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 - 18 inches 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

05 Jul 20, Ann Carson (USA - Zone 8b climate)
What kind of soil best for sunflowers? I planted afew times that begin growing then rodents eat top of sunflowers. Same as radishes too.How do i solve the problems?
01 Jul 20, Emma (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I was hoping for some planting advice, how many seeds in each amount of soil?! Is it a good time to plant the seeds now in winter nice and deep to get the best results come spring time? Thanks Perth WA
06 Jul 20, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Plant seeds 50-60cm apart and rows 60-80cm apart. You can plant two seeds and then reduce to one after germination. If good seeds just one is required each 60-60cm. Don't plant until spring as you need a lot warmer soil than what it is now. Do not plant seeds deeper than what is suggested.
12 Jun 20, Vicki Holley (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Looking for a monthly calendar to plant by for zone 9a. Was hoping to plant something in June? (Try here https://www.gardenate.com/?zone=115) Gardenate
16 May 20, Thelma Jenkins (USA - Zone 7b climate)
Our area has a lot of wind, up to 95 in summer. Get some snow in winter. Would like to plant them along our fenceline around our 1acre. Zone7b.AZ. Any advice will be appreciated.
04 Sep 19, margret botha (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
can I plant sunflowers in wellington westen cape
14 Nov 19, anon (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Look up your climate zone. Then select your crop to plant, then check the calendar when you can plant. Read the notes about growing it.
01 Jun 19, Thushari (Australia - temperate climate)
I had gian Russian sunflowers grown in my garden in Dec. Summer time in Melbourne. It grew nicely. It didn't grow up to 3 m. Only about 1 meyer tall. Big flowers similar to a size of a plate. Again i grew them in Autumn flowering started in late may. Looks like a bit slow considering cool windy weather conditions. I keep them inside ( its in pots) I keep them outdoor only when its Sunny. The name says Russian i assumed it ll grow in.Winter here in Melbourne. But flowering takes a bit longer than I thought. Anyone got good suggestions if I m doing the right thing? One plant I put on the ground it nearly dead due to heavy windy weather. I try to keep room temperature for the plant . Heaters on in my house most of the day. Any ideas most welcome? I grow flowers first time on my life. But really enjoying it. Thanks
04 Sep 19, TempestSkye (Australia - temperate climate)
If growing sunflowers from seed, they really need to be planted in September/October (in Melbourne) at the latest. I found that Giant Russian Sunflowers are very hungry and very thirsty, so in addition to lots of sunshine and warmth, it needs a lot of nutrient rich soil and a decent amount of water to keep it moist (but not too wet) at all times. Mine grew 2-3m in the first year. The second year I had a volunteer sunflower plant grow where they had been growing the previous year. It sprouted late and I didn't give it much help in terms of fertiliser and watering was less often than I had the first year too. It only grew a metre or so high before it succumbed to autumn chill.
20 May 19, bonga strydom (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
wish to know, can i plant sunflower in KZN midlands area of Estcourt and recive bulks? where is the sunflower market which is reliable?
Showing 1 - 10 of 105 comments

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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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