Dwarf Sunflowers: 15 Varieties And How To Grow Them

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are beautiful and iconic type of flowers that are widely cultivated for their bright and cheerful blooms.

Dwarf sunflowers are a smaller variety of the popular sunflower plant. These small plants often grow between 18 and 12 inches tall and still offer all of the charm and beauty of traditional sunflowers, but in a compact and space-saving package.

They come in a variety of colors, including yellow, white, red, orange, and multicolored. They are easy to grow, and can be planted in gardens or containers. They are popular among gardeners because they are easy to grow and do not require staking or support.

They also make excellent cut flowers and can be used in borders, beds, and containers. They are attractive to pollinators and birds. Dwarf sunflowers are generally considered as annuals, but they may reseed themselves if the conditions are right.

In this article, I will give the list and description of different varieties of dwarf sunflowers that are commonly available today. I will also look into the unique characteristics and growing requirements of these petite plants, making sure to highlight their distinct features such as height, color, and blooming time.

List of Dwarf Sunflowers

  • Elf
  • Double Dandy
  • Firecracker
  • Junior
  • Little Becka
  • Ms Mars
  • Pacino
  • Sunbright Supreme
  • Sundance Kid
  • Sunny Smile
  • Suntastic Yellow
  • Teddy Bear
  • Tithonia Fiesta Del Sol
  • Topolino
  • Yellow Pygmy

Description of Dwarf Sunflowers


Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

“ELF” is a dwarf cultivar that was developed by the University of Arkansas. It is a bushy, small plant that grows to approximately between 14 and 18 inches tall. It is one of the shortest sunflowers among dwarf varieties.

The flowers are also smaller than traditional sunflowers, with a diameter of about 3 to 4 inches. This compact plant can be used in small gardens or as a short annual hedge.

The “ELF” sunflower is generally characterized by bright yellow petals and dark chocolate-colored center disk. The flowers bloom from mid-summer to fall and are highly attractive to bees and butterflies.

The ‘’ELF’’ plant can be grown from seed, and should be planted in full sun, in well-drained soil after the last frost date.

Double Dandy

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Double Dandy is a hybrid variety that produces pollen free flowers. This sunflower can grow to a height of between 14 and 20 inches with unusual hues of wine colored filled blooms that are between 2 and 4 inches inches in diameter. The blooms are long-lasting, and generally, the plant is drought tolerant and easy to grow.

Double Dandy sunflowers can be used as cut flowers, as well as in cottage gardens, wildflower gardens, and as annual hedge plants.

They can also be used as a companion plant in flowerbeds because they are literally  good in attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies to the garden.


Image Credit: Flickr by Harry Olson

Firecracker is a semi-dwarf variety growing up to heights of 24 inches with a striking coloration that include blooms that are a bright orange on the outside, with yellow petals on the inside surrounding a chocolate brown center.

Firecracker is a pollen-free sunflower which blooms often in summer. This is a perfect flower to grow in containers on the patio or towards the front of a mixed herbaceous border.

In as far as growing conditions condition is concerned, Firecracker sunflowers not that involving. Actually, little effort is required in raising them.

They prefer full sun and well-drained soil, and may not require regular fertilization or pruning. They will grow well in most climates, but may need protection from frost in areas with cool summers.

Junior Sunflower

Image Credit: Pixabay by Glofg Murfin

Junior sunflower is a miniature sunflower that rarely gets over the knee height. It bears masses of small, orange-yellow or yellow, pollen-less flowers with brown centers on branched stems.

It is really versatile and easy to grow. You can easily grow it on a sunny windowsill or greenhouse bench in a relatively large pot with multipurpose compost.

Another advantage of the Junior sunflower the resistance and tolerance it shows towards various diseases. It is resistant to most common sunflower diseases, such as powdery mildew and rust.

Having successfully grown this variety for some time now, I can surely recommend it to any gardeners who want to enjoy sunflowers without worrying about disease issues.

Little Becka

Little Becka, photo credit: iStock

Little Becka is a semi-dwarf variety known for their long-lasting blooms, which can last for several weeks. The flowers of Little Becka are its most striking feature.

The flower head is relatively big, around are 3 to 5 inches in diameter and have bright red petals with yellow-colored tips. The petals are tightly packed and arranged in a circular pattern.

The center of the flower is dark brown and filled with seeds, which can be harvested and used for cooking or birdseed.

The flowers of little becka are usually produced on a single stem, but some plants may produce multiple stems, resulting in more than one flower per plant.

This variety blooms in late summer to early fall, adding a burst of color to the garden during the fall season. The flowers are attractive to pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, which can help to increase the biodiversity of the garden.

Ms Mars

Image Credit: Pixabay

Ms Mars is a dwarf variety that will mostly grows upright to be about 12 and 20 inches tall. It features graduated purple to rosy-pink petals tipped with contrasting cream.

The size of the flower head can vary depending on growing conditions, but they generally range from 4 to 6 inches in diameter.

The petals of the flower are long and narrow, and they can be either smooth or slightly hairy. The center disk is usually dark chocolate-brown.

The size and showy nature of Ms Mars makes it a great ornamental plant for planting in areas where taller sunflowers would be too large.

Actually, the compact growth allows it to fit in a variety of different garden settings without taking up too much space but still retain the vibrancy of color.


Image Credit: iStock

Pacino is a very attractive dwarf sunflower developed at the University of Florida for container growing. This amazing plant grows to a height of between 12 and 16 inches, with vibrant orange-yellow or bright yellow petals and dark chocolate-colored center disk.

The petals of the flower are typically arranged in a symmetrical pattern radiating out from the center disk. The center disk is made up of many small, tightly packed flowers that eventually mature into seeds.

Pacino is a hardy and easy-to-grow sunflower that can tolerate different soil types and environmental conditions. It is drought tolerant and can be planted in full sun or partial shade.

It blooms in late summer to early fall. You can use it in mixed border plantings, backdrop for shorter plants or in cut flower arrangements. It should be spaced about 12 to 18 inches apart, and water well after planting.

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