How to Grow and Care for Sunflowers 

May 03, 2023 3 min read

How to Grow and Care for Sunflowers 

Sunflowers are an iconic flower that everyone has a vivid image of in their mind. The most popular type is the bright, oversized yellow flowers that are vibrant and captivating. They do come in a variety of colors, however the most familiar are the flowers with yellow petals, which can grow very big to a few feet tall. They have fuzzy stems, with beautiful long leaves and yellow petals. They usually have a black, orange or other warm colored flower head that is surrounded by the vibrant petals. In the flower head are where flowers bloom and develop into sunflower seeds that are a popular snack. 

Grow Sunflowers in Your Garden

You can purchase sunflower seeds from a garden center to plant them in your garden. They are perennial or annual depending on the type of area and region they are grown in. There are vital steps in preparing and growing sunflowers in your garden to extend their longevity and lifespan. We have provided a list of the important factors to consider and care to provide when planting sunflowers in your garden.

Choose the correct spot

Sunflowers love the sun and require a lot of sunlight when they are planted and growing. Choose a spot in your garden that you know will receive multiple hours (6-8 hours) of sunshine a day. They can be grown along the side of a fence or to create a border, or simply to liven up your garden with beautiful color. There are sunflowers that come in yellow, maroon, orange and brown. Sunflowers will grow and bloom into the fall season to provide these warm colors all season. 

Planting Sunflowers

These flowers are not particular about the soil they are placed in regarding pH balance and acidity, however it is important that the soil is well-draining so the roots of the flower can grow down and create support as it gets tall. Plant a hole that is many inches deep, and it is recommended to add organic compost with the soil. They will need to be watered consistently and thoroughly. Taller sunflowers need space and should be planted a couple feet apart from one another. 

After Planting Care

Luckily for all gardeners, sunflowers are low maintenance as they can handle heat and resist pests. They do however require moist soil which will make them grow the healthiest. You can also add a liquid fertilizer to the soil. When watering the flowers, stay a few inches (3-5) away from the stems to prevent any dew or fungal disease.

How To Cut Sunflowers

When you cut sunflowers early in the morning, it will provide the best opportunity for the freshest flowers that have not been within high heat and sun temperatures. Use a sharp knife or scissor clippers to cut the ends at a diagonal angle, before placing them in a vase. The vase must be a good size to support the stems and filled with warm water. This water must be changed daily, and flowers must be kept in a cooler part of the house away from sunlight. 

Dry Sunflowers to Make Seeds

Sunflower seeds are a popular snack, especially in the summer time or when going to a cottage. Anybody can easily harvest these seeds from the sunflowers that they plant. It is expected that the taller and bigger sunflowers are better to receive seeds than those sunflowers that are smaller. Nearing the end of the season, the flowers' leaves begin to change color and petals start wilting, the seeds should be a brown color and ready to harvest. 

Start by cutting the top of the flower and setting them hanging to dry for approximately 5 days. They should be kept sheltered away from any interference  including birds. After the days go by, you can begin to rub the seeds off of the flowers with a glove or small tool to collect them in a bowl. You then spread the seeds all apart for air circulation and pick any remains that don’t belong. The seeds should then sit overnight to fully dry and then they are set to enjoy. Harvesting your own sunflower seeds that are a healthy and enjoyable snack.


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