Grow Sunflowers from Seeds
Sunflowers are one of the most loved flowers for gardeners to plant because they are unbelievably cheerful. They're a great breed of flower, as they are fairly self-sufficient and need little care to thrive as long as they have access to a good source of sun. The following steps will show you how to grow these magnificent plants.
Step 1-Choosing the Right Sunflower
Sunflowers can grow to heights as tall as 20 feet, and the blooms can be nearly two feet in diameter! For this reason alone, picking the right sunflower for your space is very important. Sunflower seeds are separated by their size, with each having to be planted a certain distance from each other to thrive. The following chart will help you choose the right sunflower based on their size. There are many colors as well, so choose wisely.
- Miniature Sunflowers: Place 1 foot apart and in rows that are 3 feet apart
- Regular and Intermediate Sunflowers: Place 2 feet apart and in rows 3 feet apart
- Giant Sunflowers: Place 3 feet apart and in rows 4 feet apart.
Measure the size of your garden to determine the square footage. With this knowledge you'll know how many sunflowers you can safely plant by size.
Step 2-Sprouting Indoors
Sunflowers will grow perfectly from the seed if planted directly in the soil, as long as it is watered and has direct sunlight. Sprouting the sunflower in peat pots first could save you some headaches and give you a jump on the growing season.
Moisten your peat starter parts with a little water. You do not want too much water or the seed will not grow. Get the peat wet enough so that it is spongy to the touch. Remove about half of the peat from the pot and plant two sunflower seeds two inches apart. Lightly cover the seeds with soil then place a layer of plastic wrap on top of the seeds. Cover with the rest of the peat. Place the potted sunflower seeds by a window that gets a lot of sunlight.
In about two weeks you will notice that the sunflowers have begun to sprout. You only really want one sunflower per pot so remove the smallest sunflower. Water the seedlings on a regular basis and be sure to keep them in direct sunlight.
Step 3-Hardening Off the Seedlings
Since the sunflowers have been raised in a constant temperature, you need to prepare them for the "real world" by hardening off the seedlings. In the middle of May or early June begin placing the seedlings outside on a hard surface like your porch or patio. Each time you do this, keep them out longer for each time. Continue this process for about a week.
With the seedlings ready for the real world weather, you can now transplant them to your designated area. First, make a hole several inches down. Put the seedling, including the peat, in the hole. Cover with soil then water.