Sunflowers are one of the most beautiful and mesmerizing plants anyone can grow in their garden. They are annual plants with bright yellow petals from the brown center that ripen into a head filled with many seeds. There are many advantages of growing sunflowers in the garden, which we will discuss later in the article.
It is very easy to grow sunflowers in a garden; if you want to try them, this is our guide on how to grow sunflowers from seed.
Have you ever wondered why these flowers are named sunflowers?
Well, it’s very obvious Sunflowers always face the sun, and their appearance is very similar to that of the sun, hence their name.
Sunflowers refer to happy flowers, and the perfect bloom of a sunflower can brighten everyone’s mood.
There are many perks to growing sunflowers in your garden. Many gardeners grow sunflowers for their seeds, which are very valuable and helpful.
Growing sunflowers is easy, as they’re heat- and drought-tolerant, pest-resistant, and grow fast. Also, they tend to adapt to the environment of almost every location.
Sunflowers have more than 70 varieties and come in tones of different sizes and colors. Some of the most popular sunflowers to grow in your garden include:
American giant sunflowers: The American Giant sunflower is a “modern” sunflower hybrid with a reasonably strong stalk. Although they rarely require staking, these tall plants bear a single, large sunflower head at the top. Moreover, they are very simple to grow. In ideal growing conditions, American Giant sunflowers can reach heights of approximately 16 feet.
Russian mammoth sunflowers: The classic giant sunflower, the towering “Mammoth” variety, can reach heights of more than 12 feet. Its seeds are great for snacks and for providing food for the birds. These sunflower plants are best for pollination, as bees and other insects love their seeds.
Little Becka Sunflowers: They belong to the dwarf sunflower variety, height ranges from 1-2 feet tall, and they are famous for the orange “halo” effect of their A knee-high carpet of vivid orange pollen, and less red blossom is formed on the stems of this highly unusual sunflower. With any other variety of sunflowers, it makes a fantastic contrast.
Teddy Bear: This tiny sunflower, about 2 to 3 feet tall, is ideal for small gardens and pots. The 5-inch-tall, fluffy, deep-gold flowers keep their shape for days in a vase. If you grow sunflowers in pots or containers, you can consider teddy bear sunflowers.
Sun forest mix sunflowers: the Sun forest Mix is one of the tallest giant sunflower varieties, reaching heights of 10 to 15 feet. They grow enormous blossoms that are almost 40 inches in diameter. If you wish to stroll through a floral forest, these are the perfect flowers to grow.
Some Advantages of Growing Sunflowers
There are many advantages to growing sunflower plants, some of which are listed below:
- Sunflowers are fantastic for attracting pollinators to your yard. Sunflowers have a distinctive appearance that attracts bees and other pollinating insects.
- Sunflowers have a high nutritional value and can also be a source of birdseed.
- Sunflowers have a remarkable ability to limit competing plant growth near them. Through the process of allelopathy, they emit particles that suppress weeds and prevent other plants from developing in their vicinity – allowing sunflower species to thrive without competition!
Now that we know that having sunflowers in gardens is great let’s start growing them.
How To Grow Sunflowers From Seed
Everyone has their own way of growing sunflowers below we have shared our OG method to grow sunflowers from seed :
Starting With Germination of Sunflower Seeds
- Germinating sunflower seeds is the first process for growing sunflowers in a garden. To germinate sunflower seeds, follow the steps given below,
- Temperature is an essential factor to consider while germinating sunflower seeds. The best temperature range for germinating sunflower seeds varies from 18 to 33°C.
- Once the temperature is ideal, you can start germinating your sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds can also be plated indoors, but it is not advised to do so as the roots of sunflower plants are very sensitive, and while transplanting them, they may die.
- Choose a variety of sunflowers you would like to grow in your garden. You can choose from a few of the sunflower varieties mentioned above. Remember to consider the full-grown plant’s size, yield, and other characteristics. Purchase the sunflower seeds of your choice once you’ve decided.
- A paper towel should be softly moistened so that it is damp but not dripping. The towel should be spread out with the sunflower seeds on one half and then folded to cover them. You can proceed directly to planting if you have a lot of sunflower seeds and don’t care about a lower success rate. Seeds sown directly in the ground typically take 11 days to sprout.
- To extend the length of your garden’s blooming period, if you have a long growing season, try sowing your seeds in batches and allowing them to germinate one or two weeks apart.
- Place the wet paper towels in a bag made of plastic. Until the seeds have sprouted, check on them once or twice daily. The majority of the seeds usually start to sprout within 48 hours. When it occurs, start sowing the seeds.
For best results, keep the paper towels above ten °C in temperature.
- If the seeds don’t germinate in 2 or 3 days, try trimming the edge of the seed shell with a fingernail clipper. Take extra care to avoid destroying the seed within. If the paper towels are getting too dry, add a few extra drops of water.
Now your sprouts are ready to be planted. Let us move on to that.
Planting Sunflowers Sprouts
After germinating sunflower seeds, you get sprouts. Now you can plant those sprouts in your garden, in pots, or in other containers to grow sunflower plants. To plant sunflowers in your garden, follow these steps:
- Sunflower plants need around 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily to grow. So, remember to choose a location in your garden that receives direct sunlight for about 6–8 hours each day for planting your sunflower. Place your sunflowers away from trees, walls, and other objects unless your garden is in a windy area and receives a lot of wind throughout the year.
- Sunflowers develop long taproots and may decay in soggy soil. To test for hard, compact soil, dig a hole 2 feet deep.
To improve drainage, you can add compost to your soil.
- Sunflowers don’t require special care to thrive and may be grown on regular garden soil. If your soil is poor or you want to make an extra effort to promote growth, you can mix rich, loamy soil into your planting area.
- To ensure optimum plant growth, keep the pH level of your soil on point by only making minor and gradual adjustments., but if you already have the best pH kit, you can change it from 6.0 to 7.2.
- Rich soil is recommended for giant varieties of sunflower plants since they require more nutrients.
- Dig the holes about 1 inch deep, or 2 inches if the soil of your garden is sandy and loose, to plant your sunflower seeds. For each seed to have enough room to grow, keep them at least 6 inches (15 cm) apart.
- After planting, cover the seeds with soil and water them with a few drops. And you have successfully grown your sunflower seed.
Now your sunflower plants will grow within the next 12–14 days.
Nurturing Sunflower Plants
Taking care of your sunflower plants is very important. There are a few things that you must do to get beautiful and healthy sunflowers from the sunflower plant.
Up until the sprouts pop up from the ground, keep the soil damp but not soggy. When the sprouts are still tiny, pour water three to four inches (7.5 to 10 cm) away from the plant to improve root development without washing the plants out.
Sunflower seeds are beloved by birds, squirrels, and snails, which may dig them up. To protect sunflower seeds or sprouts, cover the growing area with netting. To create a barrier around your planting area, scatter snail bait or snail repellant in a circular pattern.
Reduce the amount of watering to once a week when the plants have developed stems and a strong root system. When watering once a week, be liberal and add more when the weather is dry. In comparison to most other annual flowers, sunflowers demand more water.
It’s essential to provide your plant with enough water during the critical time right before and after it develops blossom buds. As soon as the flower buds begin forming, water your sunflowers weekly.
Sunflowers do well without fertilizer and can only be overfed if used. Thus, it is not advised if you are growing them for your enjoyment. If you want to produce exceptionally tall sunflowers or grow them as a crop, diluted fertilizer should be poured into a “moat” around the sunflower plant, far from the base. The best option is a balanced fertilizer that is high in nitrogen.
Another choice is to apply slow-release fertilizer once and work it into the soil.
Harvesting Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are a popular healthy food consumed in breakfast cereals or as a snack. They contain many vital nutrients, including minerals and antioxidant compounds.
Including sunflower seeds in your diet can offer many health benefits.
Among the benefits of consuming sunflower seeds are the following:
- Sunflower seeds are high in nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, healthy fats, and minerals, and thus help to keep the heart healthy and may protect against many heart diseases.
- The fiber content in the sunflower seeds helps control bad cholesterol, and vitamin B3 regulates overall cholesterol levels in the body and prevents heart-related problems.
- Sunflower seeds are a great source of iron, and consuming them will increase iron levels in the body and help people suffering from
They help to prevent premature aging, inflammation, and acne. These seeds’ antibacterial and antifungal properties prevent infections and thus help keep the skin clear and clean.
- Sunflower seeds contain polyunsaturated fatty acids, which enhance insulin production and thus work as a remedy to treat type 2 diabetes.
Sunflower seeds are an effective way to provide nutrition for pregnant women and their babies. They are a great source of folic acid and are loaded with vitamin E, which helps develop babies inside the womb.
- Sunflower seeds can be harvested when the petals have dried and fallen off, exposing tightly packed mature seeds. You can also check if the seeds are mature by pulling a few of them; if they are hardened and have turned black, they are grown and ready to harvest.
For harvesting sunflower seeds, let the seeds dry naturally over the stem. Then just cut the stem an inch below the head of the plant and dislodge the seeds in a container. You can get the maximum yield by using this method for harvesting sunflower seeds.
Another method for harvesting sunflower seeds can be used if most of the seeds are mature but not all, and you want to harvest them at that time.
- Cut the stem of the sunflower 1 foot below the head and wrap a paper bag around the head. It is recommended to use paper or a bag of cloth to do so. Then hang the paper in a well-ventilated area for a few weeks and let the rest of the seeds dry.
- When the seeds are dried, dislodge them by rubbing two heads together or with your hands. After extracting, leave the seeds to dry overnight on a paper towel.
- Remember to dry your sunflower seeds entirely before storing them. The longer they dry, the longer they will live. After drying, keep the seeds in an airtight container under dark, excellent conditions.
Frequently asked questions
Sunflower seeds are the fruits of the sunflower plant, and a single sunflower plant may give you up to 2,000 seeds.
No, sunflowers are annual; they only bloom once and die. They need to be planted again.
Sunflower seeds retain their quality for about 11–12 months if stored under dry and cool conditions, such as in a refrigerator or freezer.
Growing sunflower plants in your garden are easy, making it look more beautiful with their big, sun-facing flowers. They also serve many practical purposes, which we discussed earlier.
Adding sunflowers to your garden is like adding a nutritious, healthy diet to your routine. So, we suggest you grow sunflowers in your garden, and you will not regret it.
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