Are you excited to plant sunflowers this summertime? The summer months are considered the sunflower growing season. They are a delightful addition to your home gardens with a beautiful yellow flower head that attracts pollinators.
Let me tell you how easy and quick they grow. Sunflowers have a rapid growth rate. Depending on the variety, they can reach maturity and develop seeds in 70-120 days after planting, provided they received proper growing conditions.
The giant sunflower varieties like the Mammoth Russian Sunflowers can grow up to 12 feet tall in just a matter of 60 days. Imagine how fast they grow tall to that whooping height. Now, let us find out more answers to the frequently asked questions about growing sunflowers from seed.
How much does a sunflower grow in a week?
Sunflowers grow up to 2 to 2.5 inches tall every week after propagation.
This is why I advise you to directly sow them in garden beds or their permanent medium once the soil has been adequately conditioned and prepped.
A well-developed root system is a key to grow them rapidly to reach their full potential. Sunflowers’ tap roots grow fast and long, about 1 to 3 feet deep. And if they are confined, they may stunt their growth, resulting in a shorter and smaller sunflower.
With proper plant care and growing conditions, the giant variety may get as tall as 16 feet tall in 2-3 months. They mature at about 85 to 95 days from germination.
During the first 30 days of a sunflower plant life, we can observe how fast the leaves and the stem grow more robust and taller week after week.
From the 35th to the 65th day from planting, we will see the sunflower plant develop a bud, and this assures us that we have provided it with excellent plant food, sunlight, and water.
This is where it gets exciting that you would love to check your sunflower daily to see its progress and how big the bud starts to grow as you look forward to that day when it finally blossoms into a majestic sunflower head.
Are you still thinking about growing your sunflower this summer? Keep on reading ahead so I can assure you how easy it is to plant one in your garden.
Are sunflowers easy to grow?
When planting sunflowers, I encourage you to grow from seed because it is easy. You’ll witness the beauty of nature unfold before your eyes. After all, sunflowers are drought-resistant and rain-resistant.
They germinate quickly after sowing. They are native to North America and adapt to different locations. When they are planted on well-draining soil and receive full sun on most days, they will thrive and grow well.
How late can you plant sunflower seeds?
Ensure that the soil temperature is at 50 F. This is the best time to plant sunflowers. It is advisable to plant the sunflower seed in late spring after the last frost has passed, especially if you plan to sow them in garden beds. Remember that it takes 60-85 days for the sunflowers to bloom.
You also want to ensure that your sunflower has already blossomed and matured before the first frost of fall. Take note of these frost dates: the last frost date of spring and the first frost date of early fall.
Keep track of the weather forecast in your location. Plan accordingly so that your sunflower plants will get the best weather condition that will optimize their growth.
What month do sunflowers grow?
The sunflower plant grows best from April to July. It will not be damaged from the frost of late spring and early fall. These are the best months to grow them in garden beds. An early fall frost may prevent the flowers from blooming, and heavy frost may cause the flowers to get dehydrated.
The months when you grow sunflowers will depend on the medium where your sunflowers will be planted. For sunflowers grown in garden beds, it is best to propagate them from April to July for their maximum growth potential in excellent weather conditions.
However, if you plant sunflowers in pots, then you can have the option of sowing the seeds in late August, then taking the plant indoors to protect it from the early autumn frost. Just remember that when you take the plant indoors, make sure you place it in a space that receives sunlight.
Take special care for those planted in mid-August. I recommend that you check the weather app for any forecast of an early frost during the first few weeks of October.
If you live in the subtropical regions of North America like Louisiana and Florida, then you can plant them later in the summer months.
Tips and Tricks for Fast Sunflower Growth
Here are some of the sunflower growing tips I can provide you to speed up the germination process and boost your sunflower’s growth to be as big and as tall as their variety’s potential.
The top garden advice I can offer when growing sunflower seeds is to utilize the paper towel seed germination method. A damp paper towel is a suitable medium for seed germination. I use this when I am growing more than 10 seeds at a time.
This eliminates those nonviable seeds which would not sprout. And also increases and accelerates seed sprouting percentage. Some sunflower seeds sprout within 2-3 days using this method.
Here are the Instructions for Paper Towel Seed Germination:
- Prepare a plastic zipper bag or a plastic container where the paper towel with seeds can fit and remain undisturbed. I like to use those microwavable containers with air-tight lids on them.
- Moisten the paper towel with water using a spray bottle.
- On a clean and flat surface, spread the damp paper towel.
- On one-half of the paper towel, place the seeds. Keep the seeds ½ inch apart. Keep in mind not to overcrowd them so there will be room for the root when it sprouts.
- Fold the paper towel in half to cover the seeds.
- In the plastic container, place the damp paper towel with seeds and reseal the container.
- If you used a plastic zipper bag, make sure that it sits on the folded side and not at its bottom. This way, the seeds will not be displaced.
- Keep the plastic container away from sunlight and let it sit at room temperature.
- Observe the seeds sprout in 5-10 days.
- Keep the humidity level in the plastic container. Check every 2 days and if the paper towel dries out, spray it with water.
Once the seeds have sprouted, carefully remove them from the paper towel. Plant them directly to your chosen medium.
Another one of the gardening tips I can impart when germinating sunflower seeds is to soak them in clean water 24 hours before sowing them directly on well-draining and prep soil.
Soaking them allows the seed coat to soften, so speeding up the process of seed germination. You may also cover the ground where the seeds were sown with plastic to retain the humidity level.
Please remember to keep the soil moist with daily watering so the seeds would germinate. Once sunflower grows and sprouts, keeping their well-draining soil moist and exposing them to full sun for 6-8 hours daily when the weather allows guarantees a healthy sunflower plant.
Growing sunflower plants is relatively easy.
Now that you know how fast they grow and how to speed up their germination, plus a few gardening tips for sunflowers, a first-time sunflower gardener can successfully have them in their flower garden.
This can be a great kids gardening activity you can have your little ones enjoy too.