Sunflower Planting and Care Guide

Sunflower Planting and Care Guide

Quick Facts About Sunflower

Summer would not be complete without Sunflowers gracing the scene with cheeful faces. They can be grown in the vegetable garden to add spots of color, or an entire meadow can be filled with their bright, colorful blooms. Birds and bees love these large annuals, and they come in colors of yellow, orage, red, maroon, and even brown. Sunflowers follow the movement of the sun, so you can literally watch the large flower move throughout the day, depending on the position of the sun, and in the evening, they will face toward the east again, ready for the next morning.

Planting Time

Because Sunflower roots do not like to be disturbed, it is recommended to plant Sunflower seed directly outdoors once frost danger has passed and the soil can easily be worked.

Planting Location

Sunflower plants love full sun and moist, fertile soil. The plants may need some protection from the wind while they are establishing.

How to Plant Sunflowers

  • Weed the area and work the soil to a depth of 6 - 8 inches
  • Add compost and work it into the soil
  • Smooth the soil and plant a seed every 6 inches apart
  • Cover the seed with 1/2 - 1 inch of soil
  • If birds scratch up the seeds, a covering may need to be made to allow the seeds to germinate
  • Keep the area continually moist for germination
  • Once the seedlings have emerged and are several inches in height, thin to the strongest seedling, spacing the plants the distance that is recommended for the type of Sunflower being grown

Care And Maintenance

  • Water Sunflowers regularly to establish the young plants
  • Once established, the plants are fairly drought tolerant - so water only during dry periods
  • Provide shelter from strong winds - a fence row or building work well
  • Plants that become top-heavy with blooms may need staking to support them
  • Sunflowers can be used for cutting, and they will last up to a week in a vase - cut the blooms in the morning
  • The seed heads can be dried and the seed harvested for eating, planting the next year, or for feeding birds during the winter