SunFlower Plant (Seasonal Winter Flower)


Sunflowers say “summer” like no other plant. American natives, sunflowers are grow for beauty as well as harvested for seed. 

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SKU0485
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Sunflowers say “summer” like no other plant. American natives, sunflowers are grow for beauty as well as harvested for seed. 

An annual plant, sunflowers have big, daisylike flower faces of bright yellow petals (and occasionally red) and brown centers that ripen into heavy heads filled with seeds.

Tall and course, the plants have creeping or tuberous roots and large, bristly leaves. Some sunflowers grow to over 16 feet in height though there are also varieties today that have been developed for small spaces and containers.

Most sunflowers are remarkably tough and easy to grow as long as the soil is not waterlogged. Most are heat- and drought-tolerant. They make excellent cut flowers and many are attractive to bees and birds.

Learn more about why you should start growing these happy flowers in your garden.

Sunflowers Planting & Care   

 

·         Sunflowers grow best in locations with direct sun (6 to 8 hours per day); they prefer long, hot summers to flower well.

·         Sunflowers have long tap roots which need to stretch out so the plants prefer well-dug, loose, well-draining soil; in preparing a bed, dig down 2 feet in depth and about 3 feet across to ensure the soil isn’t too compact.

·         Find a well-drained location, and prepare your soil by digging an area of about 2-3 feet in circumference to a depth of about 2 feet.

·         Though they’re not too fussy, sunflowers thrive in slightly acidic to somewhat alkaline (pH 6.0 to 7.5).

·         Sunflowers are heavy feeders so the soil needs to be nutrient-rich with organic matter or composted (aged) manure. Or, work in a slow release granular fertilizer 8 inches deep into your soil.

·         If possible, put seeds in a spot that is sheltered from strong winds, perhaps along a fence or near a building.

·         Before planting, decide whether or not you want to grow a fun sunflower tower.

PLANTING SUNFLOWER SEEDS

·         It’s best to sow sunflower seeds directly into the soil after the danger of spring frost is past. Ideally, the soil temperature has reached 55 to 60 degrees F.

·         Give plants plenty of room, especially for low-growing varieties that will branch out. Make rows about 30 inches apart. (For very small varieties, plant closer together.)

·         Plant the large seeds no more than 1 inch deep about 6 inches apart after it has thoroughly warmed, from mid-April to late May. You can plant multiple seeds andthin them to the strongest contenders when the plants are six inches tall.

·         A light application of fertilizer mixed in at planting time will encourage strong root growth to protect them from blowing over in the wind.

·         Experiment with plantings staggered over 5 to 6 weeks to keep enjoying continuous blooms.

·         If you see birds scratching around for the seeds, spread netting over the planted area until seeds germinate.

CARE

·         While the plant is small, water around the root zone, about 3 to 4 in. from the plant. To protect the plant, it may help to put snail or slug bait around the ste

·         Once the plant is established, water deeply though infrequently to encourage deep rooting. Unless the weather is exceptionally wet or dry, water once a week with several gallons of water.

·         Feed plants only sparingly; overfertilization can cause stems to break in the fall. You can add diluted fertilizer into the water, though avoid getting the fertilizer near the plant’s base; it may help to build a moat in a circle around the plant about 18 inches out.

·         Tall species and cultivars require support. Bamboo stakes are a good choice for any plant that has a strong, single stem and needs support for a short period of time.

PESTS/DISEASES

·         Birds and squirrels will show interest in the seeds. if you plan to use the seeds, deter critters with barrier devices. As seed heads mature and flowers droop, you can cover each one with white polyspun garden fleece.

·         If you have deer, keep them at bay with a tall wire barrier.

·         Sunflowers are relatively insect-free. A small gray moth sometimes lays its eggs in the blossoms. Pick the worms from the plants.

·         Downy mildew, rust, and powdery mildew can also affect the plants. If fungal diseases are spotted early, spray with a general garden fungicide. 

 

 

 

SKU0485

Data sheet

Height
0.5 ft to 8ft