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Sunflower Seedlings

February 25, 2023

How to plant and grow sunflowers from seed

Sunflower seedlings are a true sign of summer. Sunflowers are a classic summer flower that bring a spot of cheery colour and life to any garden. Not only are they easy to grow, but they can also be a great way to bring beauty and joy to your outdoor space. In this blog post, we’ll look at how to grow sunflowers successfully and some of the benefits they can bring to your garden.

Growing Tips

Growing sunflowers is a great choice for any garden, as these bright and cheery flowers are easy to grow and provide beautiful, eye-catching blooms from late summer through the fall. Sunflowers thrive in full sun and well-drained soil, but even if your garden is a bit shady or your soil is on the heavy side, you can still have success with sunflowers. To ensure the best results, start with healthy, disease-free seed, give your sunflowers plenty of room to grow, and keep them well watered and fertilized.

Choosing Seeds

When it comes to growing sunflowers, there are many varieties to choose from, ranging from the classic yellow “mammoth” sunflower to the bright-colored double-bloom varieties. Decide whether you want a tall single stalk with a large bloom, or a more compact variety with multiple blooms. Some sunflower varieties are bred to be more resistant to pests and diseases, while others are bred to tolerate dry conditions or cooler temperatures. Consider how much space you have in your garden and pick a variety that will fit.

growing sunflowers with seeds
Teddy Bear sunflowers grown from seed. One of our favorites.

Sunflower Seed Buying Tips

When shopping for sunflower seeds, look for the word “certified” on the seed packet. Certified seeds have been tested for quality and are guaranteed to be disease-free. It’s also a good idea to check the expiration date to make sure the seeds are still viable. Check the germination rate on the packet; this will tell you how many of the seeds are likely to germinate. Here are some tips for buying: Buying Flower Seed.

When to Plant Sunflower Seedlings

Sunflowers are usually planted in late spring or early summer, after the last frost has passed. If you live in a warmer climate, you can plant sunflowers as early as mid-spring. Planting sunflowers in the early spring will give them more time to grow and produce larger blooms.

How Late Can You Plant Sunflowers?

If you live in a cooler climate and didn’t get around to planting your sunflowers in the spring, don’t worry. Sunflowers can be planted as late as late summer, as long as the temperature is warm enough. The key is to plant the seeds when the soil is warm, usually at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Where to Plant

Sunflowers need full sun to do their best, so look for a sunny spot in your garden that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Sunflowers will tolerate some shade, but they won’t bloom as profusely as they would in full sun.

How to Plant Sunflower Seeds

Plant sunflower seeds about 1/2 inch deep in the soil and water them well. Space the seeds about 6 to 8 inches apart, or according to the variety instructions on the seed packet. Sunflowers need plenty of space to grow, so if you’re planting multiple varieties, make sure to give them plenty of room.

Companion Planting

Sunflowers are great companions to many other garden plants, such as beans, corn, squash, and cucumbers. Planting sunflowers in the same area as these other plants helps to attract beneficial insects and deter pests.

Growing in Containers

Sunflowers can also be grown in containers. Choose a large container with good drainage, fill it with light, well-draining potting soil, and plant your seeds 1/2 inch deep. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy, and place the container in a sunny spot.

Pests and Diseases

Sunflowers can be susceptible to certain pests and diseases, such as aphids, powdery mildew, and rust. If you notice any of these problems, treat them right away with an appropriate pesticide or fungicide

Sunflower Seedling Care

Sunflowers need regular water to keep them healthy and growing. Water them deeply at least once a week, and more often during dry spells. For larger varieties, you may need to stake the plants to keep them from falling over.

Harvesting Sunflowers

When the back of the sunflowers turns brown, it’s time to harvest. Cut the stem at the base of the flower head and hang the sunflower upside down in a dry, dark place to finish drying. Once the flower head is completely dry, you can remove the seeds and enjoy them or save them for planting next year.

So, if you’re looking for a bright, easy to grow flower to bring life and colour to your outdoor space, then sunflowers may be the perfect choice for you. With the right care, you can enjoy the beauty of these cheerful blooms for weeks in the summertime.

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