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Sunflowers

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This grew from a seed a squirrel buried for later.

Credit: Jeff Childrey
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Botanical name: Helianthus

Plant type: Flower

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Sandy, Loamy

Soil pH: Neutral
, Alkaline/Basic


Flower color: Yellow

Bloom time: Summer

Where to buy sunflowers: Burpee Gardening

Sunflowers say "summer" like no other plant. 

American natives, sunflowers are grow for beauty as well as harvested for seed. 

An annual plant, sunflowers have big, daisylike flower faces of bright yellow petals (and occasionally red) and brown centers that ripen into heavy heads filled with seeds.

Tall and course, the plants have creeping or tuberous roots and large, bristly leaves. Some sunflowers grow to over 16 feet in height though there are also varieties today that have been developed for small spaces and containers.

Most sunflowers are remarkably tough and easy to grow as long as the soil is not waterlogged. Most are heat- and drought-tolerant. They make excellent cut flowers and many are attractive to bees and birds.

Planting

  • Sunflowers grow best in locations with direct sun (6 to 8 hours per day); they prefer long, hot summers to flower well.
  • Sunflowers have long tap roots which need to stretch out so the plants prefer well-dug, loose, well-draining soil; in preparing a bed, dig down 2 feet in depth and about 3 feet across to ensure the soil isn't too compact.
  • Find a well-drained location, and prepare your soil by digging an area of about 2-3 feet in circumference to a depth of about 2 feet.
  • Though they're not too fussy, sunflowers thrive in slightly acidic to somewhat alkaline (pH 6.0 to 7.5).
  • Sunflowers are heavy feeders so the soil needs to be nutrient-rich with organic matter or composted (aged) manure. Or, work in a slow release granular fertilizer 8 inches deep into your soil.
  • If possible, put seeds in a spot that is sheltered from strong winds, perhaps along a fence or near a building.

Planting Sunflower Seeds

  • It's best to sow sunflower seeds directly into the soil after the danger of spring frost is past. Ideally, the soil temperature has reached 55 to 60 degrees F.
  • Give plants plenty of room, especially for low-growing varieties that will branch out. Make rows about 30 inches apart. (For very small varieties, plant closer together.)
  • Plant the large seeds no more than 1 inch deep about 6 inches apart after it has thoroughly warmed, from mid-April to late May. You can plant multiple seeds and thin them to the strongest contenders when the plants are six inches tall.
  • A light application of fertilizer mixed in at planting time will encourage strong root growth to protect them from blowing over in the wind.
  • Experiment with plantings staggered over 5 to 6 weeks to keep enjoying continuous blooms.
  • If you see birds scratching around for the seeds, spread netting over the planted area until seeds germinate.

Care

  • While the plant is small, water around the root zone, about 3 to 4 in. from the plant. To protect the plant, it may help to put snail or slug bait around the ste
  • Once the plant is established, water deeply though infrequently to encourage deep rooting. Unless the weather is exceptionally wet or dry, water once a week with several gallons of water.
  • Feed plants only sparingly; overfertilization can cause stems to break in the fall. You can add diluted fertilizer into the water, though avoid getting the fertilizer near the plant's base; it may help to build a moat in a circle around the plant about 18 inches out.
  • Tall species and cultivars require support. Bamboo stakes are a good choice for any plant that has a strong, single stem and needs support for a short period of time.

Pests

  • Birds and squirrels will show interest in the seeds. if you plan to use the seeds, deter critters with barrier devices. As seed heads mature and flowers droop, you can cover each one with white polyspun garden fleece.
  • If you have deer, keep them at bay with a tall wire barrier.
  • Sunflowers are relatively insect-free. A small gray moth sometimes lays its eggs in the blossoms. Pick the worms from the plants.
  • Downy mildew, rust, and powdery mildew can also affect the plants. If fungal diseases are spotted early, spray with a general garden fungicide. 

Harvest/Storage

  • For indoor bouquets, cut the main stem just before its flower bud has a chance to open to encourage side blooms.
  • Cut stems early in the morning. Harvesting flowers during middle of the day may lead to flower wilting. 
  • Handle sunflowers gently. The flowers should last at least a week in water at room temperature.
  • Arrange sunflowers in tall containers that provide good support for their heavy heads, and change the water every day to keep them fresh.

Harvesting Sunflower Seeds

  • To harvest seeds, keep an eye out for ripeness. The back of the flower head will turn from green to yellow and the bracts will begin to dry and turn brown; this happens about 30 to 45 days after bloom and seed moisture is about 35%. Generally, when the head turns brown on the back, seeds are usually ready for harvest.
  • Cut the head off the plant (about 4 inches below the flower head) and remove the seeds with your fingers or a fork.
  • To protect the seeds from birds, you can cover the flowers with a light fabric such as cheesecloth and a rubber band. Or, you can cut the flower head early and hang the heads upside down until they seeds are dry; hang indoors or in a place that's safe from birds and mice.

Recommended Varieties

Everyone is familiar with the huge sunflowers that grow on towering eight-foot-tall stalks. But, did you know that some varieties top off at a modest 15 inches?

  • The towering 'Mammoth' variety is the traditional giant sunflower. It is excellent for snacks and bird feeds, too.
  • 'Autumn Beauty': One of the most spectacular cultivars, has many 6-inch flowers in shades of yellow, bronze, and mahogany on branching stems up to 7 feet tall.
  • 'Sunbeam': A standout bouquet flower, the van Gogh sunflower grows on a 5-foot plant with 5-inch flowers. The big, no-mess, pollenless flowers have rich, golden-yellow rays.
  • 'Teddy Bear': Just 2 to 3 feet tall, this small flower is perfect for small gardens and containers. The fluffy, deep-gold, 5-inch blossoms last for days in a vase.

Special Features

  • Attracts Butterflies
  • Attracts Birds

Cooking Notes

  • Some varieties provide small black seeds that are used in cooking oil, margarine, cosmetics, and animal feed; they are the best sunflower seeds for attracting the greatest variety of songbirds.
  • The bigger, striped seeds are grown for snacking and as an ingredient in bread and health foods. They, too, are used for feeding birds, especially larger species such as jays and mourning doves.
  • For eating, the seeds must be dried on the plants. Rub the seeds off and soak them overnight in a gallon of water to which a cup of salt has been added, then dry them again in an oven at 250 degrees F for 4 to 5 hours. Store them in an airtight container.
  • One way to remove them is to rub the head of the sunflower across an old washboard or something similar. Just grip the head and rub it across the board as if you were washing clothes.

Wit & Wisdom

  • Need a bird seeder? Save dry heads and set them out in winter.
  • Save thick sunflower stems and dry them for winter kindling.
  • Interesting Fact: An anonymous buyer paid over $39 million in 1987 for Vincent van Gogh's Sunflowers.
  • Kansas is "The Sunflower State."

Here and yonder, high and low,
Goldenrod and sunflowers glow.

–Robert Kelley Weeks (1840–76)

E-Cards

Send a free e-card of a golden sunflower. Click here to find more sunflower images in our e-card gallery.

Comments

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I was gifted some sunflower

By lynda Dee on July 24

I was gifted some sunflower seeds from a friends plant. The original plant was well over 10 ft. tall. While lovely, her off springs plant, is only about 5 ft tall.
Do they loose height with each next generations planting?

I think depends on how close

By C Farthing on July 25

I think depends on how close together they are growing. I think they need to be about 18" apart if you want them that tall. I had my mammoth sunflowers planted about 10" apart and while a few of them are about 7 or 8 feet tall right now, a bunch are blooming at only about 4 to 5 feet tall.

I wanted to know that I m

By Aishwarya on July 22

I wanted to know that I m planning to plant sunflower in my farms where I grow cotton as well as soybean. Is it possible for me to grow both the plants at the same time and harm none

Sure, you can plant

By Almanac Staff on July 22

Sure, you can plant sunflowers next to your soybeans and cotton. They are traditionally good companion plants as long as you plant the sunflowers in separate rows.

I planted a mammoth seed in a

By mnmacd on July 20

I planted a mammoth seed in a pot a few weeks ago and the stem cannot hold itself upright...

It's about 5 inches tall now and I have it leaned against the window...

Large sunflowers often need

By Almanac Staff on July 22

Large sunflowers often need to be staked.

is there a way to post a

By mnmacd on July 23

is there a way to post a picture?

You can post a picure in our

By Almanac Staff on July 29

You can post a picure in our picture gallery here: www.almanac.com/photos/gallery
If you have a question for us, you can always post here and add the link to your picture. 

I planted the same type of

By Maebh on July 20

I planted the same type of seeds this year as last year, but I planted more seeds, and spaced them about 9 inches apart from each other (this was in late May in Beijing). Now the plants are at least 10 feet tall, but the blossoms are small, about 3 inches in diameter (this is the center part where the seeds are). Last year they were at least 7 inches across (where the seeds are). Are the blossoms small because I planted the seeds too close to each other?

My 7 year old planted 2 dwarf

By Chrissy Kennedy on July 17

My 7 year old planted 2 dwarf sunflowers from seed and gave them to me for mother's day this year. I replanted them into somewhat bigger pots than what they had come in.
One sunflower bloomed about 10 days ago. It was just magnificent!! We just came back from a 4 day trip up north to find the 1 sunflower that had bloomed so magnificently, dying, drooping, and it's seeds falling out. My neighbor said she had been watering it. We live in Minnesota and it's been in the 90's lately.

What can I do to revive my poor sunflower?

Is your sunflower in a very

By Almanac Staff on July 22

Is your sunflower in a very deep pot? Sunflowers need room for their roots so when grown in a pot, it has to be a deep one. And sunflowers are heavy feeders so adding a slow release granular fertilizer to the soil will benefit the plant.

Hi I have 3-4ft sunflowers in

By scottthefunk on July 17

Hi I have 3-4ft sunflowers in pots not quite flowered can I put them in the ground as I have had a change of mind regards rob

Hi, can the same sunflower

By kristoona on July 14

Hi, can the same sunflower seeds used for growing be eaten? must it be processed or are they typically the same?

It is not advised to eat the

By Almanac Staff on July 16

It is not advised to eat the seeds in the garden seed packets.

Can anything be done with the

By Heidi Hood on July 9

Can anything be done with the stalks?Is there anything useful that the stalks can do>?

I planted sunflowers about

By georgina5 on July 8

I planted sunflowers about two weeks ago, at first they were beauties seemed to be doing fine, then all of a sudden lost their leaves, dying. What did I do? They seem to get enough sun. I water about every other day. Temps in the 80s. Help. Same thing always happens. All my other flowers are beautiful.

Make sure your sunflowers are

By Almanac Staff on July 9

Make sure your sunflowers are getting a lot of sun -- like at least 6 hours' worth a day. They also need to be moist, but in well-drained soil. Water them deeply (to encourage root growth), but not too often. And the soil needs to be fertile -- well-rotted compost mixed in works well.

Hello, here in the Republic

By Huriviades Calderon on July 2

Hello, here in the Republic of Panama the sunflowers grows by itsetf under and around my parrot cage. Therefore, I would like to start my own plantation. What is best time of the year to plant the seeds.
I welcome and appreciate any advise.
Best regards

I want to plant sun flowers

By Ryan sweat

I want to plant sun flowers this week June 23 for dove hunting. Do you think the seeds will be ready for doves to eat by September? I live in Peoria Illinois

I am planting my field

By Ryan S

I am planting my field tonight. Last year I planted the third week of May, and they started to flower in early to mid August. I don't think the seeds would be ready by Sep 1st, but there should be flowers out by then. It seemed to me last year that the doves were in my field as soon as the sunflowers were tall enough and strong enough to hold the birds, which was a few weeks before the heads opened up anyway. I would say the least you can do is try!

We've been growing many

By Jenn1126

We've been growing many varieties from seeds past 2 years. This year we have lots that popped up before we planted our started seeds, assuming from fallen seeds last year, will they flower?

Yes, sunflowers will

By Almanac Staff

Yes, sunflowers will self-seed and reproduce to produce flowers.

I planted a sunflower in a

By Kree Hodges

I planted a sunflower in a planter box back in early May (maybe late April). It is about 6 feet tall now, with a healthy and hearty stalk, and it has been green and healthy until last week. Suddenly the leaves are all wilting and turning brown. Is it because I water too much (lightly 3 days a week)? Is it because I have it in a planter box and it isn't getting enough root space (the box is only about a foot deep)? Is it too late to try to save it? Any help would be so appreciated. I've been really enjoying watching my sunflower grow and I'm devastated it seems to be dying.

Hi, I have already planted my

By yuxi

Hi, I have already planted my sunflower seeds for 3 weeks already. It did germinates. But it's been 3 week but just like a inch tall? it only have 1 pair of leaves and that's all. What happened?

Hi, There are numerous

By yazan

Hi,

There are numerous factors that may have affected the size and health of your plants. Unfortunately it is difficult to evaluate and narrow down precisely what happened.

Based on my experience however, small sunflowers may be associated with overcrowding, nutrerint deficiencies in the soil, unfavorable weather conditions, not enough sunlight, disease, transplant shock, drought/overwatering stress, or insect/ fungal damage either above ground or below.

I would continue to wait and allow the plants more time to grow. If they continue to perform poorly.. Let them grow the entire season until they die to see what happens.

Also, check to see how closely your sunflowers are growing, if they are crammed together tightly, air cannot circulate between the plants and they will also compete and ultimately grow weak and stunted.

Any of the above mentioned factors may be responsible for your small sunflowers.

If you would like to precisely identify the cause of your small plants..you can take soil and plant samples and send them to a lab for evaluation..they will identify what went wrong or what is missing from your soil..you can then correct accordingly and gain experience for the future.

I am confused by the

By Liz Love

I am confused by the following instructions:
"Find a well-drained location, and prepare your soil by digging an area of about 2-3 feet in circumference to a depth of about 2 feet."
and
"Give plants plenty of room, especially for low-growing varieties that will branch out. Make rows about 30 inches apart. (For very small varieties, plant closer together.)
Plant the large seeds no more than 1 inch deep about 6 inches apart after it has thoroughly warmed, from mid-April to late May."

Should I plant the seeds in the trench described in the first instruction by following the guidelines in the second instruction?

Hi Liz, Just turn the soil

By Almanac Staff

Hi Liz,
Just turn the soil over in a section of your garden and follow the instructions on how deep and how far apart to plant.

I gathered some sunflower

By Deborah Jarman

I gathered some sunflower seeds from a dried seed head that I found on the road near a field of sunflowers in Tuscany last Fall. Not sure what variety it is. Is it too late to plant in Seattle, WA area? I had misplaced the envelope with the seeds in it and just found it today (June 14th). Any idea what variety it might be? Tiny black seeds. It seemed that all of the sunflowers in Tuscany were the same variety. Thanks!

Hi, The seeds you collected

By yazan

Hi,

The seeds you collected are likely from a "wild" uncultivated strain of Helianthus annuus. Wild H. annuus differs from traditionally cultivated varieties because wild forms typically have numerous branching stems and smaller flowers. Also, they have different germination habits than domesticated forms.

If you would like to plant the seeds you collected.. I would highly suggest that you sow them in the fall or winter because they likely require stratification(meaning to be exposed to cold, snow, and frost) for improved germination. If the seeds are stratified, a naturally occurring chemical called auxin will be broken down, thereby allowing increased germination rates in the spring.

Naturally occurring chemical inhibitors such as auxin are found in most wildflower species. The chemicals are necessary so that germination does not occur until ideal conditions are present in the spring.

Consider this, If the seeds were dispersed and then germinated in the fall after the plant has finished its life cycle..the newly emrged sprouts will be killed by the harsh, cold weather. However, chemicals in the seeds protect this from happening by delaying germination until spring.

Ultimately, to answer your question...if you planted the seeds now, they would probably germinate, but very sparsely and you would get poor rates..likely about 5-20%. Whereas, if you sow the seeds in the fall..they will sprout in the following spring and germination rates will be relatively 50%+..that figure will be higher depending on the quality of the seeds.

Finally..in contrast, why do cultivated, domesticate sunflower varieties not require stratification? This is because domesticated varieties were bred to possess specific desirable traits..and in this case..humans eliminated the need for stratification to make the process of planting sunflowers more effective and streamlined.

Take my advice for planting wild sunflowres. I have gained my knowledge through experience and years of trial and error. I have tried many planting techniques with native, wild sunflowres and now through experience; I know the best methods.

I just want to double check

By Ju Han

I just want to double check if it's too late to plant sunflowers at this time of the year. I know you said to plant between mid April to end of May, but what if I start planting them end of June? Or some time during summer?

Plant by June 15 n never

By HOLLYHOCKS&Sunflowers

Plant by June 15 n never plant after July second...GoodLuck

I planted sunflowers seeds

By Emily Merrington

I planted sunflowers seeds for the first time in our backyard here in San Diego, CA. Thirty-five of them have come up. They are growing rapidly and beautifully. They all have little heads already. However, they need so much water!! I had no idea. Because of our drought, we are having to water using "gray" water from our rinse water (for dishes), rinse water from bathing, and rinse water from our washing machine. We have no choice about using the gray water, but what I want to know is if we can still eat the seeds having used gray water to grow them? Also, some of the smaller plants do not get enough sun, so I'm thinking of cutting off some of the huge leaves at the bottom of the bigger plants to give the smaller ones more sun. I saw a comment from above that some people have had success with this. Thank you.

Hi Emily, We feel for all

By Almanac Staff

Hi Emily, We feel for all those affected by this devastating drought. We haven't experienced this issue, but here is a helpful fact sheet:
http://www.encinitasca.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=1111
"Graywater can be used to irrigate landscaping and plants but not on root crops or edible parts of food crops." At with vegetables, this suggests you'd need to cook the food to ensure no bacteria exists.
To get an accurate answer, we'd need to refer you to the San Diego County Water Authority: www.sdcwa.org/contact-us

This is my first year growing

By CelesteStarr

This is my first year growing sunflowers and something's just not right. They're roughly 2 feet tall now and probably half of them have flopped right over. I can't seem to find anything in regards to this anywhere. Do you have an ideas? The stalks and leaves look fine, they're just not standing. Someone suggested a little boron added to the soil. What do you think?

Lots of sunflower varieties

By Almanac Staff

Lots of sunflower varieties require staking. Give that a try.

I planted sunflowers in early

By Sean Malone

I planted sunflowers in early May but there is no sign of them yet and it is June 3 could this be because of soil temp I'm in Ireland and it has been cold all through May if I plant some now when should I see growth

It's best to sow sunflower

By Almanac Staff

It's best to sow sunflower seeds directly into the soil after the danger of frost is past. Ideally, when the soil temperature has reached 55 to 60 degrees.

Hello! I recently moved to

By Lauren Brady

Hello! I recently moved to Boise, ID and I'm renting so I do not want to dig up the ground but I want to plant sunflowers ( they're my favorite flower)! I bought mammoth and autumn beauty seeds today and was wondering if anyone could tell me the best way to go about planting the seeds in a pot. Willing to take any suggestions as this is the first time I'm planting them! Also, the temp. gets very hot here in the summer but it is dry air. Any suggestions on watering? Thanks!

Do not plant mammoth in a

By HOLLYHOCKS&Sunflowers

Do not plant mammoth in a pot....plant in ground...goodluck

now I read this... the thing

By mnmacd on July 20

now I read this... the thing is already flopped over.. I have it braced against a window...

You can plant the sunflowers

By Almanac Staff

You can plant the sunflowers in a big deep pot. The taller sunflower varieties also get top heavy and may start leaning. If you grow them in pots you may need to support the stalks against a wall or a fence.

I planted sunflower seeds in

By RRR SSS

I planted sunflower seeds in mid-april in pot.
Its end of May and the stems have rose about 2 feet already.
Can I keep it in the pot or do I need to move it and plant it on ground. Reading above comments looks like, it needs lot of room for its roots.
Please advise.

Yes, sunflowers need a lot of

By Almanac Staff

Yes, sunflowers need a lot of room for the roots. You can plant the sunflowers in a big deep pot or plant them in the ground. The taller sunflower varieties also get top heavy and may start leaning. If you grow them in pots you may need to support the stalks against a wall or a fence.

About two years ago my wife

By arlis

About two years ago my wife and I had a sunflower pop up in an area that we had not planted with seed (Birds ?).The flower was most unusual in that it only grew to be about 4 feet tall, but the head was easily 12 inches across. We have tried to find seed to grow these ourselves but have had no luck. Any suggestions as to what variety this might have been we would love to have a yard fullof these.

This is not enough

By Almanac Staff

This is not enough information here to identify the plant but there is a lesson here: If you see a plant you like, try to save some seeds. Or take a picture and bring it to a nursery of cooperative extension for help in identifying it.

Very good information!

By Dolphin Lagoon

Very good information!

We removed an old deck made

By Vanniegrace

We removed an old deck made of treated lumber. NOTHING grew in the soil for neat a year. We figured the cause to be toxins from deck. Now crabgrass, dandelions, and other hardy weeds are growing there. We read that sunflowers are good for taking toxins out of soil, but we hesitate b/c we do not want to poison birds and other wildlife with toxic plants. Is this a legitimate concern?. If yes, we thought we'd remove the flowers at some point, but darn it, we don't want to poison the insects! Any advice would be so appreciated!!

I doubt if the chemicals

By Banjoz

I doubt if the chemicals (insecticides, fungicides and preservatives)leached out of the old deck, it's more likely that due to the long period of time the deck was in place the soil beneath simply became "sterile". No sun and little moisture would have caused the death of potential plants (even at microscopic level) and thus probably insect organisms too. The fact the weeds are now growing means that passing birds (and feet) have introduced those seeds there. I would suggest you have a sample of the soil tested, if you don't want to go to that expense, dig in a good layer of compost and even plant a "green fertilizer" and dig it into the soil once it's grown a bit and then plant a hardy groundcover or lawn there.

I thought no I over

By Jeremy Peh

I thought no I over fertilized my sunflower. It's wilting. How do I revive it? Please advise. Thank you.

Our big "pest" with the

By Dan Mackay

Our big "pest" with the mature heads are the Titmouse and Jays. So when the seeds start to attract them I cover the heads with large paper sacks with the four corners cut out of the sack. I use a wire tie around the stem to hold the sack in place. This creates ventilation and allows the head to fully ripen.
The other pest are Goldfinches who think the leaves are a great salad. Since the feasting doesn't seem to hurt the plant much we just ignore them and enjoy their presence around the garden.

when planting sunflowers do

By Mary Turman

when planting sunflowers do you take the seed out of the shell and plant or is it left in the shell

Plant as is. No modifications

By Almanac Staff

Plant as is. No modifications needed.

can I plant a sunflower seed

By gabriella williams

can I plant a sunflower seed in cotton and in gravel and in dirt what is the best one to plant it in and if you could plant it in it then how?

I've planted them in gravel

By Casie

I've planted them in gravel before. Just dig below the gravel enough to reach dirt, remove that dirt and replace with soil, put the seed in and replace the gravel. The roots will reach out the dirt underneath the gravel.

Hi, this is my first time

By Anonymous

Hi, this is my first time planting sunflowers and I'm trying to figure out when the best planting time would be. I live in western Pennsylvania. The temperature has been jumping from low 50s to high 60s. When do you think the best time to plant them would be? Thanks!

It's best to sow sunflower

By Almanac Staff

It's best to sow sunflower seeds directly into the soil after the danger of spring frost is past. Ideally, the soil temperature has reached 55 to 60 degrees. For western PA, your last spring frost will be around May 6.

I'm planting four 200-foot

By a lav

I'm planting four 200-foot rows of sunflowers to act as a privacy hedge. As it would cost too much to buy enough netting to protect the sprouts from birds, would reflective scare tape or a few strands of fishing line running above the rows be a good bird deterrent instead?

I tried that Mylar trick with

By MarcieJane

I tried that Mylar trick with my apple tree. It didn't work. Good luck.

You can try the mylar tapes

By Almanac Staff

You can try the mylar tapes or tie mylar balloons to sticks. Some people tie aluminum pie plates or old CDs to strings. Your privacy hedge will be stunning when all the sunflowers are in bloom!

About 1/2 of our harvested

By Jerry AAnderson

About 1/2 of our harvested seeds are empty. (no kernels) What are we doing wrong? Southern Missouri.

Could it be that birds are

By Barbara Fowler

Could it be that birds are eating the seeds? Deer are pests too. This site says to cover each head with white polyspun garden fleece. As for deer, a tall wire barrier is okay. Chicken wire is good to use. Northern California.

Try planting Mammoth

By Barbara Fowler

Try planting Mammoth Sunflowers. Burpee's Seed Co. and other catalog co.s sell them. They are the most popular. You should also plant the snacking varieties. They all need full sun and don't over-water. I think that this site says it all.

We grew mammoth sunflowers

By Brenda O'Connell

We grew mammoth sunflowers first time last year. OH MY GOODNESS. they were truly MAMMOTH. The heads must have been 2 feet across and the stalks were tree trunks. LOL. Nearly broke a fork trying to dig them out. The root ball was huge. Trying the smaller ones this year with the multi smaller heads on the branches. I am in Yarmouth Nova Scotia and had lots of snow this year. Waiting til June to plant them out in ground.

Is it possible that you are

By Almanac Staff

Is it possible that you are harvesting too soon? Another problem might be lack of phosphorus while growing. Bone meal added to the soil may help this problem.

hi!this is my first time to

By Aliyah Faye Labaguis

hi!this is my first time to plant a sun flower.I'm from Philippines.I want to ask.....I know how to plant and care this plant.but many people said"it can be herbal plant....is it true???.....and what are the medicinal parts????thank!!!

I want to plant sunflower in

By Norbaiti Jarabe

I want to plant sunflower in area about 45 Ha for oil seeds at Holmingham, UK.
What is the best variety, high yield and good disease resistance? In 1 ha roughly how many seeds (in Kg) needed? at least how many seeds in one planting hole?

Sunflower definition

By Usman Gani

Sunflower definition

This is my first time

By eli goli

This is my first time planting sf'ss, but some of them are empty and don't have seeds inside. What can I do next year to make sure all seeds are full?

I got sunflowers seeds was go

By sheyenne

I got sunflowers seeds was go to to do was go to put my sunflowseeds in a pot biger and put dirt on tharm and water thrm and put thram In the sunlight

Hi This is my first time

By Debra M Falagan

Hi
This is my first time planting sunflowers. I live in Montana a we got a bad freeze early. I left the sunflowers alone, but recently cut them to avoid another bad freeze. They heads were already bent over from the size of the plant not sure of the name but they are well over 10 feet tall. Will they continue to ripen? There are many that are already black and white. I have them in the house in a cool dark spot. Any comments will be greatly appreciated

Sunflowers can't tolerate a

By Almanac Staff

Sunflowers can't tolerate a bad freeze. Their growing season is over. You can leave them on the plants for birds and squirrels.

We recently bought a home

By shaz

We recently bought a home with nearly an acre of land. It has a massive area of sunflowers and also has spots of them growing in multiple locations. To me they seem a bit out of control & I would like to reduce the number of plants. How is the best way to successfully accomplish this?

Sunflowers are an annual

By Almanac Staff

Sunflowers are an annual flower, so they won't grow back. However, they do self-sow if you let them go to seed at the end of the season. In the spring, when new sunflowers start to grow, you can easily dig out the seedlings that you don't want.

its not behind the seeds, its

By sharon gullett

its not behind the seeds, its covering the head of the sunflower, and if you rub your hand over the seeds the little yellow things fall off. My question is what are the little yellow things for?

I'm not quite sure which part

By Almanac Staff

I'm not quite sure which part of the sunflower you mean. The sunflower is a composite flower, which means that the head is made up of many tiny flowers (or florets). Some are ray flowers (the ones with the large yellow petals around the outside of the sunflower head), and some are disk flowers (the short tiny flowers in the center of the sunflower head). Each seed develops at the base of a tiny disk flower. The little flower dies while the seed grows. You might be seeing the remnants of the tiny flower by each seed.
 
But I'm thinking more likely you mean what is called the pappus, which for sunflowers, are two scale-like objects. These are a modified calyx of the disk flower; a calyx (made of individual sepals) protects the young flower and developing fruit (for sunflowers, the "seeds" are really fruit, called achenes). As I understand it, the two scaly pappus of the sunflower stick up around the developing seed but will fall off when the seed is ripe. In other types of flowers (not sunflowers), the pappus develops into a structure that will aid in seed dispersal, such as the silk of a dandelion seed, which is blown by the wind, or bristles that attach to passing animals.
 
For photos, see:
 
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-ripe-sunflower-seeds-image26117205
 
http://depositphotos.com/1141239/stock-photo-old-sunflower.html
 
https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=pappus+helianthus&FORM=HDRSC2#view=detail&id=3CA72941E06EEDE9F37CE319FEB77BB5C0349201&selectedIndex=68

the little yellow things that

By sharon gullett

the little yellow things that fall off the head behind the seeds, what do they do?

we are growing a graden and

By alzea middle school

we are growing a graden and are school in brooking oregon can we plant sun flowers on the coast

Sure, you can grow sunflowers

By Almanac Staff

Sure, you can grow sunflowers in Oregon. It's a little bit too late in the season to plant now, but as soon as the weather warms up in early spring you can plant the seeds.

dose it need any type of

By cameron senior its me a student

dose it need any type of fertilizer and how much water dose it need and what temp dose it need when do i harest my planthow long dose it take to grow whare are most sunfloers grown

I see so many tall beautiful

By Nancy jay

I see so many tall beautiful sunflowers around, but I can not grow any taller than 2 feet with a small flower. What is the secret to growing big , beautiful sunflowers?

The secret is giving them as

By narnz

The secret is giving them as much space as a tree, grow them in a bed as rich as you would for s veggie garden, and you'll get those bug beauties. I grow delightful 'prado reds, a gorgeous deep red species, they have stems bigger than my arms and over twenty five heads each, they're TREES! Lol. I love them, but the ones in my front yard have only cone up tiny, they REALLY need the root so pace and a whole lotta food. The best sunflowers I ever saw were growing out of a patch where the farmer stored hi us horse poo - VERY RICH SOIL! :-)

Sunflowers come in all shapes

By Almanac Staff

Sunflowers come in all shapes and sizes. When you buy your seeds, check to see how tall the sunflowers are expected to grow. For enormous plants, look for mammoth sunflowers.

Can I plant my sunflower

By Oliva sim

Can I plant my sunflower indoors but on window panel?

Most sunflowers don't grow

By Almanac Staff

Most sunflowers don't grow well indoors. They have large roots that need room to spread.

This is my first time growing

By emg

This is my first time growing sunflowers. I noticed they are getting brown spots on the leaves and brown around the edges, but they are beautiful aside from that. How do I keep the leaves from browning? Also, I am growing a couple in smaller planters but those have been dying over the last few days. What could I be doing wrong?

There are several types of

By Almanac Staff

There are several types of sunflower diseases such as rust and mildew.  If you catch it early, spray with a general garden fungicide. Remove any seriously inflected plants. Otherwise, make sure your sunflowers aren't too crowded and have plenty of air circulation. If you need to, move them.

One of my giant mammoth

By Dag

One of my giant mammoth sunflower’s stem broke in a storm. I planted the sunflower seeds May 21 directly outside. The head was already wilting with the flower pedals being dry, The back of the head is still green. I live in Zone 5b. I put the 2 feet long stem with the flower head into water and added Azomite to the water. The seeds are large, but white. Will the seeds finish their ripening? Thank you in advance.

Sadly not. My response was

By Dag

Sadly not. My response was deleted as well and I assume this post will be deleted or modified.
It didn't finish ripening. I had it in the Azomite water for three weeks.

Did you ever get an answer? I

By Barbara(barbi028)

Did you ever get an answer? I just had one off my sunflowers break the same way. Will it finish ripening?

Thanks!

I have perennial sunflowers

By DogFoodie

I have perennial sunflowers in my butterfly garden. We've had a cooler than usual summer and lots of rain in zone 5b outside of Chicago. My sunflowers have bloomed, but now look terrible. The stalks are yellowed and very droopy and are laying against other plants that look wonderful. I'm wondering if it would hurt to cut them back now, or do I need to wait until after the first frost. I haven't had this problem in summers past when it was hot and dry. Thanks for your help!

Hi, DogFoodie: It's perfectly

By Almanac Staff

Hi, DogFoodie: It's perfectly OK to cut them back now. Be sure to save the seedheads for wildlife now or the (dried) seeds for yourself to plant next year (if you don't have a hybrid).

Thank you! I'm on it! I

By DogFoodie

Thank you! I'm on it! I just came in from outside after getting caught up in some mindless weeding after another downpour this afternoon. No better time to weed! I'm shocked by how spent several of my pants look this year. The sunflowers will be out of there tomorrow. The buddleia will be grateful for the breathing room!

THIS IS THE 2ND SEASON MY

By Edward McMASTER

THIS IS THE 2ND SEASON MY SUNFLOWERS GREW BUT WITH NO FLOWER. I STARTED THEM FROM SEEDS 2 SEASONS AGO, THE PLANT GREW WTIH NO FLOWER. THE PLANTS CAME BACK THIS YEAR AGAIN WITH NO FLOWERS.
HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED.

EDWARD

Hi, Edward: Make sure your

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Edward: Make sure your SFs are getting a lot of sun -- like at least 6 hours' worth a day. They also need to be moist, but in well-drained soil. Water them deeply (to encourage root growth), but not too often. And the soil needs to be fertile -- well-rotted compost mixed in works well. Monitor these things, and blooms should be on the way, at least next year anyway. Thanks for asking!

My large (3"dia.6ft)

By kincinerate

My large (3"dia.6ft) sunflower broke off at the dirt level. Can I splint this back together, or possibly stick the raw stem deep in the ground, or would I just be wasting my time? She was just starting to flower.

If the stem is still attached

By Almanac Staff

If the stem is still attached a bit it's easier to splint it back together with some tape. If it is not attached anymore the chances that it will recover are small. If you could have splinted it right away it may have had a small chance to heal. You can put the broken sunflower in a bucket of water and it may still flower for you.

We have a variety of

By wizofoz

We have a variety of sunflowers. we are having issues with the stems snapping off at the top near the sunflower head..the size of the bloom does not seem to matter.... small ones are also snapping off...what could be causing this?

I know that there are bugs

By mydogdory

I know that there are bugs the cut the heads off. I don't remember what they are called but you should research them. (:

i was just wondering.... i

By sasha

i was just wondering.... i already harvested my sunflowers, i just want to know if they "reseed" themselves or if i need to take the stems out and reseed myself?

Thank You! :)

What month do the sunflower

By Layla Burns

What month do the sunflower seeds fall from the sunflower??

A sunflower will simply

By Almanac Staff

A sunflower will simply reseed itself if you leave the flower head on the plant.
Or, you can collect the seeds to replant somewhere else.  Let the flower head die down. When the back of the flower head turns brown, you can remove it and let it dry out.
Cover the sunflower head with a brown paper bag during this process to protect the seeds from the birds. 

When should sunflower seeds

By Zylo

When should sunflower seeds be planted? i am mainly asking about the large 2-3 metre tall sunflower plants. Is July too late?

Hello, I was wondering if it

By Tracie Fadely

Hello,
I was wondering if it is okay to transplant sunflowers once they've bloomed. I planted them in a bad spot (right in front of my front steps) and they are huge. I want to move them but keep them alive. They are just about to bloom.

Thank you!!
Tracie

We have some volunteer

By Marty Bardelmeier

We have some volunteer sunflowers growing where our row was last year. This year we planted tomatoes in that area. The sunflowers are behind the tomato cages so we are just letting them be and grow on up. Our question is, is it safe for the sake of the sunflowers to take some of their huge bottom leaves off to make way for more light on our rapidly growing tomato plants? We have tons of tomatoes on, but they are not ripening and may be getting too much shade from the flowers. We do not want to damage the sunflowers, now that we have them.

We have removed the bottom

By Thilene Keane

We have removed the bottom leaves up to 4 ft on our and they are 14 ft tall now they grew better when we did this anyway. We have the Russian mammoths

We have 2 huge sunflowers

By ROBERT Bardelmeier

We have 2 huge sunflowers growing right behind r tomato plants hanging over the tomatos. The tomatos will ripen slowly dont cut the sunflowers

we just got done reading

By coleton blanke

we just got done reading seedfolks and we are making a minuture garden. what should i use for the ground

Yes, you can remove some of

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you can remove some of the sunflower leaves.

I have a couple large

By eccampbell

I have a couple large sunflower heads that the petals have fallen off, and the seeds have mostly (except in the center) have turned black. But they aren't dry by a long shot, and I want to plant some of the seeds again as soon as possible to get some flowers in time for the fall season. How long should I wait? Should I separate some of the largest seeds around the edge of one of the flowers and dry them as soon as possible? Do they have to winter over?

Hello I received some Bush

By kerrie

Hello I received some Bush like sunflowers approx 3ft tall with many heads. Planted them in full sun and they are always drooping including leaves. Have tried to water to no avail. Did not water and drooped worse? Wonderingsince there nursery grown they may not be used to full sun or shallow roots? I am inmetro Detroit MI area.

Is there a difference between

By banananananana

Is there a difference between mammoth sun flowers and mammoth Russian sun flowers?

The Russian ones are very

By Batstroker

The Russian ones are very invasive.

Just like the Russian

By jamespeach

Just like the Russian government...very invasive ;)

Yes there is a

By andrew boucher

Yes there is a difference...Russian mammoths grow taller than regular mammoth sunflowers

Yes there is a

By andrew boucher

Yes there is a difference...Russian mammoths grow taller than regular mammoth sunflowers

Mature as in bloom?

By banananananana

Mature as in bloom?

What happens If you plant

By banananananana

What happens If you plant late into the season?

Hey there! Its June 21st here

By Jenny From The Block

Hey there! Its June 21st here in Ontario Canada.. Just wondering am I too late to plant my seeds if I plant them tomorrow?? I have several varieties of sunflowers and am hoping to get some flowers before summer is over!!

Hi Jenny. I grow sunflowers

By Pamela with Chickens

Hi Jenny. I grow sunflowers every summer here in Richmond, Virginia USA. The heat and humidity of our summers is tough on sunflowers unlike your wonderful location of Ontario. I've always heard that you can stagger planting of sunflowers (like 3 weeks apart or so) so you have them coming up well into the Fall. I have so many seeds I'm putting in more now even though it's extremely hot (I always overseed like crazy and then thin them). I say by all means plant them. In my experience when conditions are less than ideal my sunflowers just produce flowers early but don't reach full height. It's as though they are determined to have offspring (seed heads) before their demise. So plant! Yes! You'll have more seeds to collect for next year, too. Regards, and I wish I were in Ontario. I lOVE Canada, though I've only spent time in British Columbia. –Pam

Hi Jenny, Look at your seed

By Almanac Staff

Hi Jenny,
Look at your seed packages for maturity dates. That will tell you if there is time for the plants to grow and bloom before your weather turns cold. See our frost chart for first frost dates in your area.
www.almanac.com/content/frost-chart-canada

Hello I'm 3 weeks in after

By banananananana

Hello I'm 3 weeks in after planting mamotth sunflower seeds and they have reached a height of about 7inches. I'm so excited and I really can't wait until they bloom! Just wondering about how long will it take for they to bloom, and about how tall they will be when they do ?

Mammoth sunflowers take about

By Almanac Staff

Mammoth sunflowers take about 80 days to maturity. They will grow 9 to 12 feet tall. You may want to stake the flowers when they reach 6 feet.

So I bought two pots with 4

By Newbie

So I bought two pots with 4 sunflowers each, planting them two each spaced in a row. This means that I split up half a pot. I planted them on the sunny side of house, gave the new soil and planted flowers a little water at ground level, dampening. Potting soil was used along with the soil in the pots they were originally planted in. Today hit 90 degrees (Southwest Ohio). They're planted in a soil bed several inches away from the brick exterior of our house. They're looking a little wilted. Did I screw up in disturbing the roots as I split the four into two? Do they need more water due to being newly planted and new soil bed? Are they planted too close to the house? What should I do, please? I'd like to keep them happy. Thank you!

We live in sacramento,

By renee donovan

We live in sacramento, california. Our plants are approximately 9 or 10 feet tall. However, no flowers yet. I have been watering every 2 days or so. I think I might be overwatering. Any idea's on why there isn't any flowers yet? Thanks.

It sounds like your

By Almanac Staff

It sounds like your sunflowers may be stressed. They need moist, fertile soil that drains well. They should be getting at the very least, 6 hours of sunlight a day as well.

I plant2-3 acres of sunflower

By Bill Rowekamp

I plant2-3 acres of sunflower seeds each year. What chemical can I use after the plants are up and growing?

For large production of

By Almanac Staff

For large production of sunflowers, soil preparation (to avoid compact soil), row width, and proper seed distribution are major facts to prevent issues.
In terms of insects, it is best to watch the fields. Many insects are attracted to the field during flowering, including beneficials; therefore, insects should be properly identified before indiscriminately spraying. When insect problems develop, we advise you to contact your county extension agent or specialists for the recommended insecticides in your state.
In terms of most diseases, fungicidal protection is not normally economical; growing resistant varieties, if available, and using pest management practices is the best way to minimize losses.
In terms of weeds, early season control is what it is all about. Sunflowers can compete with weeds but not until they're more mature. Hopefully, you destroyed early emerged weeds prior to planting. Consider applying a herbicide (example: Treflan, Amiben). Sunflower seedlings are strongly rooted, so they can be harrowed (with a revolving hoe) during the 4 to 6 leaf stage. After they emerge, harrow should be done across the rows on a warm, sunny day to get best weed kill and little crop injury.

I planted sunflowers in a

By Thomas Noll

I planted sunflowers in a long row as I always do but the problem is that there are a lot of space where nothing came up. Can I move the plants around so all the spaces are filled in? They are about 2 inches high.

We would not advise digging

By Almanac Staff

We would not advise digging up the plants; it would be better to sow some new seeds; the staggered planting will grow in nicely. It might have just been too cold for germination. For a better rate of germination, try folding the seeds in a dampened paper towel and place in a plastic bag overnight. You could also try clipping the edge of the hard seed coat with some fingernail clippers to give it fast access to moisture.

We have a bird feeder that we

By John R. Miller

We have a bird feeder that we fill with black sunflower seeds. The birds make a mess of them; shells all over the place. In the dirt underneath, we have plants that are now about four feet tall with huge leaves but no flowers. Are these going to flower, or are they just weeds that need to be pulled?

Yes it will bloom, it's been

By gem

Yes it will bloom, it's been 3 years that I grow SF from birdseeds

It sounds like you have some

By Almanac Staff

It sounds like you have some sunflowers growing. Let them grow a little taller and hopefully you'll have some blossoms. Save the seedheads to feed the birds next winter.

Spacing of sunflower want to

By Edward Rwajekare

Spacing of sunflower want to know

i was given a pot of

By jessica sloan

i was given a pot of sunflowers that are still small but i was wondering if sunflowers are great for indoor plants near a window that receives alot of sun throughout the day? or do they need to stay outside

Most sunflowers don't grow

By Almanac Staff

Most sunflowers don't grow well indoors. They have large roots that need room to spread. Plant your sunflowers outdoors.

I have lots of volunteer

By Robin Brady

I have lots of volunteer sunflowers and many natives also. Can I cut them back while they are small to encourage numerous stalks and more blooms? I live in Central Texas.

Typically sunflowers grow

By Almanac Staff

Typically sunflowers grow only one stalk with a flower on top. There are multi-headed varieties that you can prune after the flowers fade. You may want to thin your plants so that they don't grow too close together.

I bought my sunflower seeds

By jessicawl

I bought my sunflower seeds and the tiny pot from Amsterdam and planted all the 14 seeds in one pot because I thought they were supposed to be placed together. then they became really big and I placed the whole lot of them into a bigger pot. they outgrow the second pot already and I wanted to split them up but all their roots got tangled and I kind of had to break a lot of roots off to split them up. now the small ones that were covered from the sun by the other bigger ones are in another pot and the big ones are inside its original pot. will they survive even without majority of their roots?

Hello! Sunflowers are

By Cherish

Hello!

Sunflowers are particularly sensitive when it comes to their roots. Many flowers are, but there are specific ones that do not like their roots bothered at all. The best thing to do is to leave them tangled so that you do not damage the roots and lose all of the flowers.

Typically it's better if you want to do transplants to by individual flowers in individual pots, so that when transplanting it is easier to leave the roots undisturbed.

Im growing my SF'S in 8"by24"

By george!

Im growing my SF'S in 8"by24" boxes with merical grow garden soil 1"deep about at 6-8" tall now some of the bottom leaves are now turning yellow im just wonder why? is this normal??

How deep are your boxes?

By Almanac Staff

How deep are your boxes? Sunflowers have long roots and need lots of room to grow. How close are your seedlings? You may have to thin them. Also make sure that the soil is moist. See our advice about growing sunflowers from seed at the top of this page.

Hi we are in Illinois. When

By Illini Sunflowers

Hi we are in Illinois. When we moved to our new home last summer the garden was full of blooming sunflowers (approx 5 feet tall). They stayed in bloom until about late Oct. We've had a harsh winter and I haven't touched the sunflowers or the soil since they dried up. The stalks are still standing in the garden. Will they re-bloom this summer or have I lost them? Is there anything I can do to help them re-bloom this summer? Thanks for any advice :)

Sunflowers die at the end of

By Almanac Staff

Sunflowers die at the end of the season and need to be reseeded in the spring. Remove the old stalks, buy a couple of packages of sunflower seeds and plant directly in the garden. They are easy to grow!

Can I start my sunflower

By Razan

Can I start my sunflower seeds in manure and plant them in garden soil later.

Composted manure is a great

By Almanac Staff

Composted manure is a great medium for sunflower seeds. Depending on your soil, you may wish to add an organic slow-release balanced fertilizer, too. It's really best to direct sow seed directly into the garden, not transplant them.

I agree, most people do not

By Cherish

I agree, most people do not recommend transplanting because Sunflowers are particularly root sensitive, like morning glories. They tend to stop growing as well or die if their roots are damaged or disturbed. If you want to transplant use bio cells with individual cells for the seeds. then once they are about 3 " with their second sets of leaves you can gently remove from the cells and plant wherever you'd like.

But planting in a pile of compost lets the roots really spread out with no restraints so there's really no way to ensure you don't damage the roots and end up killing your flower.

Happy Gardening :)

Guys Don't use Bt Toxins on

By BedaChange

Guys

Don't use Bt Toxins on sunflowers. Please. Sunflowers are some of our pollinators favorite plants. Spraying Bt on a sunflower head? BAD IDEA. If you get infested with little worms, let the birds eat them - cut the heads off and separate them from the rest of the crop; or cut the head and take it to your chickens or ducks. They will make very quick work of those worms. But don't spray poinson on sunflowers! Jeeez. What kind of Almanac advice is that???

I usually collect all the

By Cherish

I usually collect all the little pillers and larvae worms and fill the bird feeder. They go nuts. But it really keeps the birds around so that they start eating the insects themselves, instead of constant encouragement from me. Great advice :)

I also don't use commercial insecticides, mostly because I want to encourage natural control. I do at times use a garlic, cayenne pepper, onion spray, but it's entirely organic.

According to organic

By Almanac Staff

According to organic gardening experts, BT is one of the "safer natural pesticides you can use." See: http://bit.ly/Su87FP
However, there is also concern about the overuse of Bt itself as an insecticide, especially for commercial crops, as well as concerns that it might play a role directly or indirectly in the colony collapse disorder of bees. Concentrating any pest control will affect nature's balance. There many other natural remedies, so we have decided to take out mention of Bt. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. 

I have at least a dozen

By JamieT

I have at least a dozen seedlings growing in 4" peat pots right now indoors. The tall ones (~5") are drooping so I'm assuming they need more sunlight. I have a couple different varieties so some seedlings are only ~2-3". My question is, can I just plant the entire peat pot or do I need to take the seedling out of the pot? Or could I cut the bottom of the peat pot off and plant that? Do I plant as deep as the pot, or deeper? Thanks!

Maybe pot bound Jamie.Cut the

By Liverpool Lad

Maybe pot bound Jamie.Cut the bottom of one of the pots and see if the root is entwined,they are avid eaters.Get them in position as soon as possible and make sure you put the compost deep enough to make them forage for it. Best of luck, Albert

You can plant the entire

By Almanac Staff

You can plant the entire peatpot. Make a hole in the garden, as deep as the pot and then cover the top with a little soil.

Thank you so much for your

By JamieT

Thank you so much for your timely reply!

My girls and i planted

By Kassey McDonald

My girls and i planted sunflower seeds in empty egg shells as a easter craft. They sprouted, about 3 inches tall now and i transfered them into a big pot today. We live in east texas, very hot and humid. Should i keep them in the pot inside by an open window for sun, until they are bigger? Transplant them outside next summer?
Im new to taking care of plants. You site if very helpful. Thanks

You need to plant them in the

By Almanac Staff

You need to plant them in the garden this spring. Sunflowers are annuals. Wait until the seedlings are a little bigger and then plant them outside.

About how big should i wait?

By Kassey McDonald

About how big should i wait? When will they grow an actual flower? The extream heat and humidity wont bother them? Thanks so much for the info

I live in a very hot area of

By Cherish

I live in a very hot area of california most days range from 90-115 summers. My sunflowers LOVE the heat. So I say as long as you water mornings or nights and do not overwater you're fine. Crush the eggshell a little and plant in your garden, you don't have to wait until next year. With the right conditions; water, nutrients, etc they grow fast and strong. Hope this helps <3

Happy gardening.

Ps. Be sure not to over crush the shell so that you damage roots. You just want to lightly crack so the roots can push against it and grow through.

Make sure the hole you dig in your garden is 2x the size of the egg shell and 2x as deep. This ensures that the roots have soft soil to spread out in without having to exert so much energy on growing.

I would like to grow

By HenrysMum

I would like to grow sunflowers in smallish pots with school children to sell at their school summer fair on 14 June. When should we plant them (outdoors, London, UK) so that we have plants ready to sell by then? What type should we buy? Probably not giant ones - we don't want them to be enormous when we sell them, just big enough that people will pay a pound or two for them!

Hello there, I'm planting

By Alley Nichole

Hello there, I'm planting sunflowers for the time in west Texas.. Our ground is a little hard but not too bad. If begun loosening up the dirt but there are spots where grass grown and I'm having a hard time getting up all the grass in the spot I want to plant the seeds.. My question is, can I still plant sunflower seeds where grass is growing, and can I just add soil on top of the left over grass?

Try digging a deep area just

By Almanac Staff

Try digging a deep area just where the seed will be planted; add compost and/or other soil amendments, and keep the soil loose. They like good drainage. Once established, the sunflower (if given the right nutrition, light, water, etc.) might be able to outcompete the grass, as it can develop deep roots. When it is a seedling, though, carefully remove as much grass as possible surrounding the sunflower. The more grass and other weeds that you can remove, the stronger your sunflower will be.
 
You can try smothering the grass in that area with a thick area of newspapers (with wood mulch on top, or just wet the newspapers with a hose every so often so that they don't blow away); this normally takes months, though. If you need to plant your sunflowers right away, you might try digging a wide, deep hole as best you can for the flower, adding the soil amendments and loosening the soil, then planting the seed, filling in the hole, and then covering the area with the thick newspapers, cutting out a small circle just where the seedling will emerge. It should cut down on any grass or weeds in that area.
 
Adding soil on top of the grass can help, but the grass will eventually poke through it, and it helps to get the soil nutrients deeper so that the sunflower's roots can more easily take advantage of them. But, gardeners have had great success growing sunflowers in raised beds, so as long as the added soil on top of the lawn is at least 6 inches or so, you will probably be fine. Just keep up with any weeds or grass that poke through.

I planted a sunflower seed

By Anonymous

I planted a sunflower seed but it isn't growing. I water it regularly and it is in a place along a brick wall. Other kids have planted their sunflowers next to mine and around that area but all of theirs are growing. Why isn't mine?

You may need to plant a few

By Almanac Staff

You may need to plant a few more seeds. Sometimes the seed can be bad or a squirrel or a bird may have found the seed.

We are considering planting

By Kevin McWilliams

We are considering planting sunflowers this year. We are concerned with how they work around other plants. Can we plant sunflowers next to our sweet corn or cow peas? There will be 6ft between where the corn rows and the sunflowers.

Hi Kevin, Sure, you can plant

By Almanac Staff

Hi Kevin,
Sure, you can plant sunflowers next to your corn and cow peas. Corn and peas/beans have traditionally been good companion plants and as long as you plant the sunflowers in separate rows and not among the corn it will be fine.

Hello! I'm a new gardener,

By Sarah Yang

Hello! I'm a new gardener, and I planted two seeds in the same little container 4 days ago. They are both about 4 inches now, but they've flopped over! I tested the stems and they seem firm, and the leaves are a light green and don't seem shriveled. I've been lightly watering them just whenever the soil feels a little dry, maybe daily or once every two days. I live in a dorm, but I prop the pot up next to the window so they can get as much sun as possible. Is there anyway I can fix this "flopping" problem? Do they need support?

Hi! Did u ever get an answer

By Toniann

Hi! Did u ever get an answer to your sunflower stems "flopping?" I also did the same and that's happening to me!! I'm curious what was suggested to you. Thanks!

Hi. Yes, sunflowers will

By Pamela with Chickens

Hi. Yes, sunflowers will 'flop,' usually when they aren't getting quite enough sun and they are straining to get more sun-- the stems grow too thin. They may flop when overcrowded too. BUT, the easy fix it to give them a little support-- you can use skewers (those thin sticks people use when grilling). A big package is only about a dollar. Or just strong sticks, a little thicker than your sunflowers. Let the sunflowers lean against the sticks or tie them gently with a loop of yarn or string. If your sunflowers are still floppy when large graduate to bamboo sticks or stakes or whatever you can find. Some sunflowers have thick stems and are quite sturdy on their own. Good luck. With a little support they'll make it! –Pam

Most sunflowers don't grow

By Almanac Staff

Most sunflowers don't grow well indoors. They have large roots that need room to spread. Plant your sunflowers outdoors.

Hi, I just purchased American

By TBurleson

Hi, I just purchased American Giant Hybrid Sunflowers, I am terrible with plants and flowers but my husband loves them. I was not sure how to plant this and looked it up after planting them, I planted them around a tree because these get 16ft tall and I want them to grow up the tree, I think I messed up because I planted sweet pea and other smaller flowers around it. Will they survive?

The only problem you may have

By Almanac Staff

The only problem you may have is too much shade from the tree. Sunflowers need as much sun as possible. Planting sweet peas close to sunflowers is a good idea. They may use the sunflower stalk to climb on.

Ants is my problem, they're

By Liezel Salem

Ants is my problem, they're eating my seeds.

It's not the ants eating the

By Almanac Staff

It's not the ants eating the seeds. The ants are attracted to the aphids, so look carefully at your plant for pests. In a way, ants are protectors and the "good" bugs.

I got a question, Are Bees

By Leonardo Munoz

I got a question, Are Bees attracted to sunflowers?

Bees LOVE sunflowers and most

By Almanac Staff

Bees LOVE sunflowers and most daisy-shaped flowers. Plant a few to pollinate your garden!

A sunflower camped out in my

By Liverpool Lad

A sunflower camped out in my garden 2yrs ago,grew to a hight of 5ft with a head approx 7ins across.Since then,Miss Daisy has produced enough seeds to give not only me but my neighbours on both sides a wonderful display of sunflowers for the past two seasons,thanks on behalf of my neighbours and myself Miss Daisy xxx

I plant sunflowers every year

By MacMaddy

I plant sunflowers every year [California] with limited success as we have heavy clay soil and major amounts of sun [plus squirrels]. Any suggestions how to over come short of amending the soil which as yet hasn't been effective.

Sunflowers have deep taproots

By Almanac Staff

Sunflowers have deep taproots so it is important to turn over the soil and add compost to at least 2 feet deep. They are also heavy feeders so adding a slow release granular fertilizer to the soil will benefit the plants. Instead of amending the soil you can try to grow sunflowers in deep containers.

I planted sunflower seeds

By Lkk780

I planted sunflower seeds indoor a few weeks ago. All the sudden their leaves are turning yellow and flimsy. The tallest one is about 5". What should I do?

Make sure the seedlings get

By Almanac Staff

Make sure the seedlings get enough sun. Don't overwater or let the soil dry out too much. Keep the soil evenly moist.

I have been growing "Russian

By Liam Goddard

I have been growing "Russian Giant" sunflowers, and in order to make them very big, the packet said it should be propagated indoors in "early spring".
Slight problem - a month and a half later they are nearly 2 foot tall and growing at about an inch per day.
I can't keep them indoors much longer, and our greenhouse is only 6ft x 6ft and that will need to contain other plants as well.
Apparently they should be planted out after all risk of frost has past - but here that's nearly 2 months from now.
At what size can I plant them out safely - even if there will be a frost - and what can I do to protect them from frosts?

Hi Liam, You probably started

By Almanac Staff

Hi Liam,
You probably started your seeds a little bit too early. You need to put the started flowers in a protected area so they don't get frostbitten. If the plants were shorter you could use floating row covers. You can put stakes all around the plants and then wrap clear plastic around the stakes to create a miniature greenhouse.

Is there a point at which

By Liam Goddard

Is there a point at which they won't be bothered by the frost (I would be quite surprised if a 4-5ft sunflower could die from frost)???

In my home country you can

By witoldyna

In my home country you can buy sunflower heads on the farmer's market and you can eat the seeds fresh, straight from the flower head. It is really good (in my opinion - my husband is not a big fan of the food like that).

At my mother in laws recent

By Cherie Stern

At my mother in laws recent funeral there where some flower bouquets with a mixture of yellow roses & sunflowers. I have began drying the roses to preserve them but wanting to know if I should I dry the sunflowers too?
Thinking of using the seeds w/in the flower to plant outside but don't know if I should dry the flower, justpull the seeds out now, or if I'm way off I thinking this could haphappen

For sunflowers, it's easy to

By Almanac Staff

For sunflowers, it's easy to save the seeds to plant in the ground for a new season of flowers! See this page for more information.

what is the best soil for

By lila massey

what is the best soil for growing a garden

How long, after you plant the

By Flora Ellis

How long, after you plant the mammoth sunflower, does it take to see a sprout?

Germination time for large

By Almanac Staff

Germination time for large sunflowers is generally 10 to 14 days.

hi, am Atakora from Ghana, am

By atakora antwi-davies

hi, am Atakora from Ghana, am thinking of using our family land to grow sunflower in commercial quantity,the land is located along the Volta lake,sun type loamy,ph neutral,alkaline and the land side is over 178sqkm,what i want to know if there is any investor willing to do the business if me,or if there is any up who can introduce me to any investor.my contact randdu11@yahoo.com

Hi, this may be a crazy

By Lorilynn627

Hi, this may be a crazy question but I am running a charity auction and would love to use sunflowers for my centerpieces. The only problem is it is winter (snowing as I type) in NY. Can I grow any sunflowers indoors within a 6-7 week time period??? My budget isn't very large and I hate to use artificial ones they just don't look the same. My house is pretty warm always over 70 do you think it could be done indoors or would it have to be in a greenhouse????
Thanks,
Lorilynn

Of all the flowers that

By Almanac Staff

Of all the flowers that exist, sunflowers are probably the biggest sun lovers! You can start them in 4 inch peat pots indoors, but they need to move outside and require full sun!

We recently bought some

By Katsinger

We recently bought some acreage in Western Iowa and hoping to plant a field of sunflowers. Currently it is prairie grass. Do I need to kill the prairie grass with an herbicide before planting sunflowers or can I just mow it down, till it up and plant a variety of sunflowers? I don't mind a "wild" look.

Sunflowers do well in prairie

By Almanac Staff

Sunflowers do well in prairie fields in years that perennial weeds do not. In a sense, they are both competitors and also complement each other.
Here is a good page on preparing a field for sunflowers: http://mdc.mo.gov/your-property/wildlife-your-property/wildlife-food-plots/sunflowers-wildlife
Keep in mind that pre-plant herbicides affect other prairie species.

I live in Connecticut and

By Maddie D

I live in Connecticut and want to plant Sunflowers to be used for my son's wedding rehearsal dinner to be held at my home in late September.

When should I plant the seeds to try to have the flowers in bloom for September?

Love this site by the way -- helpful information.

Your question is exactly what

By RhondaC

Your question is exactly what I wanted to ask. My son is getting married in Sept too and has a sunflower theme. . We live in Canada.

As there are early and late

By Almanac Staff

As there are early and late blooming types of sunflowers, just check the seed packets for different varieties and you should see "days to maturity" which will tell you how long it takes for the plant to grow from a seed to full bloom. Then back out from there.  We would stagger plantings to ensure you hit the right date, as weather conditions can vary and it's impossible to control weather!

Sunflowers I really want to

By Rose Aol

Sunflowers

I really want to do a few acres of sunflowers early next year,my questions is ? is it possible to replant sunflowers in the same garden after harvesting they first?
For now,my heart is just telling me to go in for it and i can't wait for the next spring.

Regards.

You can save the seeds from

By Almanac Staff

You can save the seeds from this year's crop and replant the seeds in the spring. See comments on this page about how to save seeds.

Could u please tell me the

By Mubashir

Could u please tell me the cultivation procedure of sunflower?

1. Preparation of land.
2. choice of seed.
3. Use of fertilizer.
4. Irrigation for sunflower.
5. Per acre average of sunflower.

I m belong to pakistan. could u please advice to me how to get good average of sunflower per acre.

I have 28 acre land.

Thanks & regards,

Mubashir

I live in the country with

By junjii

I live in the country with hot and humid climate.Is it suitable for planting some sunflowers?

And what is the sunflower lifespan?

Sunflowers like hot and dry

By Chris McNeely

Sunflowers like hot and dry weather. I do hear the "Mexican Sunflower" does well.

When the season is over do

By TBD

When the season is over do you cut the stalk off at the ground, or pull it completely out?

Pull the stalks out of the

By Almanac Staff

Pull the stalks out of the soil with the roots. Save any mature flower heads with seeds for the birds.

Thank you very much for your

By TBD

Thank you very much for your prompt reply!

Hi, your site is very

By muriel

Hi, your site is very helpful. I just bought seeds in a small pot n soil about 3 weeks now n have a 4 inch plant. What exactly is infrequent and deep watering? I water my baby every morning. Also, would it continue to grow in the small pot or do I need to transplant? I've had no prior instructions, those on the kit were in Chinese. Please help!

Your sunflower needs a bigger

By Almanac Staff

Your sunflower needs a bigger pot for the roots to develop. Water when the soil dries out.

It's the middle of October in

By Beehive327

It's the middle of October in upstate NY and my giant sunflowers' seeds are still white. Will the seeds darken if I cut the seed heads now, before the first hard frost and/or snowfall?

You may remove the head early

By Almanac Staff

You may remove the head early and allow it to dry indoors. See the harvesting section above.

My husband drives a semi and

By daviefs

My husband drives a semi and brought me a Walmart bag full of sunflower seeds that he scooped up at a truck stop. Some are sprouting already but it's October in Colorado so I'm not sure what to do with them. Should I plant them in the yard for next spring or will they freeze? Can I plant the sprouts in a pot inside over the winter?

Save those seeds until the

By Almanac Staff

Save those seeds until the spring. Plant the seeds directly into the soil after all danger of spring frost is past and the day and night temperatures are at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit; the ideal temperatures for growth are 70 to 78°F. Follow the instructions on soil and spacing above. Good luck!

I have several sunflowers in

By Karen Ambrogi

I have several sunflowers in a bed along with a few pierie japonica euonymous shrubs. The shrubs are mysteriously dying. No wilt, just turning brown section by section until the whole shrub is dead. Could the sunflowers have anything to do with this, or is it just coincidence?

I guess the sunflower killed

By marie ojeda

I guess the sunflower killed the shrubs because they are together in one bed.the sunflower roots are said to be toxic when they planted together.

I recently took down all my

By Stacy G.

I recently took down all my gigantic sunflowers and the seeds are plump and white. Was this okay that I took them down? I have the heads hanging out in the basement hoping that the seeds will be ok to use for next year.

Before you harvest the seeds,

By Almanac Staff

Before you harvest the seeds, the sunflower head must be completely dry. If you leave the heads on the plants to dry you risk loosing some to birds and other critters. Drying them indoors or in a protected area is a good idea. The time it takes to dry depends on how mature the seeds are and what the conditions are in the area where you dry the seeds.

So we planted a variety pack

By R Laidlaw

So we planted a variety pack of sunflowers and a pack of mammoth sunflowers to make a sunflower house for our daughter. It was doing great until we had a huge thunderstorm come through and sent half of them to the ground. They were mostly all drooping anyway. I think I planted a bunch too close together which I will amend for next year. My question is I now have a bunch of the heads with the seeds but I don't think any of them are ready to harvest. We only cut the ones that had their stalks snapped by the rain. The seeds are big but they're white. How do I go about getting these ready to harvest? I'd like to save some for next year and have some to eat.

Before you harvest the seeds,

By Almanac Staff

Before you harvest the seeds, the sunflower head must be completely dry. You can cut the heads off and dry them indoors or in a protected area. The time it takes to dry depends on how mature the seeds are and what the conditions are in the area where you dry the seeds.

I bought a sunflower from the

By Ashmo

I bought a sunflower from the farmers market here in my town. It was cut, and hanging for display. I bought it hoping it would produce seeds. But the head still had petals and was still a full flower at that point. Will my plant produce seeds, or should I just go out and buy seeds for next spring?

I would like to know I rubed

By pat plsek

I would like to know I rubed off the yellow part on the sun flower will that hurt the seeds it was yellow on the backside I took them down an let them dry good thanks

Why does my sunflower have a

By louisa

Why does my sunflower have a bloom at every leaf? Is that normal?

Single-stem sunflowers

By Almanac Staff

Single-stem sunflowers produce one large bloom per plant. However, there are multibranching sunflowers that have multiple stems of flowers and bloom over a longer period.

We live in the country

By Christine McClellan

We live in the country outside of Salem, Oregon. Our niece is getting married early July 2014 and wants sunflowers as her main flower for the wedding. I was wondering when we should plant them to have them ready to harvest at the right time. Thank You

Check the seed packets and

By Almanac Staff

Check the seed packets and you should see "days to maturity" which will tell you how long it takes for the plant to grow from a seed to full bloom. Then back out from there.  We would stagger plantings to ensure you hit the right date.

Just wondering I live in

By tina huck

Just wondering I live in Wisconsin. Danger of frost is pretty imminant up until the end of May. Can I actually start them in pots inside to ensure that I have them for my July wedding?

I have some sunflowers

By andrew calder

I have some sunflowers growing at my workplace and I was thinking about harvesting them for their seeds? I'm getting married this year and want to give our guests sunflower seeds as a party favour. When and how should I cut down the flowers? How long does it take to dry a head or do you let it dry on the plant? Curious to see if I could use seeds from these flowers for our wedding. Otherwise I'll just buy some from a gardening shop. Thanks for your advice. Andrew

Before you harvest the seeds,

By Almanac Staff

Before you harvest the seeds, the sunflower head must be completely dry. If you leave the heads on the plants to dry you risk loosing some to birds and other critters. You can cut the heads off and dry them indoors or in a protected area. The time it takes to dry depends on how mature the seeds are and what the conditions are in the area where you dry the seeds.

all of my sunflowers are

By sue ratliff

all of my sunflowers are hanging and have died. do i harvest the seeds now, and can i pull the stalks out??? They are up over my fence, and theres lots of heads. What do i do??

You can leave the plants and

By Almanac Staff

You can leave the plants and let the seeds dry on the plant. If you live in a region that is humid or gets lots of rain it's better to remove the heads and dry the seeds indoors. After you remove the heads you can pull the stalks up.

My over 10 foot tall

By Marcia Fankhauser

My over 10 foot tall beautiful sunflower's head has tilted over. Should I try to shore it up?

my sunflower is up to my

By sandra clark

my sunflower is up to my second story window, head is tilted down, not turning black yet/ weather here is 70's during the day and 40-50's at night. when will the seeds turn black? what do i do if it does not turn at all?

It is common that sunflower

By Almanac Staff

It is common that sunflower blossoms on tall stalks get heavy and tilt over. You can leave it as is or try to stake the plant to protect it from wind and heavy rain.

My favorite flower of all

By ryanne elaine

My favorite flower of all times is the Sunflower.... ALL of them!!!! B-)

We used to have a birdfeeder

By Elaine Parhamovich

We used to have a birdfeeder out back until the racoons discovered it, so we took it down. The feeder had been there 15 years, so lots of seeds overflowed into a pile for years. This year we got a pleasant surprise when the sunflower plants began to grow. We now have one that's around 10 feet tall and exploding with flowers. I don't see what looks like a sunflower seed on any of the blooms. My question is how do we ensure we'll have sunflowers again next year in that same spot? Will they just sprout on their own or do we need to help? At what point do we cut the stalks down? Thanks so much!

Most sunflowers are annuals

By Almanac Staff

Most sunflowers are annuals and do not grow back next year. If more seeds fall, however, they will germinate and grow again!

Thank you! We've enjoyed our

By Elaine Parhamovich

Thank you! We've enjoyed our sunflower plants so much that we'll just have to get some seeds into the ground next spring to ensure we have them again. Thanks!

Is there a way to preserve

By Juli Meador

Is there a way to preserve the sunflower head? We have a wedding in October and wanted to preserve the sunflowers from our garden for the wedding.
Thank you

Yes, you can preserve the

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you can preserve the sunflowers using silica gel crystals. They should be available (with step-by-step instructions) at any craft store.

In Michigan, I grew some

By Steve P.

In Michigan, I grew some mammoth's in my front yard with great success. They got 10 to 12 feet high with flowers. How deep do the roots grow on these?

To support the height of the

By Almanac Staff

To support the height of the sunflower the roots grow very deep and spread out under the soil. Some sunflower roots grow 4 to 5 feet deep.

I just purchased sunflower

By Phyllis Hambelton

I just purchased sunflower seeds and had questions which have mostly been answered by the forum above. However; I have one question I hope you can help with: I live in San Diego County, CA with year around growing and blooming. Will my future sunflowers keep blooming or do they have a cut off date for blooming? Also, I am sowing the seeds along my driveway which has continuous sunshine so I am wondering what else I need to plant in that particular spot with the sunflowers to avoid the "bald" look after the end of the sunflowers. I was rather hoping I would have sunflowers forwever....

Sunflowers go through a cycle

By Almanac Staff

Sunflowers go through a cycle of growing, blooming and setting seeds. After the seed heads have developed you can save the seeds and remove the plants. To have continuous bloom you need to stagger the plantings. Plant seeds about every 10 days. Try different varieties. Plant tall sunflowers in the back and shorter varieties in the front. Good luck!

CAN I USER THE SEEDS FROM

By GUISEPPI

CAN I USER THE SEEDS FROM SUNFLOWER TO PLANT FOR NEXTED SUMMER????

Yes, definitely. Keep the

By Mary Croes

Yes, definitely. Keep the biggest and eat the est. Then plant in a different spot next year.

One of my sunflowers that was

By Mary Croes

One of my sunflowers that was in full bloom is missing! It was snapped off right under the flower base. Who or what would do that? I can't find it anywhere.
This is a big puzzle for me.

Lots of animals enjoy eating

By Almanac Staff

Lots of animals enjoy eating sunflowers such as deer, rabbits, skunks, raccoons, and squirrels.

I have several mammoth sun

By Kathleen Andersen

I have several mammoth sun flowers and the first one to bloom had drooped and started turning yellow. The seeds were large and have a grey stripe. I cut the head and am drying it but when I open the hull, I see no kernel? I have checked in different spots. How can this happen?

Seeds are ready for harvest

By Almanac Staff

Seeds are ready for harvest when the backs of the sunflower heads have turned brown. Sometimes you have to wait for frost. Also, the heads have to be completely dry before harvesting seeds.

i have planted all sorts of

By jill buirke

i have planted all sorts of seeds some potted and some in soil. I have rows of them some needed help because of too much wind and rain , next year willl relocate them , but o only see one tall one and the rest dont look like they will bloom. did i do something wrong? too much messing with them from keeping them from not falling , and when you say cut them do you cut the bad leaves off?

Some varieties bloom later in

By Almanac Staff

Some varieties bloom later in the summer. Make sure that the plants get enough sun and have good support. You can remove the brown and wilted leaves. You can cut the sunflower heads off when the seeds are starting to dry or leave them on the plants for the birds to enjoy. In the fall remove the plants and start with new seeds next spring.

i have ginormous sunflowers

By Patricia P.

i have ginormous sunflowers the heads are to....so when they're all dried up do you pull all of it out of the ground? i can see why you could use the stock for kindling. thanks good iinfo!!

Assuming you have an "annual"

By Almanac Staff

Assuming you have an "annual" sunflower: After the big sunflower heads droop down, the seeds will dry out and you can harvest them or watch the wildlife enjoy them. Once it's done, you can pull the plant if you wish.
For perennials (which come back), you'd cut back the foliage after frost kills it back.

We planted the sunflower

By SandySunflower

We planted the sunflower about 2 months ago too close to our porch and need to move it. It is HUGE. Will we kill it by trying to move it? If not, how do we do it?

The sunflower is probably a

By Almanac Staff

The sunflower is probably a hybrid and won't transplant if it's nearly grown. Sunflowers are annuals so it won't last beyond this season. Just plant new seeds next season in the preferred location.

Mt first year planting

By Dawn F

Mt first year planting sunflowers. I have a few varieties.I noticed the blooms did not last very long. Do I cut the dead bloom off? Do more blooms grow from cutting? there are several more blooms starting down the plant. Just unsure how to attend to flowers who have lost their petals. Leave them or cut them? Thanks

The sunflower has one head.

By Almanac Staff

The sunflower has one head. The flower generally lasts a while. Generally, the bloom lasts a few weeks. When it dies down, you can simply snip the head off the plant if you wish. Many people like to harvest the sunflower seeds. The heads will be ready to harvest when the back of the head has turned brown. After you snip the head, rub the seeds out by hand.

My sunflowers have more than

By TheApproach

My sunflowers have more than one head. They have 3. One large bloom, and 2 smaller blooms immediately behind it. They are an heirloom variety. Should I be snipping off the larger bloom when it starts to sag? Or leave it there until its completely dried up? If so, will this inhibit the growth of the smaller blooms behind it? I noticed the large blooms aren't lasting very long. Is this normal?

It will help the smaller

By Almanac Staff

It will help the smaller flowers if you snip off the big flower head when it starts to wilt. If you want seeds leave it on the plant.

My wife and I have several

By Adam Howe

My wife and I have several sunflowers that grew any where from 15 to 30 heads, we call them mutant sunflowers. Cool huh.

I'm having my wedding august

By kayleigh hershey

I'm having my wedding august 1st next year and would love to do sunflowers. what type of sunflower would be in full blossom at that time?

There are many many varieties

By Almanac Staff

There are many many varieties of sunflowers--from container size to mammoth.  Planting sunflower can begin anytime after soils have warmed to 50°F. If planted in early June, the large sunflowers (Helianthus annuus L.) in our area will be in full bloom after about two months in early August. For the timing of your wedding, you probably want to find a midseason bloomer versus an early or late bloomer. Check the seed packets to get an idea of how long it takes to get a plant into full bloom. Then back out from there.  We would stagger plantings to ensure you hit the right date.

ya my class played sunflowers

By Christina Jerri Lawrence

ya my class played sunflowers again because are other owns died last year

My grandson has grown from

By Goodie

My grandson has grown from seed two sunflowers, they are in a small pot, I said I would repot it for him. What type of pot do you sugest ?

You need deep pots so that

By Almanac Staff

You need deep pots so that the roots have room to grow. Make sure that the pots have drainage holes.

I have grown sunflowers for

By zoo

I have grown sunflowers for many years but...

The last three years they are not doing well no matter what type I plant. Most of the flowers have very few petals. Some have petals on one side of the flower but not the other. They also do not have as many flowers. But the deformity of the petals is the real problem. Any ideas?

Over-watering sunflowers can

By Almanac Staff

Over-watering sunflowers can sometimes cause deformed seed heads. But it sounds more like a disease or an insect problem. Sunflower seed maggots can get into the buds and deform the flowers. Check your flowers for bug activity.
Aster yellows is a disease that is spread by six-spotted leafhoppers and can result in misshapen heads and petal formation.
Try crop rotation next year by planting your sunflower seeds in a different spot in your garden where you haven't grown them before.

I am glad I found this forum.

By Crystal Cooke

I am glad I found this forum. My kids all wanted to feed the birds so my husband bought them some bird seed mix. And about 2 weeks after they started to feed the birds I noticed A single Black Russian Sunflower growing and tons of barley. LOL I was just curious as to what it was supposed to look like and a general maturing range. It stands about 4'9". It has done pretty well on its own. I do water it some but it does not seem to like a lot of water. Thank you for all the tips and updated. :-)

Black Russian is a native

By Almanac Staff

Black Russian is a native sunflower with a big beautiful flower. You may need to stake the plant when the flower matures. It matures in about 65 days and the seeds are edible.
Enjoy!!

My winter birds left a

By Mary Janson

My winter birds left a present for me this year by leaving the best of the sunflower seeds to grow for me this summer. What a surprise! the flowers are about 7" wide and full of sunflower seeds. They are hanging low and heavy and I was wondering if I could cut the top flowers off (and hang them upside down to dry as I read earlier in a post) as there are new flower sprouts on the lower part of the stalk. Thank you so much for your time and help.

If the seeds look mature you

By Almanac Staff

If the seeds look mature you can cut the flowers off and hang them to dry. This will help the other flowers on the stalk to grow bigger.
 

I have two sunflower plants

By Jan Imp

I have two sunflower plants that were doing very well, with one large flower and several smaller ones. But, the pots were very small so we repotted them into larger containers. Immediately, the large flowers closed and we thought it was due to the repotting and they'd reopen. They have not. Now, they appear to be drying out and dying. All flowers are dying. Leaves appear to be yellowing and drooping. What happened? What can we do to revive the plants? Help Please!!

Why you did delete my

By Nick Mutti

Why you did delete my question here ? I try to ask question and hope you understand what I said and I have hard to explain to say something my grammar cause I'm deaf, I tried to ask you for question about my sunflower seed, please I need help that's all and this is my first time for sunflower seed plants I don't have experience before, please help to understand and I will be happy to take care of it, Thanks

I'm not clear what being deaf

By bxk

I'm not clear what being deaf has to do with reading with your eyes. Read this page. It's an introduction to tell you how to grow sunflowers.

Nick, We apologize if your

By Almanac Staff

Nick, We apologize if your comment was deleted. Sometimes, it's easy to hit the wrong button. We are not clear what your question is. The page above provides information on how to grow sunflowers. If you have a specific problem, we and the Almanac community are happy to try and help. 

hello, It's interesting to

By Joker

hello,

It's interesting to note that it says to make sure not to water too much, but my sunflowers are droopy if I skip a day, One in particular seems to be a prima donna, if I don't water her everyday, she gets droopy. I'm not sure what variety they are, but they have many smaller flowers (about 4-5 inches) and are about 5 foot tall right now. there also seems to be some type of insect that is eating the leaves, I'd like to figure out how to get rid of them! thanks!

Moths, beetles, and weevils

By Almanac Staff

Moths, beetles, and weevils all eat sunflower plants. Try spraying the leaves with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. You can also try wiping or spraying the leaves with a solution of water and a few drops of mild liquid dish soap.

This is our 2nd year planting

By Jill Dombrowski

This is our 2nd year planting Russian Mammoth and giant mammoth sunflowers. 1st year very successful, thus year, so so. Our flower heads have grown nice and big, but they are so heavy they are drooping and the stalk hasn't grown as thick. Any reason why this happened???? Help.

The first question has to be:

By Almanac Staff

The first question has to be: are the sunflowers in the same spot they were last year? If so, that's the source of your problem. Like edible plants, sunflowers benefit from crop rotation. This results in fewer bugs and diseases, and more nutritious soil.

First time I have done

By betts

First time I have done sunflowers in my garden
.Almost 10 ft high. I wonder when will they bloom or how tall will they get? i did this from seed. Its been fun.

First time growing from seed!

By Joni Lynn

First time growing from seed! planted in june- today aug 18- one bloomed! about 4ft plant-otherone is 6 ft hasnt bloomed yet-its been fun-watching and watering them- sunny florida here

Great! We love sunflowers,

By Almanac Staff

Great! We love sunflowers, too.  There are many varieties with different heights and bloom time. It's perfectly normal for sunflowers to be late bloomers. Check the seed pack to see the "days to maturity" to know when they'll bloom. As a first-timer, it may also help you to read the comments below.

This is my first year with

By Cindy Mosley

This is my first year with sunflowers and so far I have about 80 buds on three different plants.6 flowers are opened but one is losing its petals is this normal?

There are a variety of

By Almanac Staff

There are a variety of reasons why petals may dropping. Some of the flower varieties do not last long. As soon as the bees pollinate the flowers, the petals fall off.

My birds plant all my

By Marguerite Russell

My birds plant all my sunflowers. I have one that has about 16 flowers on one stem. Is this unusual ? It's awesome.

We often have sunflowers

By Almanac Staff

We often have sunflowers spring up in our pathways near the bird feeder! Birds drop the sunflower seeds on their way to/from the feeder and leave these lovely surprises. Sunflowers really do grow easily in the right conditions. Enjoy!

My sunflower plants are about

By cpv

My sunflower plants are about 7 feet tall and have not bloomed yet. Is there something I should be doing for them to bloom? I live in Michigan.

Some varieties don't bloom

By Almanac Staff

Some varieties don't bloom until late summer. Check your seed packet for days to maturity. Most sunflower varieties have a maturity between 75 and 110 days. Also, do not overdo the nitrogen fertilizer because that will delay flowering.

I'm growing a sunflower in my

By STEFF

I'm growing a sunflower in my garden, it's about 3 feet tall and it has no flower yet, I've noticed that when more leaves grow higher, the lower down ones die, is this normal?

Yes, it's normal for lower

By Almanac Staff

Yes, it's normal for lower leaves to die as the plant puts energy into growing. Make sure your sunflowers aren't being watered too much or having drainage issues.

I planted several sunflowers

By Harriet Harris

I planted several sunflowers and this morning I found all the top leaves gone! (They are 10

inches tall). The stems are still intact but can the plant still grow without the top leaves?

It sounds as if you have deer

By Almanac Staff

It sounds as if you have deer in your area? They love the tender leaves at the top. We can't predict its survival but we can tell you to get deer fencing if you want to protect your sunflowers!

my kids have some sunflowers

By tim morton

my kids have some sunflowers (they were having a sunflower'race'!)which were growing inside. however they are now about 8ft tall and I have had to put them outside - still in their pots as don't have the ground to plant them.
1. will they survive? they seem a bit flimsy!
2. there are 4 plants, but in transporting them, one bent double cracking the stem. It has been splinted and has survived for a couple of days so far, but can the survive this?

many thanks for any advice offered.

if u have no place to plant

By brian koffen

if u have no place to plant them then get the biggest pots you can find

Great idea to have a

By Almanac Staff

Great idea to have a sunflower race!! Can you support the stems somehow? Put them against a fence or a wall, or put stakes in the ground and tie string to the stakes. The splinted sunflower may survive but it all depends on how big the crack is.

The top of my flowers are

By Roman Conrad

The top of my flowers are being cut off, as though with a pair of shears. The plants are about 2-3 feet tall. Doesn't appear to be by birds, and aren't many deer around. Any thoughts ?

There are many critters and

By Almanac Staff

There are many critters and insects that love sunflowers. Squirrels, woodchucks, possums and raccoons all can destroy a row of sunflowers quickly. Stem weevils and longhorned beetles can do damage to the stalks. Do you see any signs on the ground of chewed sunflower?

I need sunflowers that will

By Crazy Pete

I need sunflowers that will be in flower in 60 days. My daughter in getting married in 60 days, we planted sunflowers and they were about 2 1/2 feet tall. When the farmer that owns the field next to them sprayed his crops they got sprayed as well. Now I need some that will be in bloom in 60 days, that is what she wanted for the background.

There are many varieties that

By Almanac Staff

There are many varieties that mature in 60 days or less. Firecracker (55days), Big Smile (50-60 days) and all the ProCut varieties are quick maturing (50-60 days). Go to an online seed catalog and search for sunflowers. Good luck.

I just bought about 20

By Pam Robinson

I just bought about 20 sunflowers that are about 2 ft hi and have 1 flower on top and more buds just opening.I planted them between my chain link fence and my driveway. It has been 90 and humid in Albany NY all week. The leaves are drooping every day so I have been watering them every day. The top flower on most look like they are dying. Should I just cut them off?? It'll break my heart if I kill them.

Keep watering. If the flowers

By Almanac Staff

Keep watering. If the flowers on top don't recover cut them off and hopefully the other buds will open and be OK. Your plants need a bit of time to get used to the heat and new location.

Hello I enjoyed your article

By Gillotti

Hello I enjoyed your article on the Sunflowers.
Learned a lot from your information .
I have hundreds growing under the bird feeder.
I pick some of them and put in salads.
I heard they are very good for you.
Thank you

Loving sunflowers I sowed

By Regina M. Gibson

Loving sunflowers I sowed sunflower seeds for the birds. Over fifty have grown to now blooming. Most have only one flower but I have one sunflower stalk that has a dozen blooming flowers! How did this happen or why did one out of all to have twelve blooms on one stalk? It is amazing and can't wait for this one to open all its blooms out. Gina

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