Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mexican SunFlower(වල් සුරියකාන්ත): Great Fertilizer

Found out a couple of months ago from a visitor here that Mexican Sunflower (වල් සුරියකාන්ත) Tithonia Diversifoliais a very good fertilizer. Thanks Anil Ratnayake.

Mexican Sunflower is fast growing, not fast enough here because we would like to use it extensively as soil conditioner and fertilizer. It is a weed and invasive species that originated from Central America.
  • High in Pottasium (low in Mg).  As fertilizer contains 1.76% N, 0.82% P, and 3.92% K.
    In comparison cattle manure 0.6% N 0.4% P 0.5% K
    Giliricidia 3.26% N 0.41% P 2.76% K
  • Soil conditioner, i.e. loosens soil.
    Much needed here because of clayey soil that becomes like rock when dry and prevents root growth.
  • Decomposes fast, so nutrients available quickly.
    That means can be used for short duration crops such as vegetables.
  • Grows from plant cuttings. i.e. easily propagated.
    The plant cuttings seem to be tolerant of hard water (High Mg, Ca).
  • Attracts Butterflies and Bees (a big plus).
  • Beautiful Flowers
 Anecdote:  My sister has a Rambutan plant that has barely grown in two years. Probably because the garden has been filled with gravel/gritty soil (බොරලු). About two-three months ago she had planted a Mexican sunflower next to a Rambutan plant.  This was before we knew about the soil conditioning properties. Anyway within the last two months the Rambutan plat has grown by about 2 feet.

References and Links 

Study  of Mexican Sunflower on Rice

NPK values of Manures



  1. Fertilizers are food for plants. Fertilizer helps farmers feed our growing population.

  2. Its good to know its uses cos l have it and it grows very fast in my shamba. For now l swear never to cut and burn.

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