How to Grow Sunflowers

Who can resist feeling happy or hopeful when staring into the face of a bright sunflower? Very easy to grow, attracts beneficial insects and birds, edible seeds, and beautiful, uplifting flowers.

Botanical Information

Taxonomy

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Helianthus

from Wikipedia

History

Physical Description

Varieties & Cultivars

Categories or Types of Sunflowers

Sunflowers are classified according to what purposed they are grown. Some fall into multiple categories. And although all of them produce flowers, and would be considered ornamental, only the most ornamental earn the “ornamental designation. Here are the categories:

  • Ornamental
  • Seeds
  • Oil

Colors Available

  • Yellows (lightest lemon yellow all the way to dark golden yellow)
  • Oranges
  • Reds (red to almost black-red)
  • Tiger’s Eye: not a color, but a pattern showing one color around the center, and a lighter color toward the outside of the petals

Varietal Notes

Personal records & notes on Sunflower Varieties

Growth Requirements

Climate & Temperature Requirements

Air Temperature

  • prefers warm weather BG
  • tolerates hot weather well BG

Soil Temperature

Humidity

Day Length or Light Requirements

Needs full sun BG

Site Conditions Favored

Soil Requirements

Soil Texture

  • prefers a light loam BG
  • does best if well-dug BG

pH

Nutrient Requirements

Propagation

Timing

Plant seeds in the spring for flowers & seed in mid- to late-summer

Methods of propagation

Seed

  • Favored method of propagation
  • best to be started outdoors after danger of frost has past BG
  • can also be started indoors in flats 3-4 weeks before last frost BG
  • germination takes 7-14 days BG

Division

Not a viable form of propagation

Cuttings

?? never tried…

Transplanting or Potting Up

  • can be transplanted, but best to start outdoors BG
  • no need to up-pot

Seed Saving

  • great plant for seed saving
  • very easy
  • see Harvest section for how to harvest seeds

Planting Out

Bed Prep & Soil Amendments

Bed Spacing

Row Spacing

Planting Depth

  • 1/4″ deep BG

Alternative Bed Methods

  • BioIntensive: equidistantly 9″ or 24″ (depending on variety or type) BG HGMV 

Container Gardening

Routine Cultivation & Maintenance

Water Requirements

  • for best flower display, make sure it doesn’t get dry enough to wilt BG

Fertilization Recommendations

  • for best flower display, fertilize well BG

Mulching & Weeding

Pinching or Pruning & Dividing

Support

  • sometimes stakes and string are needed to hold up the tall stems & heavy flower heads

Winterizing

Companion Planting

Sunflowers are a great addition to a garden because they, along with many other composite flowers, attract predatory insects and pollinators. HGMV

Helpful Companions

Harmful Companions

Companion to..

Antagonist to…

Pests, Diseases & Problems

Common Pests

Common Diseases

Symptoms

Whole Plant

Leaves

Stem/Trunk

Flowers

Fruit

Roots

Harvesting & Storage

Edible Parts of the Plant

Yield

Days to Harvest / Harvest Timing

Harvest Methods

Storage of harvest

Fresh

Canned

Frozen

Pickled

Dried

Cooking

Nutritional Benefits & Values

Toxicity

Cooking

Preparation

Cooking Methods

Recipes (link to …/category/recipes/tag/[plantname])

Resources

Information for this article was taken from these sources:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.