When and how to plant sunflowers – Seven tips for spring gardening

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The sunflower is one of Britain’s most adored flowers with many varieties growing across the nation. Sunflowers typically bloom from the summer months into autumn and can take several weeks to flower from when you sow the seeds. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to explain how and when you should plant sunflowers.

Sunflowers are very easy to grow from seed and are an ideal plant for the avid gardener to try when gardening with children.

Towering sunflower plants are wonderful annuals to grow in your garden.

These tall varieties of sunflower can grow up to two metres tall and bear impressive and long-lasting flowers.

You can try to grow monster cultivars like American Giant varieties or shorter varieties such as Moulin Rouge.

When to plant sunflowers?

Sunflowers bloom from summer into autumn and depending on the variety take from 11 to 18 weeks to sow.

With that in mind, you can begin sowing them from March until the end of May.

The next step you should take is to plant the sown sunflower buds into the garden in early June when all risk of frost has passed.

How to grow sunflowers

To grow sunflowers you need a sunny but sheltered spot with plenty of good quality soil.

You can also add well-rotted manure to the soil before planting to help your sunflowers.

Try to protect your sunflowers from pests such as slugs and snails and make sure to water these plants regularly.

Sunflowers can be sown straight into the ground where they will flower, but you need to ensure they have enough space to sow with no interfering weeds.

To guarantee this, rake the soil with a fine tilth to a fine and crumbly texture.

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Make 1.2cm deep holes leaving 10cm between each seed hole and then place the seed into them carefully.

Cover the seed with soil and then water the seeds gently.

Water well after planting and continue to water well as they grow.

As the sunflower grows taller, you may need to help support the stem.

You can support your sunflower plant by placing a cane near the stem and loosely tying the cane to the plant with a string.

Best tips for growing sunflowers

Make sure to keep your sunflowers well watered

  1. Prepare your soil thoroughly with plenty of organic matter for them to help sunflowers grow well.
  2. Use supports to help grow your taller varieties of sunflowers.
  3. Always water sunflowers well as they struggle to survive if they dry out and wilt.
  4. Once the flowers have finished, leave the heads on the plants for the birds – finches and sparrows love them.
  5. Use a high potassium feed on a weekly basis once the flowers appear.
  6. In late autumn, pull up the plants and compost them.

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