Should you plant perennial, false sunflower varieties in the garden?

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Unlike annual sunflowers, false sunflowers grow rhizomes underground, allowing them to survive winter and live as perennials. Rhizomes function like bulbs and are the starting point for the next flush of growth. If rhizomes are left in the ground, you can expect the flowers to appear again next year–provided that the rhizome can withstand frigid winters in your climate. To remove false sunflowers from your garden, you have to ensure you get every last rhizome, or they’ll keep returning.

False sunflowers grow in clumps and can spread up to 3 feet wide and up to 5 feet tall. They reach this size pretty quickly, allowing them to choke out neighboring plants, especially those that are shorter and smaller. False sunflowers tend to need some support as they grow taller or if they’re grown in partial shade. If they need support and no stakes are available, they may rely on nearby plants, which will contribute to the problem of overcrowding. At the end of the season, they’ll drop their seeds, allowing this plant to spread further out of control. Not only do you have to watch for rhizomes, but you also have to watch for seeds and seedlings.

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