How to Grow Sunflowers From Seed
The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an interesting plant to grow, particularly for children. Whether growing for competition or satisfaction, exercising the following suggestions will assist your sunflowers with the very best conditions for good growth and health.
Picking A Sunflower Types To Grow
The first step in growing sunflowers is deciding on the species you want to grow. There are 67 species of sunflower throughout the world with single or multiple stems, growing heights, head sizes and colours. Review the information of each popular species listed below to help make an informed opinion on the sunflower you prepare to grow.
Music Box is what’s called a dwarf variety, growing to a maximum height of 28 inches, making it ideal for container growing.
Teddy Bear species of sunflower are smaller than Music Box, growing to around 12 – 18 inches.
Italian White sunflowers, likewise a small range however with an attractive cream coloured flower.
Fall Mix, unlike the above, generally grows over 6ft in height with yellow and rust coloured flower heads, 5 – 6 inches in size.
Largest Sunflower Types such as the Russian Giant grow in excess of 15 feet tall with a large head size as much as 20 inches. Obviously, larger sunflower types will demand more area than the other species discussed previously. Terrific fun if you have space to grow them however.
What’s The Best Location For Growing Sunflowers
Grow sunflowers in soil exposed to direct sunlight and protected from wind. Protect your sunflowers by supporting the stem with a bamboo stake as quickly as the sunflower reaches 1ft in height. This will help the stem grow directly and safeguard the sunflower from wind damage.
When the sunflower develops, the heavy weight of the head on the tall stem leaves the sunflower vulnerable to wind damage. Due to the fact that wild sunflowers just grow between 2 and 6ft in height, the risk of wind damage is far less than that of the domestic sunflower.
What’s The Very Best Soil For Growing Sunflowers
Plant your seedlings in good quality soil such as my individual favourite – Miracle Grow potting mix which has excellent water retention, enriched with plant food. Constantly ensure soil is kept damp and prevent it from drying out totally. Think about adding manure to the garden soil where you plan to plant your seeds or seedlings.
Tips For Germinating Sunflower Seeds
If you choose to sprout your sunflower seeds prior to planting in soil, layer a minimum of 10 sheets of absorbent kitchen area roll paper towel placed on a plate then soak with water. Sprinkle seeds evenly over the damp paper towel prior to putting them in a warm space such as an airing cupboard. The more sheets of paper towel you utilize, the much better the water holding capability, meaning less frequent watering will be needed.
Inspecting seeds with regular watering will prevent the paper towel from drying up, especially common in warm environments or direct sunshine. When your sunflower seeds begin to germinate, plant into potting compost mixed with manure into your garden at a depth of 2 inches, spaced 1 – 2ft apart.
Sowing Sunflower Seeds In Pots
If you’re sprouting your sunflower seeds in pots, sow a single seed in each pot at a depth of 1 inch in 3 inch size pots. Use good quality potting garden compost such as Wonder Grow potting mix, prior to covering the top of the pot with clear stick movie.
When green leaves appear above the soil after germinating, remove film and place pot near a window that gets the most sunshine throughout the day if possible. Turn the plant pot 180 degrees in the morning and once again at night, checking to ensure the soil is kept moist.
If the pot was too small or the sunflower has actually been left in the pot too long, there will likely be a heavy build up of roots around the walls of the pot. Since sunflowers have long taproots efficient in growing 4ft deep, allowing the plant to reach this stage in pots will badly hinder growth.
Overcrowded roots can be securely gotten rid of by cutting off no more than 1/3 with a sharp knife. Break away and dispose of dead soil surrounding the roots of the sunflower before planting in the garden. Keep in mind to make sure not to harm the staying healthy roots in the process.
Planting Sunflower Seeds In The Garden (Recommended).
Sowing seeds directly into the garden is my favored method in which I have had the most success. Plant your sunflower seeds after the last winter frost has passed and night temperatures have actually raised to over 5º or 10º Celsius. Plant in loose soil at a depth of around 50mm (2 inch) spaced 1 – 2ft apart. Water seeds routinely up until 2ft high when the 2nd set of leaves appear. Liquid fertiliser ought to be contributed to the water for feeding from this point forward.
The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an interesting plant to grow, particularly for kids. Sunflowers can mature to 12ft high with a head diameter of approximately 30cm (1ft).
The head of the sunflower, frequently erroneously referred to as a flower, includes 1000 – 2000 specific flowers. The petals surrounding the head are ray flowers.
Sunflowers are among the fastest growing plants in the world, maturing to 30cm (1ft) per day.
A fascinating quality of the sunflower is its capability to track the direction of the sunlight by pointing the sunflower head towards the sun. This behavior is referred to as heliotropism.
Wild sunflowers have smaller sized seeds, growing several branches and/or stems with more than one head. It is only through hundreds of years of cautious, hand-picked seed selection is the domestic sunflower much larger with a single stem and flower head.
The sunflower is the state flower for Kansas, U.S.A. and the national acknowledged flower for Russia.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the tallest sunflower ever grown remained in 1986 by M Heijms in Oirschot, Netherlandsat a height of 25ft 5.5 inches (776 cm).
The largest sunflower head ever tape-recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records measured 32 1/4 inches (82 cm) in size, grown by Emily Martin from Maple Ridge, Canada in the hot summertime of 1983.
Although native to America, 60% of the world population of sunflowers are grown in Europe and Russia. Popular types with sunflower growers starting with the highest: Moonwalker, Pastiche, Velvet Queen, Russian Giant and the smaller sized Teddy Bear and Big Smile types.
Sunflowers are extremely effective for attracting butterflies, bees and birds.
Sunflowers are used to produce sunflower oil. As a seed, they are used for bird feed and as a healthy snack for children and grownups.
Sunflower seeds have a 50% polyunsaturated fat content and are rich in Omega-6 which has actually been proven to lower the threat of heart disease. Sunflower seeds are rich in calcium along with a variety of other vitamins and minerals.
The scientific name for sunflowers; Helianthus derives from two Greek words, Helios suggesting sun and Anthos meaning flower.
Sunflowers are perennial plants that grow each year.
Sunflower seeds are toxic to grass so distance them from your yard which would be killed by falling seeds.
Sunflowers: An Excellent Option For Kids.
Sunflowers are an exceptional option for plants for children to grow. They are aesthetically appealing, bring in a variety of bugs such as butterflies, bees and birds in addition to being simple to grow.
You might have the ability to motivate friends or neighbours to take on, seeing who can grow the highest sunflower. I personally have fond memories of being a 9 years of age child, taking on my next door neighbour. If my memory serves me correctly, I managed to grow three sunflowers at a height of about 6ft. Although being so young, whatever appears bigger at that age, so I may well be wrong. I understand, I should not boast, but naturally I did win … naturally of course.:-RRB- Sorry!!
The BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research study Council … phew) have actually produced a sunflower growing activity eBook for young kids to grow their really own sunflower, whilst finding out how plants grow.
Sunflower Plant Care.
Sunflowers require plenty of watering and sunlight, taking around two weeks to appear and 90 days to fully grow. If utilizing chemical herbicide, make certain it appropriates for usage on sunflowers or pull weeds out by hand. Over-watering sunflowers will likely harm flower heads, particularly 20 days before or 20 days after maturity.
Put around 2 gallons of liquid fertilizer solution weekly around the roots of the sunflower, taking care not to pour the service over the stem as this has actually been found to cause sunflower stems to rot.
Attempt to place your sunflowers so they invest as much time in the sun as possible, preferably 6-8 hours or more. If heavy winds are forecast, delayed watering up until the wind has passed to prevent the sunflower from getting blown over.
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