- How to Grow Sunflowers in Containers
- Wait For The Show
- Full Sun
- Heavy Feeders
- Tips to Remember
- Growing Sunflowers: Planting & Caring for Helianthus
- CARING FOR SUNFLOWERS
- DESIGN IDEAS FOR SUNFLOWERS
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- HARVEST YOUR OWN SUNFLOWER SEEDS
- Planting Sunflower Seeds
- Sunflower Care Tips
- Harvesting Sunflower Seeds
- How Well Do Potted Sunflowers Grow: How To Grow Sunflowers In Planters
- Can You Grow Sunflowers in Containers?
- About Potted Sunflowers
- How to Grow Sunflowers in a Pot
- Growing Sunflowers in Containers
- Getting the Soil Conditions Right for Watering
- Sunflower Water Requirements
- How and When Not to Water Your Sunflower
- Related Questions
How to Grow Sunflowers in Containers
Sunflowers are often thought of as the quintessential summer plant. They immediately bring to mind lazy, sunny days of July and August. While they are often associated with large fields or big garden plots, they can be grown in containers too. Even a small 3 gallon pot can house the enormous ‘Mammoth’ sunflower.
Wait For The Show
Sunflowers should always be started from seed after any danger of frost is past. It takes about three months for sunflowers to reach a mature blooming stage. The plants and foliage are not very notable, so if you intend to use container sunflowers for landscaping clients, grow them at your own facility until they are ready to bloom. You can then place them in arrangements on balconies, porches, and walkways right as they are beginning put on their midsummer show.
As you are planning your installments, keep in mind that sunflowers require full sun. They will grow leggy and topple while reaching for the sun when grown in the shade. Sunflowers prefer sandy soils. While the plants tolerate drought, they grow best when watered regularly. Containers require a bit more vigilance because they can dry out quickly in hot weather. You may want to consider a container with sub-irrigation.
Sunflowers perform best with a lot of fertilizer. Apply a high nitrogen fertilizer while the plant is growing. Then when the flower head begins to open, change to a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus. The phosphorus will help ensure a spectacular bloom.
There are many different varieties of sunflowers. ‘Mammoth’ is the cultivar that comes to mind when picturing the traditional giant sunflower. While these may be fun in a few specific situations, they are probably not practical for most outdoor container conditions. If you do choose to grow a tall variety in a container, you may want to anchor it to something secure such as a drain pipe. This will prevent the container or the plant from tipping in the wind.
‘Teddy Bear’ Sunflower
There are several dwarf varieties such as ‘Teddy Bear’ and ‘Music Box.’ These grow around three feet tall. You can plant up to three dwarf sunflowers in a six inch pot. If you want a little more height and dramatic color, consider the red-orange ‘Autumn Beauty’ that grows up to five feet tall. The ‘Italian White’ also grows to five feet, but has creamy white flowers with petals that have an almost ruffled appearance.
You can plant sunflowers individually or with other annuals. Pair them with annuals that have prolific blooms all summer or annuals that begin to taper their blooming mid to late summer. With the right counterparts a container arrangement that features a sunflower can be interesting and attractive for the entire season. Remember that any plants paired with sunflowers will need to tolerate full sun.
Tips to Remember
Help your clients enjoy bright, cheery sunflowers this summer. Just keep a few things in mind as you prepare your containers:
- Sunflowers require full sun
- Blossoms will not appear until mid to late summer
- Sunflowers are heavy feeders
- Dwarf varieties are easiest to use in container arrangements.
Have you used sunflowers in outdoor container arrangements? What are your favorite varieties? What other plants did you pair them with?
Growing Sunflowers: Planting & Caring for Helianthus
Photo by: Daniele Price | Dreamstime.
These annual plants boast giant flowers, sometimes measuring more than a foot across. They make a good screen or backdrop and attract all sorts of pollinators. Some varieties have edible seeds. Most need staking to prevent them from falling over in the wind or rain.
- Helianthus annuus ‘American Giant’
- Helianthus annuus ‘Russian Mammoth’
- Helianthus annuus ‘Mammoth Grey Stripe’
Helianthus annuus ‘Suntastic Yellow’. Photo by: All-America Selections.
1-4 ft 2-10 in
Dwarf sunflowers are good for containers or small gardens. Many dwarf types are branching and offer multiple blooms per plant. Some are double-flowered, some are bicolored, and some are pollenless. Dwarf sunflowers are the perfect size for cutting and using in arrangements.
- Helianthus annuus ‘Little Becka’
- Helianthus annuus ‘Solar Flash’
- Helianthus annuus ‘Suntastic Yellow’ (AAS Winner, pictured)
Helianthus annuus ‘Teddy Bear’. Photo by: Diana Cochran Johnson / .
2-6 ft 4-8 in
Known for their fuzzy, fluffy, or soft texture, double sunflowers are attention grabbers. Available in semi-double or fully-double forms, their flowers last longer than single-bloom sunflowers and make excellent cut flowers. Many are pollenless or have minimal pollen.
- Helianthus annuus ‘Teddy Bear’
- Helianthus annuus ‘Greenburst’
Helianthus salicifolius. Photo by: Susan A. Roth.
4-8 1-10 ft 2-5 in
Perennial sunflowers will come back year-after-year. They are tough plants that offer 8-12 weeks of flowers. Rather than sending up a giant flower head, like many of the annual types, these sunflowers form clumps with many smaller flowers.
- Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’
- Helianthus xmultiflorus ‘Capenoch Star’
- Helianthus salicifolius ‘First Light’
- Helianthus maximiliana ‘Santa Fe’
- Helianthus angustifolius ‘Gold Lace’
Helianthus annuus ‘Ring of Fire’. Photo courtesy: All-America Selections.
4-7 ft 4-8 in
Many gardeners are surprised to discover that sunflowers are available in more colors than the classic yellow. There are types with deep red flowers, others that show of beautiful combinations of color and still others that are white.
- Red: Helianthus annuus ‘Velvet Queen’ or ‘Chianti’
- Bicolor: Helianthus annuus ‘Ring of Fire’ or ‘Candy Mountain’
- White: Helianthus annuus ‘Coconut Ice’ or ‘Italian White’
- Mixed: Helianthus annuus ‘Autumn Beauty’ or ‘Music Box’
CARING FOR SUNFLOWERS
Full sun; 5+ hours a day.
Any; clay, sandy, silt or loam.
Once sunflowers are established they will tolerate some drought. However, in the periods before, during and after flowering, they perform best with deep, regular watering.
For annual sunflowers (Helianthus annuus), sow seeds outdoors after the threat of frost has passed. If you have a short growing season they can be started indoors. Perennial sunflowers should be planted in spring or fall.
For giant sunflowers, or those grown for seed production, sow seeds 2 to 3 feet apart. For smaller annual types popular for cutting, you can sow seeds about 6 inches apart.
Annual sunflowers bloom during summer and into autumn. Sow new plants every few weeks and you’ll enjoy non-stop flowers until the first frost. Perennial sunflowers bloom for a period of 8-12 weeks with some beginning as early as July and others finishing as late as October.
In most cases, sunflowers will not need fertilizer. However, if your soil is very poor you can use a slow-release granular fertilizer to encourage larger flowers. Be careful – too much nitrogen can inhibit flowering.
Sunflowers that grow over 3 feet tall or have large, heavy flower heads are vulnerable to flopping or even breaking under the stress of summer winds and rain. Loosely attach your plant’s branches to stakes with cloth or twine to prevent this problem. Sunflowers grown from seed sown directly in the garden will have well-established roots and stronger stems and be less likely to fall. To further encourage proper root growth, provide well-draining, organically-rich soil, and plenty of space between plants. And don’t forget to water deeply so that the roots will grow down rather than out.
DESIGN IDEAS FOR SUNFLOWERS
- Grow them as a joyful addition to the late-summer garden. They look great in the back of the border or along a fence or wall.
- Add them to your cutting garden and use them in arrangements. Look for sunflowers that are pollenless and have sturdy stems.
- Use them to attract birds, bees and butterflies-they are great for pollinators while in bloom, and their seed heads can be dried and set out for the birds during winter.
- Plant them as a companion plant in vegetable gardens. The sunflower is the fourth sister that Native Americans used to accompany corn, beans and squash.
- Grow sunflowers to inspire, delight and educate children. Kids are amazed at how quickly they grow and how enormous the giant types become.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are sunflowers poisonous to cats or dogs?
If your pets eat your sunflowers or their seeds, don’t worry because they are non-toxic. You can safely grow them in your garden and use them in arrangements indoors. See more safe plant options: 20 Common Plants Safe for Cats & Dogs.
Do sunflowers follow the sun?
Young sunflowers face east to soak up sunlight in the morning and track the sun as it moves westward throughout the day. This process is called heliotropism. Once sunflowers have reached maturity, they stop following the sun and face east from then on.
Are sunflowers weeds?
Sunflowers are known for popping up on their own (well, actually with the help of birds). For some gardeners they are a treasured surprise, but to others they are a frustrating weed. If you don’t want sunflowers in your garden, simply pull them up, making sure to get the roots.
HARVEST YOUR OWN SUNFLOWER SEEDS
If you want to harvest sunflower seeds to snack on (or to feed the birds with later), plant larger varieties of Helianthus annuus (annual sunflower) since they have the biggest seeds. Good choices are ‘Russian Mammoth’, ‘Sunzilla’, and ‘Heirloom Titan’, sometimes towering more than 10 feet tall with seed heads a foot or more across. (Note: In order for pollen-free Helianthus annuus varieties to form seeds for wildlife, you also need to plant types of sunflowers that produce pollen.)
Harvesting your own seeds is simple:
- When flower heads start to dry and turn to face the ground and seeds are plump and ripe, cut off flower heads with a 2-foot section of the stem attached.
- Tie cheesecloth over the heads and hang them upside-down in a garage or garden shed to finish drying.
If you’re just planning on letting birds feast on the seeds, you can leave the seed heads on the plants for the birds to eat. Another option is to cut the drying ripe seed heads and hang them upside down on a fence to give birds easier access.
Late Summer Flower Arrangements with Sunflowers
Surprisingly Drought-Tolerant Plants
21 Easy to Grow Flowers
Sunflowers are one of the most well-loved flowers of late summer and early fall. Their large blooms and bright colors distinguish them from other flowers of the season. They are additionally recognized by their tall stature, growing from 1 foot to 16 feet tall.
Also known by their scientific name, helianthus annuus, the sunflower is a member of the Asteraceae family. The helianthus genus encompasses almost 70 different species that include many beautiful types of sunflowers.
Whether you are growing this unique flower to brighten up your garden or hoping to use them as cut flowers in a stunning sunflower bouquet, we have sunflower care tips that will keep your flowers growing healthy and strong.
Planting Sunflower Seeds
When planting sunflower seeds, be sure to choose a variety that matches your needs. If you are planning to harvest sunflower seeds, you’ll want a variety that produces more seeds. If you’re planning to plant the flowers in a compact backyard container garden, you’ll want a smaller variety that grows to a manageable height. If you are looking to grow the sunflowers to cut for a sunflower wedding bouquet or summer arrangement, you’ll want to look for the varieties that have been bred for their beauty.
How much sunlight is needed?
Sunflowers thrive in warm climates and are heat and drought tolerant. They grow best in direct sunlight, thriving with six hours to eight hours of sunlight per day. The warmer the temperature, the more likely they are to bloom. Be sure to plant your seeds in a location that gets plenty of natural sunlight.
What soil should you use?
Sunflowers grow best in soil that has good drainage and is resistant to any waterlogging. The soil should also be loose so the roots have room to grow outward and deep. If the taproots can’t grow properly, this tall flower will have a poor foundation and a hard time resisting any strong winds. If you live in an especially windy location, consider planting your sunflowers along a south-facing wall or fence to protect them.
When to plant sunflower seeds?
If you are planting your sunflower seeds outside, they should be planted two weeks before the last expected frost (around late April or early May). They can handle some cold, but if you plant them too early they will freeze and not grow.
If you are beginning the sunflower plant indoors, you can plant them five to seven weeks before the last expected frost. This is a good option if you want your flowers to bloom earlier in the summer. A week before you repot them outside, take the container outside to assimilate the flower to the colder weather. When transitioning the plants, be careful not to harm the roots.
How to plant sunflowers
When planting your sunflower seeds, create a hole that’s 1 inch to 2 inches deep. How you plant your seeds will depend on how large the flower is. If you have smaller, bouquet-sized blooms, plant the seeds 6 inches apart from each other. If you are planting a larger variety, plant them about a foot apart. You can plant multiple seeds in one spot to be sure they will grow and thin the blooms later on if needed. Be sure to water the freshly planted seeds thoroughly but be wary of waterlogging. If planted successfully, you should see sprouting about seven to 10 days after planting.
For a more diverse garden, try planting a few varieties. Create rows with the smallest variety in the front and tallest in the back. You can also attempt to stagger out your seed planting so that you plant some every few weeks. This will create continuous sunflowers blooms that you’ll be able to enjoy all season long.
Sunflower Care Tips
After your seeds are planted, the first weeks before the plant is established are crucial. Maintaining consistent care and attention will allow your sunflower to grow to its full potential.
Although sunflowers are drought and heat tolerant, they still require frequent watering. As the plant begins to grow, it will need to be watered around the root zone, which is 3–4 inches away from the stem. Sunflower seedlings should be watered daily so the soil is moist but not soaked. As the sunflowers become established, they can be watered once a week. This watering is infrequent but it should be a deep watering that uses several gallons of water.
Sunflowers don’t need fertilizer unless your soil is poor in nutrients. If this is the case, add a slow-release fertilizer or compost on top of the soil. Avoid adding any too close to the plant’s base. Adding fertilizer to already healthy soil can produce too much nitrogen and cause the stems to break or a delay in blooming.
Pests and diseases
When growing sunflowers, look out for slugs, snails, birds, squirrels and deer. Slugs and snails can be warded off with repellants. If birds and squirrels take an interest in your sunflower seeds, cover the plants with polyspun garden fleece. To fend off any deer, create a tall wire barrier or fence around the garden.
If your sunflower leaves turn yellow and shrink, your soil is probably too moist. Clay or waterlogged soil can cause this fungus and infected plants won’t produce flowers. If this happens, remove the infected leaves and reduce your watering.
Securing large plants
Some larger sunflowers or multi-branched varieties may need assistance to stand tall. If your sunflowers start to droop, tie them to a stake or sturdy support. This is necessary for plants that are in windy locations as well.
Harvesting Sunflower Seeds
One common use for sunflowers is harvesting them for their delicious seeds. These seeds are prized for their nutritional benefits, containing vitamin E, B-1 and the mineral copper. They are prepared and enjoyed in a variety of different meals.
When growing sunflowers for the purpose of harvesting, it’s important to choose the right variety. Some smaller sunflowers won’t provide as many seeds and some larger varieties produce seeds that have a thick shell and very small seeds. Both of these options are not ideal.
The best varieties for harvesting sunflower seeds include:
- Mammoth Grey Stripe
- Mammoth Russian
- Hopi Black Dye
- Paul Bunyan
- Super Snack
When to harvest sunflower seeds
You’ll know the sunflower seeds are ready to be harvested when the back side of the flower turns from a green to a yellow or yellow-brown color. The sunflower bracts (the leaves on the backside of the petals) will start to turn brown as well. This will happen between 30 and 45 days after the flower blooms, depending on the climate.
Once this happens, cut the stem about 4 inches below the flower head. Hang the flower head upside down in a dry, cool location for a few weeks, until the seeds are completely dry. Once dry, remove the seeds with your fingers or a fork.
Sunflowers are cheery flowers that you can enjoy in a variety of ways. Be sure to include sunflowers in the next bouquet you send to put a smile on your friend or family member’s face.
Almanac I Wikihow I Homeguides.sfgate.com I Practical Self Reliance I Dengarden
Photo © David K. Northington
The Lemon Queen Sunflower, a dwarf variety of the Sunflower (Helianthus annuus), is a good option for container planting. The sunflower is hardy, resisting drought easily once it becomes established (needs plenty of water beforehand). Not only can it survive a variety of environmental conditions, but it also produces an abundance of seeds, which is good for birds, other pollinators, and even humans! In addition, sunflowers have beautiful, large flowers which make a great addition to your home.
Sunflowers grow best in locations with full sun, blooming during summer or early fall. They prefer long, hot summers to flower well, but can also grow well in locations with shorter summers. The mature height of the Lemon Queen Sunflower is approximately 5 feet ( 1.5 meters) which is smaller than the common variety of sunflower.
- Sow seeds 4-5 inches apart and 1/2 inch deep directly into pots filled with well moistened, good quality potting mix. It takes approximately 8-10 days to germinate.
- When seedlings are several inches tall, transplant them to larger pots that are at least 12-18 inches deep while making sure that they are spread out. In other words, no more than 1 plant per 8 inch pot (diameter), or 3 plants per 15 inch pot. In large planters, you can keep the seedlings 6 inches apart.
- Keep soil moist and well weeded. Protect seedlings from hungry or nesting birds with netting or plastic berry baskets.
- Place container in an area with plenty of direct sunlight.
Click here to learn more about sunflowers!
How Well Do Potted Sunflowers Grow: How To Grow Sunflowers In Planters
If you love sunflowers but lack the gardening space to grow the mammoth blooms, you might be wondering if you can grow sunflowers in containers. Potted sunflowers may seem an unlikely endeavor; however, some of the smaller dwarf varieties do very well as container grown sunflowers, and even the giant cultivars can be grown as container plants. Growing sunflowers in a pot or planter does require some special care, however. This article aims to help with that.
Can You Grow Sunflowers in Containers?
As mentioned, dwarf varieties, those under 4 feet (1 m.) in height, lend themselves very well as container grown sunflowers. If you want to grow the really impressive 10 footers, which is still doable, a larger container will be required.
About Potted Sunflowers
The size of the sunflower will dictate the size of the pot. Smaller varieties will do well grown as sunflowers in planters. Cultivars that grow to 2 feet (½ meter) or less should be planted in a 10- to 12-inch (25-30 cm.) diameter planter while those that grow 4 feet (1 m.) or taller require a larger 3- to 5-gallon (11-19 liter) or even larger pot.
How to Grow Sunflowers in a Pot
Regardless of the variety, all sunflowers grown in containers should have drainage holes and be situated in an area that receives full sun.
Sunflowers need well-draining soil that retains moisture. A good quality general purpose potting soil will work well. For larger pots, mix the potting medium with some vermiculite to lighten the weight of the pots.
Add a layer of drainage material such as gravel, terracotta pot pieces, or polystyrene foam to the bottom of the pot and then add the potting medium, filling the container to about halfway. Plant the sunflower and fill in around the roots with additional soil, then water well.
Be sure to keep an eye on the watering needs of sunflowers grown in containers. They will dry out more rapidly than those grown in the garden. A general rule of thumb is to provide an inch (2.5 cm) of water per week depending upon weather conditions. Water the plants when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
Fertilize the flowers with a high-nitrogen liquid plant fertilizer and then when a bloom begins to form, switch to a liquid fertilizer high in phosphorous.
Growing Sunflowers in Containers
I live in an apartment, and would like to have sunflowers on my balcony. Do they do well in planters and if so, what’s the best care for them?
Hardiness Zone: 7a
Joanne from Whitestone, NY
Sunflowers do great in containers. In fact, container gardening has gotten so popular in the past few years that there are now literally dozens of varieties of sunflowers available that have been developed specifically for growing in containers (e.g. ‘Big Smile’, ‘Italian White’, ‘Music Box’, ‘Elite Sun’, etc.).
- Almost any variety can be grown successfully in containers, as long as you meet its growing conditions and provide it with a big enough pot.
- The really tall or mammoth varieties will likely need staking to remain upright in pots.
- Plant seeds in full sun, using a light potting soil or soil-less mix. Plant the seeds to a depth of 1 inch (6 inches apart) and expect to see them germinate quickly. Advertisement
- Days to maturity will vary according to each variety.
- Seedlings of regular varieties will need to be thinned to 12 to 18 inches and given plenty of room to grow and spread out. Dwarf varieties can be packed in a little more closely together, but still need to be spaced at least 4 to 5 inches apart.
- Sunflower roots are quite large and like to spread out. Mammoth varieties grow best in half barrels or containers that are at least 6 to 18 inches deep and 12 inches wide. Smaller containers will keep plants from reaching their full growth potential.
- Sunflowers grown in containers need to be watered daily and even more frequently during really hot weather. Feed them a 1/2 strength water-soluble fertilizer every other week or so to support big blooms, and mulch around the tops of the containers to help conserve moisture.
I watch my sunflowers all the time whilst they’re growing, I do my best to take great care of them when they’re young. An important part of their growth is the level of water they should have. Having watered them too much and too little over the years, I felt it was important to provide the best advice possible for watering your sunflower.
Do Sunflowers Need a Lot of Water? In Comparison with most other plants, yes, sunflowers do need a consistent and plentiful supply of water. Due to their rapid growth, they need a minimum of 2 gallons, (7.57 Litres) a week. More in their early stages of growth. This will prevent weak stems and other issues. Let’s look in more detail.
The equivalent is around a minimum of 1-1.5 inches (2.5 – 4 cm) of rainfall per week. I’d strongly recommend beginning a daily watering routine from the start with sunflowers, certainly during their early stages until they’re around 2 feet (61 cm) in height.
Sunflowers like daily routines! In particular, they like their water routines. This should ideally begin early in the morning before the sun has really started to directly hit them. A good time is before going to school, or work. And if we’ve had a really hot day, then a secondary watering in the evening will do them the world of good during the night.
“Sunflowers like daily routines! In particular, they like their water routines”
With a few simple steps to follow you’ll soon give your sunflower the best start toward a glorious end!
Getting the Soil Conditions Right for Watering
Sunflowers have a deep root system, they need it in order to support a large head and tall, heavy stem during potentially windy conditions – or to even hold the weight of a squirrel hanging off it! Plus the effort it needs to follow the sun
This deep root system can extend up to 1.5 feet below the surface and up to 1.5 feet in diameter around the plant. For spacing instructions and getting the soil right, as well as where to plant it see my Ultimate Guide to Growing Sunflowers
Ensure the soil has good drainage as sunflowers do not grow to their full potential in soil that retains the water.
Right Soil Conditions for Watering Sunflowers
Sunflower Water Requirements
On the plant spectrum, sunflowers are pretty thirsty creatures. They need to be, as one of the few flowers that can grow up to 15 feet (4.5m) or higher. Having a relatively short season means they have a rapid growth rate and this can only be fueled by plenty of water and as much sunlight as possible.
Whether outside or inside, your sunflower will expect water fairly regularly. And whilst watering around the base is important, keep a spray bottle handy and spray a few times over the head of the sunflower too. This helps to keep the head moist, helps wash away gathering dust particles and ensure all areas of the plant gets some direct water.
Watering Sunflowers Outside
As long as there is a sufficient amount of rainwater outside – which is usually a good downpour around 3 times a week, then sunflowers will grow fine. After all, they’re used to mainly just receiving rainwater.
But of course, we want to ensure we get our sunflower to her maximum potential (well usually!). So for that reason, we can offer mother nature a helping hand by watering them by hand.
Apply a good amount of water till it pools, until the sunflower is around 2 feet (61cm) tall then you should consider ensuring it has daily water. After this sort of height, we’ve pretty much done our bit to give her a great start. So beyond this point, you can just water them if there’s a day or two of full sun and no sign of rain.
Water with a sprinkle hose or a watering can rosea as the plant grows, begin to widen the area of watering up to around 6-12 inches around the plant to ensure it reaches the wider root system.
Usually it’s the smaller dwarf varieties of sunflowers that are grown in pots. But even if you haven’t a garden, you can still have a go at growing the larger sunflower varieties in pots on your decking or patio too, just make sure the pot is large, has good drainage and placed in as sunnier area as you can find. Refer to my ultimate guide
carefully water your seedlings and young plants
Watering Sunflowers in Pots
Growing Sunflowers is a wonderful project for children or perfect to add an enormous splash of color, and/or a larger than life look to your garden or patio. If you want to get it completely right, then see my complete guide to growing your sunflower!
Here’s a quick summary guide for you of the above so you can refer back to it if you need to.
Once your seedlings are hardened off and there’s no threat of a winter frost, you can plant them on in their growing site, or your favored pot. Watering daily is very important as pots tend to dry out quicker and need to be kept moist – but not sitting in a puddle, as the plant and roots will be unstable.
Again good drainage is important. And some support as the plant grows bigger might be required. Refer to my complete guide to growing your sunflower.
- Ensure you have good, deep soil with adequate drainage
- Apply water till it almost pools around the base, daily where possible
- Widen the watering area as the plant grows
- Use a spray bottle to moisten the head
- After it’s 2 feet tall, only water in periods of drought, or if indoors, every other day
How and When Not to Water Your Sunflower
For a quick summary guide on what not to do and things to be aware of, I thought I’d list out a few ‘do’s and dont’s’ and other pointers. I hope it helps as a quick reference tool.
- Try to prevent weeds from growing around the base of the sunflower
- Do not blast the head directly with the hosepipe, you risk damaging the delicate florets and washing away vital pollen
- Do not allow water puddles to sit around the base for too long, this can lead to rotting of the stem base. If this occurs, gently aerate the soil with drainage holes
- Do not soak the wider ground so much that it becomes unstable for the roots
- You can water your sunflower any time of the day, but ideally water early in the morning, and if not, then in the early to late evening.
- Use a rose on your watering can or a sprinkler on your hose, or you risk washing away too much soil, and especially with young plants as it is gentler on them too.
- Do not water your sunflower if the ground still appears to be moist from the previous watering
- Do not water shortly after it has rained sufficiently
- If it forecasts rain, then see if that happens first. It may not rain, but the occasional day without water will not harm your sunflower – whereas overwatering might.
- If the base of the stem starts to see signs of browning or rotting, then you’re overwatering, allow it to dry out to try and save it.
- Before maturity, if the leaves and other areas begin to wilt, or turn brown, then you’re under watering. Give it a good douse with water, then slowly increase the water quantity gradually to bring it back to life
- Once fully grown, avoid watering the head once it has turned brown. At this stage you want the seeds to dry out.
- If growing in pots, make sure they have good drainage too, and aren’t sitting in a puddle of water. Don’t let the soil dry out to a cracking stage either, keep the soil moist
If in doubt, or something doesn’t seem right, then refer to my complete Guide to remedy the situation or to get further guidance.
Home Grown Sunflowers
I’m not suggesting watering your sunflower should consume your life, and try not to be paranoid if you don’t follow all the steps to the letter then that’s fine. It’s not a test. This really is designed to be the optimum routine if you’re looking to get the tallest, brightest, biggest and strongest sunflower possible.
It will also impress your friends! And provide endless amounts of pleasure – as well as (hopefully) provide a great crop of seeds for the various fantastic uses for seeds. Happy watering!
How Do You Revive Wilted Sunflowers? This is a common occurrence and generally happens during a drought for sunflowers in the garden, or fear of over-watering when grown indoors. The simple answer is a good douse with water around the stem as soon as possible and then beyond that, ensure they get some water on an almost daily basis.
Sunflowers Wilting in Vase? These tips should add anywhere from 24 to 72 hours to the life of your bouquet.
1. Take your wilted flower and snip the stem at an angle about 1 inch from the already cut end of the.
2. Add three teaspoons of sugar to the lukewarm water in your vase, and place the wilted flower in and let it sit. The sugar will perk them right up!
3. Sprinkle a few drops water on the center of the head of the flower.4. Try this with just one bloom or the whole bouquet, and as the flowers rest in the water, they should drink it up through their newly-snipped stems.
5. If the flowers do not perk up even slightly within 3 hours, add another teaspoon of sugar and a little more water