Sunflowers are one of the most extraordinary plants around. They are native to North America and were discovered when natives worshiped them as symbols of the sun god. These plants, which rotate throughout the day following the movement of the sun, generate a lot of light and joy in our home. Plus, planting sunflower seeds is so easy that kids can do it too. However, the way to sow them will depend to a large extent on whether we have a garden or if we must grow them in a pot, as well as the type of sunflower that is chosen. Be that as it may, in this article we will explain how to plant sunflowers at home step by step.
Types of sunflowers: can they all be had at home?
There are mainly three types of sunflowers: tall, medium, and pollen-free sunflowers. The latter are hybrids created in Europe and Japan, so they do not produce seeds and the only way to get them is by acquiring plants.
It depends on how our home is (if it has a small garden, if we have a balcony or if we only have rooms) one type of sunflower or another will be more convenient. In fact, we can have any type of sunflower as long as we can expose the plant to many hours of sun. However, you have to be realistic with the size of the plant you choose. In other words, if we want to have a giant sunflower on our apartment with a balcony, it will most likely reach our neighbor’s balcony.
When you go to buy sunflower seeds, be sure to choose the variety you are looking for. You can also consult with an expert at your favorite florist if you are not sure which one you want.
Information about sunflower and its care
The sunflower is a generally yellow and annual plant, which means that it germinates, grows and dies in a year. It is mainly characterized by its rapid growth, its beauty and the high properties of its pipes.
How much can a sunflower measure?
There are up to 70 different varieties of sunflower, and depending on the type the length will vary, ranging from 60 centimeters to almost 5 meters. As a curious fact, in 1986 the tallest sunflower in the world was planted in the Netherlands, reaching 7.62 meters.
How often do you have to water the sunflower?
Sunflower is a plant that needs a lot of water. At the beginning, when we are waiting for the seed to sprout, it has to be watered once a day or every two days, ensuring that the soil is always moist. At this point, we have to calculate an amount of 25 ml of water per planted seed. Once the seed sprouts and the plant reaches about 30 centimeters in height, you must double the amount of water that you were giving it, that is, 50 ml. After two weeks, when the plant is bigger and you divide the bud, add 75 ml of water to it. When you see that the sunflower is ready to bloom, start watering it with 100 ml of water.
How long does it take for a sunflower plant to germinate?
Depending on the variety of sunflower it can take more or less days. But the average is about 10 days. However, it may be the case that the first shoots appear after 3 or 4 days, if it has the necessary humidity and the right conditions for it to germinate successfully.
What is the best time to plant sunflowers?
Ideally, sunflowers should be planted in the spring, so that when they bloom, they receive the rays of the summer sun, which is the time when they grow best. Although there is less water underground in summer, sunflower roots can reach deeper than other flowers or plants and get the water they need.
However, some people prefer to plant the seeds in winter in pots, so that when spring comes and they transplant the sunflowers outside, theirs will be the first blooming sunflowers of the season.
How to grow sunflowers at home step by step
If you have already chosen your favorite variety of sunflower and you know where to plant it, then we explain how to plant sunflowers in pots step by step:
- Buy sunflower seeds, but keep in mind that only dwarf varieties are suitable for growing in pots.
- Get some pots of the right size for your sunflowers. Make sure that the pot has holes in the end so it can drain the water, otherwise the plant will rot. Remember to add a saucer to the base so that the water does not overflow.
- At the bottom, put a drainage material, such as pieces of terra cotta, gravel, pebbles or polyfoam. Next, pour in equal parts compost and commercial soil.
- Water the container before putting in the seeds. Keep in mind that for them to germinate they need a lot of humidity, and it will be much easier if when the plants, the soil is already moist.
- Place the sunflower seeds in the pot. If your pot is very large and allows it, plant 2 to 10 seeds in total, with a distance of 10 centimeters between them. Not all seeds will flower, so in this way we will ensure that at least one sunflower plant grows.
- Water the plant every one or two days, and calculate about 25 ml of water per planted seed, until they sprout.
- Wait 3-8 days. If in a maximum of 13 days nothing has sprouted, then it means that the plant will not grow.
Precautions when planting a sunflower in a pot
- If the starting pot you use is very small, keep in mind that you will have to transplant the plant at some point into a larger pot.
- If you don’t have a balcony, find a sunny room so that the sunflower receives as much daylight as possible. However, try not to bring the plant too close to a window, because the glass often transmits a temperature that is colder or hotter than the room temperature.
- If you want to pot a huge variety of sunflowers, the size of the container should be very tall and wide.
How to plant sunflowers in a garden step by step
Now that you know how to plant sunflowers at home in a pot, you may also be interested in knowing how to do it in your garden or vegetable garden. Follow these steps to plant your sunflowers in your home garden:
- Dampen a paper – it doesn’t have to drip or be soggy, just a little damp.
- Wrap the seeds in the wet paper to help them germinate sooner.
- Store the seeds wrapped in wet paper in a bag for 48 hours. Usually, the first shoots will appear in that time. If you see that they do not sprout in two or three days, carefully cut the edge of the shell of the seed with a nail clipper, and add a little more water to the paper if you see that it is very dry.
- Take the sprouted seeds and prepare the soil for planting. Choose an area where the sun shines throughout the day, ideally between 6 and 8 hours.
- Dig a deep hole, about two feet deep, and check that the soil is easy to drain. If not, mix the soil with compost. Sunflower roots are very long and absorbent, and they could rot if the soil gets soaked with water.
- Plant the seeds 1 inch deep and 6 inches away from other plantings, including other sunflowers. If the variety you are going to plant is the giant one, here we recommend that you leave about 40-50 centimeters of distance between sunflower and sunflower.
Precautions for growing sunflowers in the garden
- You can also plant the seeds directly into the ground, but some may not flower or take 11 days to sprout.
- Check that there are no obstacles for when the plant grows, such as trees, bushes or other objects that it can bump into and / or block the sun.
- Remember that, both to plant in a pot and in the garden, the seeds must be with the shell.