One of the easiest flowers to grow, Helianthus thrive in full sun and aren’t picky about soil. You’re probably most familiar with the giant types that grow very tall and have oversized yellow flowers. But there are many other types of sunflowers to explore.
How to Grow Sunflowers From Seed
Sunflowers are usually grown from seed. Seeds can be sown directly into the garden once the threat of frost has passed in the spring.
Or they can be started indoors three to four weeks before transplanting into the garden. Peat or paper pots that ultimately can be planted directly into the ground are recommended for seedlings started indoors, as sunflowers don’t like to have their roots disturbed.
Plant seeds in the garden 1 to 2 inches deep in a shallow trench spaced about 6 inches apart. Keep them lightly moist (but not soggy) until they sprout, which takes around seven to 10 days. Taller varieties should be thinned to about 1 to 1.5 feet apart.
For the best flowering and sturdiest stems, plant your sunflowers in full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days. Because they are heliotropic (their flower heads follow the sun), ample sun exposure will help them remain straight rather than bending toward the direction where the light is predominant.
Are Sunflowers Easy To Grow?
Sunflowers will grow in almost any soil. They can tolerate poor, dry soils. However, they will do best in well-drained soil that contains a good amount of organic matter. While the plant is small, water around the root zone, about 3 to 4 inches from the plant.
To protect the plant, it may help to put snail or slug bait around the stem. 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.