How to Grow Sunflowers Successfully

 Sunflowers are one of our favorite gardening traditions.  About 5 years ago we started planting giant sunflowers to help shade parts of the garden and for eating.

What we found is that not only were they great for both those mentioned, but they were so great for brightening up the garden and our property in general. 
how to grow sunflowers

    Planting a garden can be a bit overwhelming.  But planting sunflowers is actually pretty easy and a great way to ensure some gardening success.  

    We thought we'd share some of our tricks for how to grow sunflowers.

    Where to plant sunflowers?

    Sunflowers LOVE the sun.  Thus the name "sun" flower.  They like nice warm soil.  That means you shouldn't plant them until your soil is at least 55° to 60°F.

    Find a nice warm and sunny spot to plant your seeds.

    growing sunflowers

    When to plant sunflowers outside?

    This will all depend on where you live, or what planting zone you are in.  Typically, you want to wait until the soil has reached 60°F.  Most can plant between late March and May.

    Can you transplant sunflowers?

    Yes and no.  Some people find success in growing sunflowers indoors and transplanting them.  You want to have hardy plants with healthy roots.

    Personally, we have found they are difficult to transplant.  We had some great volunteer sunflowers one year and of the 10 we transplanted, only 1 survived.  Transplant at your own risk.

    Do sunflowers come back year after year?

    This will depend on whether you planted annual or perennial seeds.  The larger the seed head sunflowers are typically annuals and will need to be replanted each year.  Those with small see heads and that don't grow as rapidly are typically perennials and will bloom each year.

    However, many people believe their sunflowers come back year after year because they are perennial.  More than likely, the sunflower dropped some of its seeds and they burrowed into the soil and sprouted the following year.

    where to plant sunflowers

    Which sunflowers grow the tallest?

    The tallest sunflowers are in the giant category.  Look for sunflower seeds that say giant or mammoth on them.  We typically like the Mammoth Grey.

    Can you grow sunflowers in a pot?

    Yes.  However, the larger the sunflower the thicker the roots need to be to be healthy.  Make sure for larger sunflowers they have a nice deep pot and add pebbles or even small rocks to the bottom.  Here is a great post on growing sunflowers in pots.

    are sunflowers easy to grow

    Why plant sunflowers in gardens?

    There are lots of great reasons to grow sunflowers in your garden.  Reasons like pollination.  The bees love sunflowers.  Which help not only the sunflowers, but the other plants in your garden.

    Sunflowers are also edible.  That means you can add one more great and healthy snack to your families pantry.  They dry well and can be eaten long after harvest.

    And don't forget they are just plain beautiful.  Why wouldn't you want more color and beauty in your garden?

    Learn how to grow sunflowers in whatever region you live in and how to be successful with sunflowers in your garden.

    How to Grow Sunflowers

    Step 1
    Start with a nice tilled up soil.  Create a mound or hill to plant the seed.

    Step 2
    Plant sunflower seeds about 6-8 inches apart.  This may vary depending on what your seed size is.  Refer to your seed packet for advice.

    Make sure they are buried at least 2 times the size of the seed deep.  That isn't very much.

    Step 3
    Cover seeds and water well.

    Step 4
    Seeds should sprout in about 7-10 days.  Once they have sprouted you may need to thin them to about 1-2 feet apart depending on the variety.

    Now just keep a regular watering routine to ensure they continue to grow.

    sunflower growing tips

    When to harvest sunflower seeds?

    Once they have grown to their full potential they will start to drupe and begin to drop their seeds.  This is a sign they are ready to harvest.

    We have harvested ours many ways.  We've put paper bags over the top to collect the seeds.  We've cut the heads off and let them dry in the sun.  There really isn't one correct way to harvest them.

    Just make sure to leave about 12 inches of stem on the head if you plan to dry them.  That way you can hang them upside down for quicker drying.

    how to grow sunflowers

    That about sums up how to grow sunflowers.  They really are beautiful and easy to grow.  

    I hope you'll try adding them to your garden this year.
    Learn how to grow sunflowers in whatever region you live in and how to be successful with sunflowers in your garden.

    Learn how to grow sunflowers in whatever region you live in and how to be successful with sunflowers in your garden.


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