Hussar's Head, Sanvitalia - Care of Hussar's Head

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Hussar's Head, Sanvitalia - Care of Hussar's Head: head

Hussar heads belong to the family of the daisy family (Asteraceae). The graceful hussar's head is characterized by a herbaceous green leaves thick stems and small egg-shaped pointed leaves. The many medium-sized flowers are yellow. They have a pillow-shaped, sometimes brown flower center and 12 radial arranged flower petals. The plant grows very branched, creating a dense yellow carpet of flowers. The summer flower reaches a height of about 25 cm to 35 cm and prefers a sunny to partially shaded spot.
Hussar heads are one-year-old. There are many different varieties of the decorative summer plant. It is suitable as an underplant and groundcover and is a grateful traffic light, balcony and container plant for terraces, balconies and house entrances. - Already knew? The species-poor "Procumbens" means "lying down" and indicates the growth habit of the hairy head.


The hussar head (Sanvitalis) has been known in Europe since the end of the 17th century. Researchers and merchants brought the magical flower of Mexico and Guatemala to Europe. In the vernacular, the hussar's head is also referred to as dwarf sunflower due to its appearance. In nature, the hussar's head grows at altitudes up to 1,300 meters. It is considered a weed because it spreads very much in the fields of the farmers. The botanical name "Sanvitalia" was selected after the Italian botanist Sanvitalia (1704 to 1767).


Hussar heads need a warm sunny to shady location. The more sun the plant receives, the better it develops and the more flowers it produces. As a balcony plant and from hanging baskets, the hussar's head grows very decorative slightly overhanging. It is insensitive to rain and wind.

Substrate & soil

The substrate should be loose and permeable. Sanvitalis procumbens is sensitive to waterlogging. Planters should be drained and have drainage. Heavy soils and potting soil for balcony plants can be made slightly more permeable with sand and gravel.

Pouring and fertilizing

hussar button

The earth always has to dry off before the hussar head is poured. However, the earth should never dry out completely. In the main growing season, it is recommended to use a complete fertilizer every two weeks.

Plant and multiply

The Husarenk├Âpfchen is the ideal planting for the edge of window boxes and traffic lights. Three hussar heads per traffic light suffice for a dense flowering flora. Young plants from the specialist trade are available from spring. They are released after the ice saints. A planting distance between 10 cm to 15 cm is sufficient. Sowing on the windowsill is via seeds in February.
Tip: The seeds can be harvested in the fall of last year from flowered flowers or they are bought packaged commercially.
The fine seeds are mixed with sand for better distribution and then lightly dusted with soil. At a temperature of 18┬░ C, the first seedlings appear after about two weeks. A miniature greenhouse is not necessary because of the low sowing temperatures. If the plantlets are large enough, they are separated with a stick. The first flowers of the Husarenkopf appear on the fully formed plants already in June.

To cut

A hussar head should then be cut if the plant grows miserably and no longer forms inflorescences.
Tip: You can cut back the plant up to two-thirds. If Sanvitalis procumbens is healthy, then drive it out immediately and form a dense carpet of flowers.
They may also be cut to length shoots and faded inflorescences. Both care measures promote the new drive.
Note: In new breeds, it is no longer necessary to remove faded parts of the plant.


The hussar head is considered very resistant. He is not infected by diseases or pests. Even snails make a bow around the frugal plant. Root rot is favored by a too wet state.


Hussar heads are annuals. A wintering of the plants is not possible. The head of the hussar sows itself in the garden bed. While the mother plant dies in autumn, the seeds overwinter protected in intervals of paving stones and patio tiles or under stones and drift out in the spring when it gets warm.

Different varieties with label

The genus of Sanvitalia is divided into seven species and numerous new breeds:
  • medium yellow flowers - Cuzo Ideal
  • dark yellow flowers - Emily
  • yellow flowers - yellow bird, Talya Sunny
  • golden yellow flowers with brown-black center - Gold Braid
  • yellow to orange flowers - Irish Eys
  • compact very early blooming yellow flowers - gold carpet
  • medium yellow flowers - Million Suns,
  • orange flowers - mandarin orange
  • half-filled flowers - Plens
  • dark yellow flowers - Sanvitos Sweet Penny
  • medium yellow flowers - Solaris, Sunvy Trailing
  • warm yellow flowers -Sunbinii
  • strong yellow flowers - Sunvy Super Gold

Incidentally, the head of the hussar is almost indistinguishable from the Aztec gold.

Suitable combination partners

The yellow-colored head of the hussar is paired with purple petunia, blue verbena and bluebells. A palette of yellow and orange make hussar heads with marigolds, slipper flowers, yellow daisies and nasturtium. The groundcover supplement high stems and shrubs. A dark background looks very decorative. Other combi-partners are ivy, thyme or phlox.

frequently asked Questions

  • What is the difference between a true sunflower and a different one? - The hussar head grows densely branched, is not so high and has only a small amount of nutrients needed. In addition, the hussar's head needs less water than the sunflower.
  • How did the hussar head get its name? - The plant resembles a uniform button. Hussars belonged to the cavalry and rode on horses. Sanvitalia is not to be confused with Acella oleracena, which is also referred to as a hussar head. The Paracress is yellow, but has no pronounced petals. Hussar's head Sanvitalia is poisonous.
  • Is the hussar head a solitary plant? - No, the summer flower does not come to the fore.
  • Are there any special features to consider when propagating? - One gram of seeds contains around 1500 seeds.

Find out more about the hussar's head in a nutshell

  • Hussar heads can be pulled into pots on the windowsill starting in March, or they can be sown directly in the field from the end of April.
  • Their seeds are placed in pots with potting soil in pairs or threes and only slightly covered with soil.
  • In the following period, the seed must always be kept moist. It requires a temperature of around 18┬░ C for germination.
  • After 10 to 14 days, the germinating plants can be a bit cooler, but in any case need a bright location.
  • If the young plantlets have then reached a handsome size, they should be piqued.
  • However, they are not planted in the garden until mid-May so that the young plants will not be damaged by late night frosts.
  • Hussar heads grow best in a location in the garden, where they are illuminated by the sun most of the day.
  • If necessary, they can also be planted in a partially shaded area, but then it may be that they do not flower quite as diligently.
  • The soil should be well loosened before planting, so that no waterlogging can occur, which would harm the plants.
  • For a very dense soil, it is therefore helpful to mix some sand under the soil, so that the rainwater can drain well.
  • For the planting of pots or window boxes the conventional potting soil is completely sufficient.
  • After two to three months, however, these plants should get a little extra fertilizer.
However, if flowers are barely blooming during the summer, they should be cut back a little to encourage further flowering. Husaran pans, however, are one-year-old plants and therefore have to be reseeded or bought each spring.

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