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Growing Sunflower

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
        P P            

(Best months for growing Sunflower in USA - Zone 5a regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 12 inches apart
  • Harvest in 10-11 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Cucumbers, Melons, Sweetcorn, Squash
  • Avoid growing close to: Potatoes
  • Young plants
    Young plants

Large showy flowers, available in a variety of colours Giant or Russian varieties are best for seed production

Sunflowers do not like to be transplanted.

Grow to 1 - 2 metres (4 - 6 ft) so need staking or protection from the wind. Protect the seed heads from birds when ripening.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Sunflower

Use seeds fresh or toasted

Your comments and tips

07 Sep 08, Jaci (Australia - temperate climate)
Sunflower seeds are very easy to grow. I have grown them for a few years for looks, but being a very experimental gardener, I plan this year on growing them to semi-support my tomato plants. I have a few varieties but have chosen the Giant Russian variety to take on this job. They not only look great in the vegie patch, they attract bees and produce lots of seeds (for eating). I'll just have to watch it that the birds will help themselves to the seeds (and the tomatoes).
15 Sep 08, tripperx (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I get a 2 kg packet of sunflower seeds from the pet food shop and plant them in neglected parts of the garden. I find them easy to grow and people always comment on them.
17 Sep 08, gareth (Australia - temperate climate)
sunflower seeds are great for a snack and are extremly good for you perhaps grow 3-4 plants they also look attractive
04 Mar 09, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hello fellow sunflower lovers I have grown a dozen this summer .... but the birds always get to them before the seeds can ripen. Are there any tricks to ripening 'off-stalk' so to speak? I don't want to net them - it seems silly. Thanks Nash
10 Mar 09, Beattie (Australia - tropical climate)
Do you have to do anything to the seeds once they are taken from the plants before they are eaten???
03 Aug 09, Samantha (Australia - temperate climate)
I purchase sunflower seeds by the 3kg bag for the lorikeets in my garden, can these seeds be sown or have they been 'treated'?
14 Aug 09, Norma (Australia - temperate climate)
I don't think the bird seeds are treated... I put a dish out now and then for the birds and they are such messy eaters, they scatter the seeds all over the place. We currently have quite a nice patch of sunflowers with flowers just about to open under where the plate is on the fence. We have now decided to invest in a bag to plant along the back fence.
26 Aug 09, ian robertson (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello all, i am a high school teacher at urrbrae ag hs down in adelaide. We have a class project to grow sunflowers. I have been allocated a good size plot. I want to make sure i get the correct variety..i want to grow the sunflowers which reach up to 5-6 feet and i would like advice on growing them. we are selling them to raise money for kids cancer and we are making a short film to go with it.
16 Aug 11, David Costa (United Kingdom - cool/temperate climate)
Hi, I own a flower shop in the UK and a customer of ours has aksed to deliver some cut sunflowers to an address in Port Melbourne, Victoria. Our suppliers say that they are completely unavailable as it is winter. Is this the case? Or can someone help and point me in the right direction? Many thanks
19 Aug 11, florence (Australia - arid climate)
Hello, I m going to grow some nice sunflowers which are called sunfola (the one used for the oil which has edible seeds)... I know that is not the same but if your client is really ''on'' the sunflower idea, perhaps could he just send seeds? This is just the time to saw them (because we are just coming out the winter in here!) ... sorry :) I buy my seeds at EDEN SEEDS in Australia-. They is the mammoth (big one, over 300mm), the yellow empress, (with a large sized head)and the giant russian. GOod luck!! French living in Qld- Australia.
Showing 1 - 10 of 78 comments

Hi, I own a flower shop in the UK and a customer of ours has aksed to deliver some cut sunflowers to an address in Port Melbourne, Victoria. Our suppliers say that they are completely unavailable as it is winter. Is this the case? Or can someone help and point me in the right direction? Many thanks

- David Costa

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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