Growing Sunflower

helianthus annuus : Asteraceae / the daisy family

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 10°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 20 - 45 cm apart
  • Harvest in 10-11 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Cucumbers, Melons, Sweetcorn, Squash
  • Avoid growing close to: Potatoes
  • Sunflowers
  • Young plants

Sunflowers need full sun and grow best in fertile, well-drained, moist soil with plenty of mulch. Sunflowers do not like to be transplanted so are best grown direct from seed. The giant or Russian varieties are preferred for seed production

Grow to 1 - 2 metres (4 - 6 ft) so need staking or protection from the wind. Protect seed heads from birds when ripening with nets or paper bags. Chickens love a sunflower head hung for them to peck!

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Sunflower

Use seeds fresh or toasted or press for oil.

Your comments and tips

20 May 23, David (USA - Zone 4b climate)
Am in zone 4b. Is there a Sunflower I can plant that only gets 2 feet tall?
12 Apr 23, Chris Harcoan (Australia - temperate climate)
When is the best time to plant sunflowers in Mildura Victoria...
03 Apr 23, Helene Snyders (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Where can I get seed of Sunflower Single Sunspot Helianthus annuus regards Helene Snyders
19 Apr 23, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Maybe online
05 Apr 23, (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Try internet sites.
24 Mar 23, Wayne Thresher (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I lost most of my crop to the wet chill weather this past summer. I'll have to buy chook feed this year. Can anyone recommend the hardiest crop that can tough out changing climate. rainy, windy wet cold ... nevermind... I'm moving :) Same question for maize if you have knowledge
27 Mar 23, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
The weather works against us sometimes.
21 Feb 23, Jordan (USA - Zone 5b climate)
Hi! We are looking to plant sunflowers from seeds in the North Shore of Chicago area, I believe we are zone 5b for zip code 60045. I have seen people reference "the guide" but am curious if someone could point me towards where I might find this magical panacea of information? Thank you! (Gardenate uses https://www.gardenate.com/zones/#zone-US)
22 Feb 23, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You work out your climate zone from the blue tab at the top of the page. Then go to the plant you want to grow - sun flowers.
06 Jan 23, brilliant mdunge (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
can I plant sunflower in Southern upper south coast Ixopo Richmond areas ?
Showing 1 - 10 of 149 comments

I’m new at this and just picked a 6ft sunflower roots and all in Texas and I’m going to replant in Arizona Zone9B. How often do they have to be watered?

- Tracey

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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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