Helianthus grosseserratus (Saw-Tooth Sunflower) - 1 Qt Super Plugs

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Most common in Illinois and Missouri, Sawtooth Sunflower ranges from New England to Minnesota and Nebraska, south to Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee.  Sawtooth Sunflower is a large plant, growing up to 12 feet tall as a standalone plant!  Denser plantings will typically stay 3-5 feet tall.

Sawtooth Sunflower is a good sunflower to include in mixed meadow plantings and prairie restorations.  Typically plants are found in moist soils with high organic matter; average garden soil suits them fine, however.

Sawtooth sunflower blooms in late summer like most other sunflowers.  The stout stems are very upright, not splaying apart like Maximilian sunflower (H. maximiliani).

Similar to Maximilian Sunflower, Sawtooth Sunflower is an aggressive rooter and will often swamp more delicate plants if it doesn't have enough room.


Sawtooth sunflower may be difficult to integrate into smaller gardens, but it does make a striking plant in bloom.  Make use of its habit of being shorter in dense colonies, and plant at least 5 plants in an area.

Sunflowers are very ecologically important - In our area of Central Indiana, Sawtooth Sunflower hosts 69 species of butterflies and moths!  The flowers are a good late-season nectar and pollen source for bees and other pollinators.

Sunflowers also attract songbirds, especially goldfinches - They will start to pull the seed out when it's barely ripe, working their way in from the edge of the flower cluster!

How to Grow Sawtooth Sunflower

Sawtooth Sunflower is very easy to grow, providing its need for moist soil can be met.  The plants are drought tolerant once established, though the leaves do tend to fold along the stem when it gets excessively dry.  A little water or rain remedies the situation, and they take on their normal form again.

Space Sawtooth Sunflower 30 inches apart, and water well for the first month or two.  Sunflowers are very vigorous rooted, so they shouldn't need much aftercare.

We currently offer Sawtooth Sunflower in our Quart SuperPlugs - These fabric pots can be planted directly in the ground and will rot away after a growing season.

Common Name: Sawtooth Sunflower
Botanical Name: Helianthus grosseserratus
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-8
Height: 3-12 Feet (See "How to Grow")
Spread: 24-36 Inches
Spacing: 30 Inches
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Late Summer - Early Fall
Texture: Coarse (Large Plant)
Habit: Upright Clump, Slowly Spreading
Light Exposure: Full Sun, Prairies & Meadows
Soil Moisture: Average to Moist
Soil Texture: Clay to Sandy Loam
Soil PH: Neutral to Slightly Acidic
Landscape Uses: Mass Plantings, Restoration Plantings
Benefits: Deer Resistant, Rabbit Resistant, Drought Tolerant
Ecological Function: Nectar and Pollen, Larval Food Source, Seed, Shelter