughout Winter and early Spring which are very popular with bees and other insects, flowering at a time when not many other nectar sources are available.

Size: 10cm Pot

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