How to grow sunflowers
Sunflowers can be yellow, dark red or orange and are easy to grow from seed – here's how
- Sow seeds in spring
- Common Name
You might want to choose a tall variety of sunflower such as ‘American Giant’, which can reach up to 4m tall, or a sunflower that is a little smaller such as ‘Teddy Bear’ (60–90 cm) or ‘Big Smile’ (30 cm).
Sunflowers like to grow in full sun in well-drained soil.
When to grow
See individual seed packets for details. Sunflowers are mainly sown from mid-April to the end of May. They are an annual plant and will flower in August.
What you need
- Choose a packet of sunflower seeds – remember to look to see how tall it might grow
- Gardening gloves
- A rake
- A trowel
- Plant label and pencil
How to grow
- Sunflowers can be sown straight in to the ground where they are going to flower, so make sure the space you are going to sow is weed free, by using a trowel to remove the weeds.
- Rake the soil to a fine tilth (a fine crumbly texture) and make some drills 12mm deep. Leave a 10cm space between each seed.
- Place the seed in carefully and cover them up with soil. Don’t forget to water the seeds gently. As they grow, if the plants are crowded, then thin them out to about 45cm apart leaving the strongest, tallest plants.
- Be careful, as slugs and snails like to eat the new shoots. You may like to protect the seedlings by cutting the top off a plastic bottle and placing it over your seedlings.
- As your sunflower begins to grow taller than you, you will need to help support the stem, by placing a cane near the stem and loosely tying the cane to the plant with string.
- In dry weather, give your plant a good watering.
- Watch your sunflower grow and grow and grow.