NC State Extension

Helianthus ‘Sun4U Orange’

Helianthus 'Sun4U Orange'

Trial: Annual

Year Trialed: 2008

Good Qualities:

Nice orange/gold color with dark brown center (7); Uniform size and maturity (4); A winner in my tests, big blooms on sturdy stems, held petals very well, long vase life, pollenless; Very uniform, cut all of each color in about 1 week; Easy to grow, large brown center with short petals, good stem size; Came into flower early – by July 4th, uniform, medium head – good for bouquet work, no petal drop, good branching with multiple usable stems on each plant; Attractive bloom with moderate length petals, some petals overlap; Large flower heads with large petals; Strong branching; All Sun4U were perfectly fine, single suns; Double row of petals, flowers 8 to 10 inches in diameter, rapid and strong germination; Standard orange sunflower; Sun4U Orange has nice clear orange petal with great customer appeal, an interesting feature of this cultivar is the smaller leaf under the flower, it makes for a very attractive display when bunched as the leaves are below the flower head, flowered earlier than the traditional sunflowers that I had planted at the same time; Early to flower, good plant height at harvest.


None (3); Stems collapsed in post harvest studies; Weight of flower heads caused top-heavy plants and breakage of stems, centers not always in the center of the bloom, large green collar of smaller leaves around base of flower, which we removed; Too attractive to plant pests, tarnish plant bugs and grasshoppers; I planted too far apart yielding very large heads I could not use in bouquets; 8.5 in flower head hard to use in arrangements; I wasn’t impressed with strength of stem or vaselife to grow again; Standard orange sunflower, similar to many.

Similar Cultivars:

Pro Cut series; ‘Galilee Adami’; ‘Sunrich Orange’; ‘Orange Glory’; The Sunrich series; ‘Pro Cut Orange’; Many.


This variety and ‘Carmel’ were my favorites in this grouping of sunflowers; The whole series is a winner and I want to grow it again next year. Better than Pro Cut; Harvested between 8/8-8/20 (direct seeded into the field on May 28); Removal of main stem produced abundant side shoots which had smaller blooms and thinner stems but were much more practical for cut flower use compared to large main stem; Good branching variety but does not fit into our program; Basically a normal cutflower sunflower, created some problems with the wholesale account, this year due to a very cool spring, the sunflower rotations came into flower at about the same time, like everyone, we pick our sunflowers when the first petal is just beginning to lift off, they look pretty similar at this point, the color of the center is about the only thing that looks different – while bunching, it was hard to keep all the different sunflower varieties separate, especially when we were dealing with lower numbers, so we frequently sent out mixed bunches, the retail florist didn’t seem to mind, but the wholesaler did not like the mixed bunches at all!; Nothing to write home about, not that large headed, not exciting; I will definitely look for more seeds for ‘Sun4U Bicolor’, great color; The Sun4U series is a winner; Flowered around August 5 (sowed June 11, transplanted to field June 25), flower diameter 7.5 in. when fully open, medium stem thickness, looks like the best entry of all.


Recut stems under water, use bleach and water solution; Remove leaves; Cut early and used Floralife; We only used plain water; We always cut our sunflowers into plain warm well water with a splash of bleach…works for us; Keep the vase solution clean.

See separate postharvest report for results from NC State University postharvest evaluations.

Trial Data

Helianthus ‘Sun4U Orange’
Yield (stems/plant) Stem Length (inches) Market Appreciation Rating – Wholesale (1) Market Appreciation Rating – Retail (1) Market Appreciation Rating – Consumer (1) Repeat Again Rating (1) Ease of Cultivation Rating (1) Average Spacing (in2) Average Postharvest Life (days)
Average 1.6 43.7 3.0 4.3 4.1 3.4 4.4 168 9.2
Range of Responses 1-8 21-66 2-4 4-5 3-5 1-5 2-5 36-648 6-14

(1) 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being the best. Market ratings are based on sales to wholesalers, retailers, or final consumers direct.



P.O. Box 618

Conway, WA 98238

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