Sunflowers are one of the most well-loved flowers of late summer and early Autumn. Their large blooms and bright colours set them apart from other flowers of the season. They're recognized by their tall stature, growing from 1 foot to 16 feet tall. Whether you're growing this unique flower to brighten up your garden or hoping to use them as cut flowers in a stunning Sunflower Bouquet, here are some sunflower care tips that will keep your flowers growing healthy and strong.
When sowing sunflower seeds, ensure you select a variety that suits your specific requirements. If you intend to harvest sunflower seeds, opt for a variety that yields a larger quantity. For a compact backyard container garden, consider a smaller variety that remains at a manageable height. If your goal is to cultivate sunflowers for cutting, particularly for a sunflower summer arrangement, prioritize varieties specifically bred for their aesthetic appeal.
Sunflowers flourish in warm climates, displaying resilience to both heat and drought. Optimal growth occurs when they receive six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily. The higher the temperature, the greater the likelihood of blooming. Ensure that you plant your sunflower seeds in a location abundantly bathed in natural sunlight.
Sunflowers thrive in soil with effective drainage and resistance to waterlogging. The soil's loose composition is essential, providing ample space for the roots to expand outward and delve deep. If taproots face obstacles in proper growth, these tall flowers may struggle with an unstable foundation, making them more susceptible to strong winds. In windy locales, it's advisable to plant sunflowers strategically, such as along a south-facing wall or fence, offering them additional protection.
When sowing sunflower seeds in outdoor soil, it's advisable to plant them two weeks before the anticipated last frost. While sunflowers can tolerate some cold conditions, planting them too early might lead to freezing and hinder growth.
When establishing your sunflower seeds in the soil, dig a hole that ranges from 1 inch to 2 inches in depth. The method of planting depends on the size of the desired flower. For smaller, bouquet-sized blooms, space the seeds approximately 6 inches apart. In the case of a larger variety, consider a spacing of about a foot between each seed. To ensure successful growth, you can sow multiple seeds in one location, facilitating thinning of the blooms if necessary, later on. After planting, thoroughly water the seeds, but exercise caution to avoid waterlogging. With successful planting, you can anticipate sprouting within seven to 10 days.
For a more diverse garden, try planting a few varieties. Create rows with the smallest variety in the front and tallest in the back. You can also attempt to stagger out your seed planting so that you plant some every few weeks. This will create continuous sunflowers blooms that you’ll be able to enjoy all season long.
After your seeds are planted, the first weeks before the plant is established are crucial. Maintaining consistent care and attention will allow your sunflower to grow to its full potential.
Although sunflowers are drought and heat-tolerant, they still require frequent watering. As the plant begins to grow, it will need to be watered around the root zone, which is 3–4 inches away from the stem. Sunflower seedlings should be watered daily so the soil is moist but not soaked. As the sunflowers become established, they can be watered once a week. This watering is infrequent but it should be a deep watering that uses several gallons of water.
Sunflowers don’t need fertilizer unless your soil is poor in nutrients. If this is the case, add a slow-release fertilizer or compost on top of the soil. Avoid adding any too close to the plant’s base. Adding fertilizer to already healthy soil can produce too much nitrogen and cause the stems to break or a delay in blooming.
When growing sunflowers, look out for slugs, snails, birds and deer. Slugs and snails can be warded off with repellants. If birds take an interest in your sunflower seeds, cover the plants. To fend off any deer, create a tall wire barrier or fence around the garden.
If your sunflower leaves turn yellow and shrink, your soil is probably too moist. Clay or waterlogged soil can cause this fungus and infected plants won’t produce flowers. If this happens, remove the infected leaves and reduce your watering.
Some larger sunflowers or multi-branched varieties may need assistance to stand tall. If your sunflowers start to droop, tie them to a stake or sturdy support. This is necessary for plants that are in windy locations as well.
One common use for sunflowers is harvesting them for their delicious seeds. These seeds are prized for their nutritional benefits, containing vitamin E, B-1 and the mineral copper. They are prepared and enjoyed in a variety of different meals.
Sunflowers are delightful blossoms that bring joy in various ways. Request a sunflower bouquet for your Simply Seasonal and bring sunshine and joy to someone's day today.