Growing Sunflowers Together

 A Guest piece written by Henry, founder of Herboo grow a sunflower with your child 
Growing sunflowers from seeds can be a great way to get your little ones thinking about growing. There are many types, from Giant Sunflowers, tall and crisp to Dwarf varieties like Teddy Bear Sunflowers that are fluffy pom poms. They’re a colourful landmark for any space and great to grow with little gardeners and watch as the flower heads follow the sun across the sky. 

 

Each variety is of course different and good to check your packet. Generally speaking, Sunflower are sown from mid-April to the end of May. They’re an annual plant and will usually flower in August.  

 

Gather together 

  • Sunflower seed packet 
  • Pot 
  • Soil 
  • Trowel  
  • Plant label + pencil 

 

How to grow sunflowers from seeds 

The easiest way is to start the sunflowers off inside so they get a bit of extra warmth, but you can sow sunflowers straight into the ground, in a clear, weed free raked soil 10cm apart. 

 

  1. Take a 10cm pot, filled with damp soil and make a small nested hole just over 1cm deep.  
  2. Place a single seed in each hole and cover with soil. 
  3. Cover the pot with clear bag or place into a greenhouse or covered seed tray.  
  4. They should germinate after 7 days, when you have 2 big leaves, take off the covering. 
  5. Water gently as they grow, you can use a mister as to not dislodge or over water the seeds. 
  6. Start hardening off the sprouts, taking them outside during the day and back in at night, do this for 2 weeks. 
  7. Plant out the sprouts in May around 45cm apart after the last frost in clear weed free soil. Snails and slugs love to snack on little sprouts, so you may want to cover with a cut off used plastic bottle. 
  8. Feed with fertiliser twice, once in mid-June and again in August. Stake plants that need support to stop them flopping or swaying that are exposed from wind.  

 

Growing in pots

Sunflowers in pots is totally possible, the dwarf varieties such as Teddy Bear Sunflower work really well. If you want to go for giant sunflowers, it is still doable, but you’ll need a large, deep container (around 35cm). 

 

Although all varieties are different, the general rule of thumb for growing sunflowers in pots is to give them full direct sunlight and be in well-drained soil so be sure your pots have good drainage holes.  

 

Tips for growing sunflowers in pots 

  • Add a layer of drainage to the bottom of the pot (broken bits of terracotta, bit of gravel). 
  • Keep an eye on watering as they will dry out more rapidly than in the ground, water when the top inch feels dry.  

 

There are lots of different varieties to grow out there, we’ve got two in our collection of seeds.  

Giant Sunflowers – large single yellow flowers on towering 2m long stems, flowering from June to August. 

Teddy Bear Sunflower – an annual dwarf variety with pompom like fluffy flowers.

 

You can learn more or pickup your sunflower seeds at www.herboo.com

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